Jul 1, 2019, 8:29 AM
Journalist ID: 2078
News Code: 83375843
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Iran secure spot in Final Six of Volleyball Nations League

Tehran, July 1, IRNA- Iran’s national men’s volleyball team lost on Sunday to the US during 2019 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League pool play, however, made its way to the Final Six of the competition that is set to be held from July 10 to 14 in Chicago.

The Iranian side, comprised of most of the players that wouldn’t normally see much time on court,  lost in three straight sets (27-25, 25-21, 25-20) to the US reserve team in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv on Sunday. 

With both teams already qualified to the Final Six, the match was more of a formality. The result sees Iran complete pool play on a 12-3 record in second place in the standings, behind leaders Brazil.

No team got a lead wider than two points at any time during the first set and the US were first to reach set point at 24-23. Iran promptly cancelled that and the next one, but back-to-back kills by Benjamin Patch and Jake Langlois brought it home, according to the VNL website. 

It was similar in the second, but this time the US had three set points to spare at 24-21 and a George Huhmann block on Masoud Gholami closed it immediately.

And again in the third it was not after 19-19 that USA got to peel off and build a four-point lead which Jeffrey Jendryk II extended to five with a match point block on Farhad Ghaemi.

Patch ended up with a match-high scoring of 16, followed by Langlois on 13 and Jendryk on 10, as USA outblocked Iran 10 to 6 - five stuffs coming from Jendryk alone. Milad Ebadipour was the Asian side's best scorer on 14 points, with Porya Yali adding another 13.

The Iranian national men’s team coach Igor Kolaković said his team wasn’t effective enough to defeat the US. 

“We entered the court to win. But, the US were a better team and we lost. Marouf’s presence in from the very beginning showed that we wanted to win. But, we weren’t that efficient. The US played better with better service. It was their right to win,” said the Montenegrin coach following the loss. 

He stressed that all the injured players will make it to the Chicago Final Six in 10 days.  

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