Defalco puts United States one step to sweep in Cannes
Torey Defalco led USA against Germany with 18 points
Defalco topped all scorers with 18 points built from 15 spikes and three stuff blocks. Defalco and three of his teammates – Kyle Ensing, Taylor Averill and David Smith – scored in double figures to post a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20) victory over Germany.
Benjamin Patch, who did not see action against Germany, is one of USA’s top scorers this season along with Defalco.
In USA’s latest match, their four-set win against Germany was their third consecutive victory at the VNL with the same scoreline. Their final match in Cannes against hosts France will be the decider if they sweep their pool matches and continue their winning run.
They have already recorded four triumphs in eight matches, while their next rivals France lost their last match against Argentina, dropping to a 6-2 win-loss record.
France’s loss marked their only second defeat in 12 home matches in the VNL, the other being their 2-0 loss to Russia in last year’s final in Lille. The Frenchmen are looking to bounce back and avoid back-to-back losses.
In the last five encounters of these two squads, the home team has the edge with four wins, including each of their last two matches at the 2018 VNL. However, USA still lead the head-to-head with 20 victories in 34 encounters at world level tournaments.
The final two matches in Cannes will start with the clash between Argentina and Germany at 14:00 local time, followed by the match of France and USA at 17:00.
In Gondomar, Brazil’s latest win against China gave them back-to-back triumphs. These two wins likewise give them a strong edge against hosts Portugal in their matchup on Sunday at 18:00 local time. Prior to this matchup, China will take on Serbia at 15:00.
Gabriele Nelli’s 26 points in Italy’s four-set win over Australia tightened their hold on the winning track, keeping them in the top five in the standing with six wins and two losses. Nelli and his teammates will take on Bulgaria in their home turf in Varna at 20:40 local time, after the match of Japan and Australia at 17:00.
In Urmia, Iran delighted their crowd with their 3-2 upset of reigning world champions Poland. As expected, Amir Ghafour had solid stint at the attack line where he hammered 27 kills and contributed one block for a match-high 28 points.
The Iranians’ latest victory puts them on solid footing against the Russians in their matchup on Saturday at 18:30 local time, as both sides have a 7-1 record. Friday’s losing sides Poland and Canada will play at 15:30.
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