2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – Week 3 / Pool 9
- June 8-10, 2018
- TD Place Arena; Ottawa, Canada
- Time Zone: UTC – 4 (ET)
- World Rankings: No. 2 USA, No. 6 Canada, No. 10 Germany, No. 16 Australia
|Date||Local Time||Eastern Time||Home||Visitor|
|June 8.||4:40 p.m.||4:40 p.m.||Germany||United States|
|June 8.||7:40 p.m.||7:40 p.m.||Canada||Australia|
|June 9.||4:10 p.m.||4:10 p.m.||United States||Australia|
|June 9.||7:10 p.m.||7:10 p.m.||Canada||Germany|
|June 10.||1:10 p.m.||1:10 p.m.||Australia||Germany|
|June 10.||4:10 p.m.||4:10 p.m.||Canada||United States|
As Week 3 approaches, the United States is one of three 5-1 teams atop the VNL standings. Canada is right behind at 4-2. The teams will meet up on Sunday in a rematch of the 2017 World League bronze medal match.
Rounding out the group are Germany (2-4) and Australia (1-5).
Canada enters Week 3 on a two-match win streak, while Germany won its last match. Australia is looking to rebound from a five-set loss to Serbia and the USA is recovering from a five-set loss to Brazil.
The United States and Canada will be battling for NORCECA bragging rights as well as VNL points. The Americans look to rally past their neighbors up north to avenge a 3-1 loss from the 2017 World League bronze medal match, while the Canadians look to prove they belong in the VNL as one of four challenger nations.
Germany looks to keep itself in the race for the Final Six and will not be rattled by facing the higher ranked teams after besting No. 3 Poland to end Week 2. Australia, which is one of four challenger teams in the men’s VNL, will likely be way over matched in this pool.
Storylines To Watch
- Australia – The Volleyroos are looking to get some wins under their belt and solidify their roster ahead of the World Championships. The team has an uphill battle after finishing 15th in the 2017 World League. All eyes will be on top scorer Lincoln Williams, who has tallied 81 points and wowed with his serve thus far in VNL play, notching a nearly 80 mph bullet against Iran. But, Williams will need some help in order for the Aussies to pull an upset.
- Canada – Stephen Maar paces the Canadians with 79 points, while Blair Bann sets up the offense as the VNL’s best digger with 1.09 per set. The teams has had three different top scorers over the last matches with Graham Vigrass, Marr and Ryan Sclater taking turns leading the way. All three will be needed to lift the team past a deep American roster.
- Germany – Simon Hirsch is the team’s top scorer with 66 points (50 kills, 10 blocks, 6 aces), but Christian Fromm is the team’s best spiker with 51, ranking ninth among all players in VNL action. A wild card could be the team’s blocking with Tobias Krick leading the way, racking up 11 stuffs thus far. Julian Zenger is the second best digger in the tournament following Canada’s Bann.
- USA – The Americans have gone deep in their lineup over the first few weeks mixing up younger players and seasoned veterans. Missing from the lineup this week is outside Taylor Sander, who is home awaiting the berth of his first child. In the lineup, however is Ben Patch, who has scored a team-best 73 points (62 kills, 9 blocks, 2 aces). Patch ranks fourth among all spikers with a 55 percent success rate. Matt Anderson, Thomas Jaeschke and Aaron Russell led the team in their last match, so coach John Speraw has several options depending on matchups.