2017 WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP
- Women – September 5-9
- Men – September 12-17
- Nagoya and Osaka, Japan
- Women – Schedule/Results
- Men – Schedule
- Power Rankings
Both Team USA and Iran were victorious on day one of the 2017 World Grand Champions Cup, with the United States defeating the hosts, Japan and Iran taking five sets to down Italy. The two teams have only faced each other one other time in the competition, with Iran taking the win in five in 2013.
The last time the two teams met was at the 2017 FIVB World League, where Team USA took the match over Iran in straight sets.
If Team USA wins against Iran, it will be the first time that they have posted back-to-back wins at the competition since 2005 when they won their last four matches. The Americans were led by Matthew Anderson, who put down 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks. Anderson took off the summer, not competing in the World League to get some rest after a long Olympic and club cycle. Team USA used a mainly veteran squad in their opening match, not looking much to their younger players that took the helm at the World League this summer. Thomas Jaeschke was the second-best scorer for the Americans with 11 points on nine kills and two aces.
The Americans are missing Taylor Sander, who was a strong presence for Team USA at the World League, due to an injury. Despite the loss of Sander, head coach, John Speraw saw a team that was comfortable playing with each other on the court with not a lot of practice time to adjust to the change of lineup.
Four of Iran’s five wins at Grand Champions Cup matches have come in five sets, including their day one win over Italy this year. This could be the first time that Iranians will win two straight opening matches at an international event since the 2014 World Championships when they took down Italy and USA, their first two opponents at this competition.
The Iranians were fairly balanced in their first match, with Amir Ghafour leading the way with 21 points while Milad Ebadipour Ghara H. put down another 20. Also ending with double-digit points was Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi with 16 points.
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