2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – Semifinals
- July 7, 2018
- First & Third Place Matches on July 8, 2018
- Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France | Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Capacity: 28,010)
- Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (EDT +05:00)
- World Rankings: #1 Brazil, #2 USA, #4 Russia, #9 France,
RUSSIA DEF. BRAZIL 3-0
- Russia def. Brazil 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-14)
- Russia moves to the Finals at 14-5 overall; Brazil falls to the 3rd Place Match at 11-7 overall
The second semifinal wasn’t as exciting as the first, as Russia barreled through a non-healthy Brazilian side in straight sets with a total score of 75-49. That means Russia will go for Gold tomorrow while Brazil is sent to the third-place match against the United States.
The Brazilian offense was dormant for much of the match and totaled just 28 spikes in three sets yet still had 20 team errors (compared to 16 from Russia). Not to mention that the Russian side dominated at the net with their block (10-2), had three more aces (6-3) and eight more digs (24-16) to pair with their 11 more spikes.
While Brazil didn’t find much success offensively, Russian setter Dmitry Kovalev (4 points) produced plenty of opportunities for his side that were terminated. His strong decision-making was apparent with four double-digit scorers and five at eight or more led by Maxim Mikhaylov (12 points) and his nine kills on 18 attempts. Those other four though combined for 28 kills on 45 tries. Even Kovalev pitched in with two kills on two attempts, while Artem Volvich (8 points) was five-for-five. The success made it so just seven players appeared in the match for the winning nation.
All tournament long, Brazil has been trying to find consistent secondary and tertiary options. Sometimes they’ve gotten those contributions, other times in defeat they haven’t. Wallace De Souza (8 points) has starred though this event, but could only do so much with the Russian defense keying on him. After that, Douglas Souza (7 points) and Lucas Saatkamp (6 points) were next in line, but everyone after Wallace (eight kills on 18 attempts) combined for just 20 kills on 52 tries with plenty of errors.
Tomorrow will wrap up the inaugural FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League, with the two European sides – Russia and France – battling for first and the two nations from the Americas – Brazil (South America) and United States (North America) – going for third.
Sergei Shliapnikov (Russia head coach): “It was not easy. It may have looked easy but that was just an impression. We were actually quite nervous, boiling inside. In the first set, it was complicated, but then it went well. We’ll try to carry out the same strategy against France for the final.”
Dmitriy Muserskiy (Russia middle blocker): “Brazil are a strong team. Had we lost our concentration at some point, we could have lost the match. In The Finals, there are no bad teams. That’s why we needed to remain focused till the end of the match. I haven’t played against France for a long time so it should be interesting. They won last year’s World League, now they’re in the final at home. The crowd is like a seventh player, but the strongest team will win.”
Renan Dal Zotto (Brazil head coach): “Yesterday we did a great match but today it was completely the opposite. We were not able to react. Russia played exceptionally well. Besides, we played with some players that did not have a lot of court time so far, and it was difficult in reception and attack. Now we need to take time and analyze, think about what we did, and prepare for tomorrow’s match against the US for the bronze medal which is very important.”
Bruno Rezende (Brazil captain): “There was only one team on the court today. No Brazil. They deserve to win. Now we have to focus and try tomorrow in order to get the bronze.”