2017 FIVB World League – Pool D1 Preview
- June 9-11, 2017
- Azadi Indoor Stadium, Tehran, Iran
- Iran Daylight Time (UTC+04:30)
- Live results
- Week 1 points leaders
|Date||Time||Home Team||Away Team|
- 18:00 matches will begin at 15:30 in Serbian and Belgium time, 21:00 matches begin at 18:30 in Serbian and Belgium time
- 18:00 matches will begin at 10:30 in Argentina time, 21:00 matches will start at 13:30 in Argentina time
- 18:00 matches will begin at 8:30 New York Time, 21:00 matches will begin at 11:30 New York Time
Notes: Brazil, host of the Final 6, highlighted in blue. *** denotes teams playing in Group D1.
Belgium, behind a 1-2 punch from Bram Van den Dries and captain Sam Deroo, emerged with a surprising 7 points from the first weekend of play – 7 points that leaves them 2nd on the overall table one-third of the way through the preliminary rounds of this year’s competition. After dropping a 3-2 decision to Canada in their opener, Belgium swept the defending champions Serbia 3-0 and beat the United States 3-1 to finish their weekend in Novi Sad. The Serbian result was most surprising, as it was in front of Serbia’s home crowd, and the Serbians had looked so impressive a day earlier in beating-out the defending Olympic bronze medalists from the United States.
Van den Dries came out of week 1 ranking 3rd in Group 1 with 59 points in 3 matches.
Belgium’s early results are best served with context, however. In their match against Serbia, the 2016 World League MVP Marko Ivovic saw limited action for yet-unexplained reasons. In the game preceding the Belgium bout and the game following the Belgium bout, both Serbian wins, he scored 17 and 16 points, respectively. Against Serbia, he started just 1 set and scored just 1 point. At only 26-years old, age doesn’t seem to be a factor in Ivovic needing an off-day, so if he’s at full strength this coming weekend, Belgium should expect a much different match than they saw a week ago. This match, highlighted in red in the schedule above, will be the key to the weekend.
Iran, likewise, played in a very challenging opening group, where their two losses came to the defending Olympic gold medalists Brazil and Olympic silver medalists Italy before they pulled off a 3-1 upset over the defending World Champions from Poland to close the weekend. This upcoming weekend will be a better measure for how Iran is forming under new coach Igor Kolakovic.
Argentina are the underdogs of the group, having taken 3-0 losses to both Russia and table-toppers France in the opening round. They did get a Saturday win over Bulgaria to avoid joining the United States in the winless column, however, so they will have some confidence coming into group play.