Brazil is by far the luckiest team of the competition so far. After it went as low as occupying its Round 1 Pool’s 5th place, it won close to matches to miraculously clinch the pool’s first spot, which meant a berth in Pool F, the easiest of the 2nd Round’s pools. Unless it really doesn’t show up to play, even an injury riddled Brazilian team should have no trouble advancing against Belgium, Slovenia, and Australia. NOTE: Only the top two of the second ranked teams of each pool will qualify for the third round.
Story Lines To Watch
Brazil had a lot of trouble in the first round of the tournament, dropping a game to the Netherlands. Luckily for it, it woke up before it was too late, and now has a breeze of a second round, for a team of Brazil’s caliber anyway. Wallace Souza is playing at his ever-dominant pace, scoring 4.5 points per set at 55% hitting. Unfortunately for him, the team only has 2 other players in the competition’s top 60 scorers.
The Belgium squad is displaying a very solid performance in the WCH. Middle blocker Simon Van De Voorde leads the competition with 1.11 blocks per set, a number 50% higher than second place, Cuba’s Roamy Arce. The team also boasts 3 players among the competition’s best 3 receivers. If everything goes perfectly for it, it could surprise Brasil for a win and end up closing the pool in first place.
Slovenia displays really made the most of its maiden WCH run so far. It boasts superb passing and defense skills. Mitja Gasparini is one of the competition’s best servers,Jan Kozamernik one of its best blockers, and Tine Urnaut one of its highest scorers. However, a spot in round 3 is only reserved for the best of the best. It will have to play at its absolute peak if it hopes to beat the more experienced Brazilian team and move on to round 3.
Lincoln Alexander Williams and Harrison Peacock are the heart and soul of Mark Lebedew’s Australian team. Williams is one of the best hitters of the competition so far, hitting at 60%, good enough for 2nd place in the leader-boards. Meanwhile, Peacock leads the tournament’s setting statistics, while Beau Graham is one of its best blockers. If Australia is to have a punchers’ chance at advancing though, it will need major help from its role players.