Brazil plough through Week 2 to remain only undefeated team in VNL
"Deep" block by Isac Santos and Yoandy Leal as Brazil edge Argentina in the South American classic to remain the only undefeated team in the 2019 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League after two weekends of play.
The Rio 2016 Olympic champions went all the way against both Iran and their neighbouring archrivals Argentina but on both occasions came out unscathed. They found less resistance from Japan, who they beat in straight sets.
Newly-introduced to the side, Cuban-born Yoandy Leal has been leading Brazil's scoring with 78 points, just one over Wallace de Souza - though both still trail Canada's Sharone Vernon who leads the pack on 107.
It was also a prefect weekend for Russia, who swept everyone within site (Portugal, USA and Italy) in straight sets. The defending VNL champions are on a five-match winning streak, but still carry the weight of their opening day defeat to France in that rematch of last year's VNL final.
Victor Poletaev has been the driving force behind Russia this last weekend, including some truly exciting blocking, though Dmitry Volkov, who has played in all six matches so far, remains their top scorer overall on 76 points.
France could have been right up there with Brazil at the top of the table, were it not for a last-minute upset to Bulgaria on Sunday, after coach Laurent Tillie changed the lineup with his side leading 2-0.
Down towards the bottom of the table, the race is still very much on in the quest to avoid relegation. Amongst the Challenger teams, Australia scored their first win this week sweeping Germany in straight sets to catch up with Portugal on 1-5 records.
Bulgaria, though, another of the Challenger teams eligible for relegation, has opened up a slight advantage, going 2-4 after that comeback win over France.
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