VNL - Six players to watch

 

Earvin Ngapeth spikes past Maxim Mikhaylov’s block in the 2018 VNL final in Lille

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 12, 2019 – With under 100 days to go before the start of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, this video takes us back to the inaugural edition's men's finals at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. It features some of the top performers of the 2018 finals, players to keep an eye on in the build-up to this year's edition of the Volleyball Nations League.


And it's a happy 28th birthday to Earvin Ngapeth, whose club team Zenit Kazan claimed the Russia Cup in December. They lead the current standings in both the CEV Champions League and the Russian Superliga and will be in action in both competitions this week. Ngapeth was the second best scorer of the 2018 VNL Finals and a silver medallist with France, which means there is still room for improvement in the 2019 VNL.
Also playing at Zenit Kazan, Maxim Mikhaylov is one player who will do what he can to prevent a victory for France, as Russia start the defence of their VNL title in May. Mikhaylov led his national team to gold in 2018, also winning the MVP award.
Lucas Saatkamp and Thales Hoss are currently focused on their performances in the Brazilian Superliga, where their team EMS Taubate Funvic are placed third in the table, well positioned to compete for medals in the playoffs. Statistically, Saatkamp was the best blocker and Hoss was the best receiver of the 2018 VNL Finals, while Brazil finished fourth in the final standings – certainly a result the South American powerhouse will try to improve on in the 2019 edition.
France’s Kevin Le Roux, one of the best middle blockers on the 2018 VNL Dream Team, also plays in the Brazilian league and his team Sada Cruzeiro Volei Belo Horizonte will also be in action this weekend. Le Roux and his teammates won the national cup recently and now top the table in the league. Read more about Kevin Le Roux here.
Another Frenchman from the 2018 VNL Dream Team, setter Benjamin Toniutti, is creating his own brand of magic in the Polish PlusLiga. His club Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle claimed the national cup recently and continue dominating the championship where they are unbeaten since the start of the season. Toniutti and his teammates will be looking for their 17th straight win this Saturday at home, but before that, on Wednesday, they will try to earn their third victory of the Champions League season.