News ID: 322523
Published: 0115 GMT June 25, 2022

Volleyball Nations League: Iran routs Canada to round off Week 2

Volleyball Nations League: Iran routs Canada to round off Week 2

Iranian players celebrate a point during a straight-set victory over Canada in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League in Sofia, Bulgaria, on June 25, 2022.

Sports Desk

Iran delivered yet another improved performance to ease past Canada in straight sets to cap off Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League.

The match at Sofia’s Armeets Arena was a repeat of the clash between the two sides at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, which Canada won 3-0 to edge Iran to a place in the quarterfinals.

Behrouz Ataei’s men stepped onto the court on the back of a three-set defeat at the hands of Brazil on the preceding night, while Canada was beaten by Serbia in a five-set thriller.

Iran took the first set 25-21, before a neck-and-neck contest in the second saw the Asian powerhouse come out victorious by a 27-25 scoreline.

Ataei’s men kept up the momentum in the third set, easing to a 25-18 advantage for a fourth victory in eight outings at this year’s competition.

Amin Esameilnejad again stole the show for Iran, chipping in 15 points, while Amirhossein Esfandiar also made a massive contribution to the victory by 14 points, including an ace for the final point of the second set.

However, Canadian Stephen Maar was the top scorer of the match with 18, with Eric Loeppky finishing on 13.

Saturday’s win came after Iran had beaten China and Australia in four sets in the first week in Brasilia, Brazil, before stunning USA in three sets in Sofia.

Setbacks for Ataei’s men came against the Netherlands, Japan, Bulgaria, and Brazil – all in straight sets.

Next for Iran is a visit to Gdańsk, Poland, for Week 3, starting with an eagerly-awaited encounter against Poland on July 5.

Iran will then take on Italy and Slovenia before wrapping up the third and final round of fixtures against Serbia on July 9.

The top eight of the 16-team table will advance to the VNL Finals, getting underway in Bologna, Italy, on July 20.

Elsewhere on Sunday, the Netherlands came back from behind to overcome Argentina in five sets, while France made a quick work of beating Japan – the surprise package at this year’s tournament – in three sets (25-22, 27-25, 25-16) and move atop the table with a 6-in-7 record.


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