Wed, 04 Aug 2021

Brazil sweep Poland to lead race in men's VNL

Xinhua
12 Jun 2021, 12:44 GMT+10

RIMINI, Italy, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Brazil swept Poland 3-0 here on Friday to lead the race in the men's Volleyball Nations League.

Brazil beat Poland 25-17, 28-26 and 25-19 for their eighth win in nine matches, while Poland slipped to 7-2.

Wallace de Souza led Brazil with 18 points and Ricardo Lucarelli added 16.

"We are in the process of improvement, trying to take another step every day. Of course, playing against one of the strongest teams in the world and winning is something very gratifying and means that we are on the right track," said Brazil captain Bruno Rezende.

"For sure it's just the beginning. They have a great team with many players and they change lineups, so we tried to prepare for their entire team and I think we did it well. We played with a lot of intensity and good defense - it was something that we wanted to improve and today we played great in this system," he added.

Slovenia twice rallied from one set down to beat Russia 19-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20 and 15-8 to improve to a 7-2 record in the 16-team round-robin preliminaries. Klemen Cebulj led Slovenia with 32 points.

"It was an amazing match. We had a lot of fun, especially after the first set when we were really in trouble. And we really proved that it's not easy to play against us. We are a tough opponent and I hope that we will keep this concentration and game for the next matches," said middle blocker Jan Kozamernik, who had four points for Slovenia.

France and Serbia also reaped their seventh victories in nine matches. France rallied past Canada 20-25, 25-21, 25-22 and 25-17 while Serbia held off the United States 25-23, 25-17, 19-25 and 27-25.

In Friday's other action, Iran lost to Germany in five sets, Argentina beat Japan 3-1, the Netherlands lost to Bulgaria 3-2 and Italy whitewashed Australia 3-0.

Brazil led the standings with 24 points from eight wins, followed by Poland, France, Slovenia and Serbia. The top four finishers from the preliminaries will qualify for the semifinals.

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