Jul 19, 2014, 11:47 PM
News Code: 81242439
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USA in final with straight sets win over Iran in Volleyball

Tehran, July 19, IRNA – USA are through to Sunday’s FIVB World League final after they defeated Iran in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-16) in the first semifinal on Saturday.

The win means the world No. 4 reaches the World League final for the third time after their first place finish in 2008 and second place result in 2012.

The first set began evenly, with the score running up to 8-8. Seyed Mousavi and Mojtaba Mirzajanpour spiked and blocked aggressively, while Taylor Sander, Maxwell Holt and David Lee hit back for USA. Amir Ghafour started to be influential for Iran, but USA varied their attacks more and got 16-11 ahead. With Sander in fine form, they held on to win the set 25-18.

In the second set, excellent spiking by Sander, Matt Anderson and Sean Rooney put USA up 8-5. In spite of Ghafour, Mirzajanpour and Adel Gholami’s strong kills, USA maintained their lead at 17-15, and won the set 25-22.

In the third set, USA gained an early advantage at 6-2 with some brilliant hits by Rooney and Micah Christenson. Iran fought back, but the team coordinated by Marouf could not prevent a seemingly unstoppable Sander, Anderson, Lee, Rooney and Holt from getting USA 17-12 ahead. USA cruised to the end of the match, winning the final set 25-16 to win 3-0 and make the finals.

Iran can be proud for making the World League semifinals for the first time in their history

USA play in the final at 20:30 on Sunday. Iran play in the bronze medal match at 17:30 on Sunday, (Tehran time 20:00).

Iran and USA had never before met in the World League. This is the third time USA have reached a World League final. USA won the World League in 2008 and came second in 2012.

USA will face the winner of tonight’s Italy-Brazil fixture in Sunday's final.

Taylor Sander of USA was the top scorer in the match with 17 points. Amir Ghafour scored 10 points for Iran.