Three successive victories in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Rimini, Italy, saw Iran move up to sixth in the 16-team table.
On Sunday, Vladimr Alekno’s men beat Bulgaria in straight sets (25-20, 33-31, 25-22) after four-set wins against Canada and the host on the previous two days.
Bardia Sa’adat, 18, topped the scoring for Iran with 17 points, followed by Amirhossein Esfandiar, who chipped in 11.
"We are very happy with this victory. This game was really important for our team as we wanted to close this round with a win,” Esfandiar said after the match.
When asked about captain Saeid Marouf’s contribution to the victory, the Iranian said, “Everybody knows that Marouf is a big player and great captain, so he is super important for our team. I think he made a difference in the second set. Now we have time to recover and get ready for next week."
This was a fourth win in six for Iran after a below-par start to the campaign saw them suffer defeats against Japan and Russia.
Next for Iran in Week 3 of the competition is an encounter against USA on Wednesday, before Alekno’s men face Serbia and Germany.
Poland, Brazil, and France top the standing respectively – all with a 5-in-6 record – with Russia, Slovenia, and Iran in the next spots.
Each team has to play 15 matches in a round robin format, before top four of the table proceed to the VNL Finals to battle for the ultimate prize.
having finished 10th at the inaugural VNL event in 2018, Iran advanced to the Final Six a year later, finishing fifth.