Luxembourg, Luxembourg, June 22, 2014. Bulgaria finally came out of its “black series” of seven consecutive losses in this year’s FIVB Volleyball World League, achieving a 3:2 (26-24, 25-17, 14-25, 13-25, 15-12) away victory at USA in Hoffman Estates, which, on the other hand, put a stop on the Americans’ seven-match winning streak. In another match from the top-tier Pool A, Russia repeated Friday’s shutout of visiting Serbia, winning again on Saturday by 3:0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-20) in Surgut.
“After all that we went through, coming to this match with a 0-7 win-loss record, this victory means a lot and is very important, first of all, from a psychological point of view,” commented Bulgaria’s opposite Tsvetan Sokolov. “Now we need to look forward as we will play Serbia next. We really need to think about winning. I think a lot of people did not think we could do something good as things were going so bad."
Russia managed to overtake Serbia in the current standings and is now positioned second with 14 points, 5 behind leader USA and 3 ahead of Serbia. Bulgaria is trailing with 4 points.
“Despite a few point advantage that Serbia had, we did not give them a chance to win. We are determined to keep working and have more wins,” stated Russia’s head coach Andrey Voronkov.
In the second-tier Pool D France managed two away victories at Japan – by 3:0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-16) and by 3:1 (25-16, 19-25, 27-25, 25-18). Meanwhile, in the same pool, Germany allowed another straight-set beating at home by Argentina as the South Americans shut the home team out by 3:0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21). Before next weekend’s double-header France vs. Argentina, which will determine who goes to the 2nd Group’s Final Four in Australia, the European team has 26 points, three clear of second-placed Argentina.
In another second-tier pool, E, the spot in the Final Four is up for grabs by anybody as with plenty of matches left to play the difference between leader Netherlands and bottom-placed Korea is only 5 points. While the Dutch achieved an away 3:0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-22) win at Portugal, Korea and Czech Republic exchanged victories in Suwon and Gwangju. First, the central Europeans won by 3:2 (25-17, 18-25, 29-27, 23-25, 15-11), but then the eastern Asians got back at them with a 3:0 (25-16, 25-23, 27-25) shutout. The Netherlands have 14 points, followed by Portugal with 12 from seven matches played by each. With eight matches played, the Czech Republic is third with 10 points and Korea is fourth with 9.
Click here for more info on the 2014 FIVB World League.