Men's VNL Dream Team 2018: Where are they now?


Russia's Maxim Mikhaylov, MVP of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League is currently leading his club of Zenit Kazan in both the Russian Superleague and the European Champions League.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 21, 2019 - As the second edition of the FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League approaches, let's take a look back at the Dream Team of the inaugural edition in 2018 and find out what the stars of that competition, in which Russia beat hosts France in the final to earn the title, are up to nowadays.

Russia's Maxim Mikhaylov was named MVP of the VNL in Lille for his spectacular contribution to his side's success in the competition. And he's been at it since then as well, pushing his club of Zenit Kazan to the top of the standings in the Russian Superleague, while helping keep them undefeated in the European Champions League where they're defending the continental title.

The 30-year-old opposite currently ranks sixth in the list of best scorers of the Russian league, having scored 314 points in the 18 matches he has played. On average he ranks fifth at 4.98 points per set.

USA's Matt Anderson received the best opposite award in Lille but during the club season plays as outside hitter alongside Mikhaylov at Kazan. He has only played in 15 matches in the Russian Superleague so far this season, but has collected 192 points (or 3.92 per set).

For his dedication to the sport the 31-year-old was named earlier this year USA's Male Indoor Player of the Year for the fifth time in his career.

Best outside hitter of the VNL, Taylor Sander, also of USA, moved south this year and has been helping South American champions Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem stay on top of the standings in the Brazilian Superleague. He is currently third most efficient attacker of that competition on 61% (121/198), but also features among the top five in receiving (fifth on 70%), serving (fifth with .38 aces per set) and overall scoring (with 3.86 points per set).

Russia's Dmitry Volkov was the other outside hitter of the 2018 VNL, alongside Sander. The 23-year-old (who was also on the FIVB Club World Championship Dream Team last year) has been greatly contributing to Fakel Novy Urengoy's fortunes this year in the Russian Superleague. The team holds the distinction of being the only side to have beaten table leaders Zenit Kazan. Volkov stands seventh in the scorers list of the Superleague with 295 points in total (or 4.28 per set).

VNL Dream Team middle blocker Dmitry Muserskiy of Russia, meanwhile is now in Japan, leading Suntory Sunbirds in the country's V.League, where he has been consistently scoring in the high 20s per match.

France's Kevin Le Roux, who was the other middle blocker on the 2018 VNL Dream Team, is currently the fourth best scorer of the Brazilian Superleague with .73 stuffs per set for table leaders Sada Cruzeiro.

And Le Roux's teammate with France, VNL best setter Benjamin Toniutti continues for a fourth season with Poland's ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle who lead the standings in their bid to defend their national title. The 29-year-old has already been named match MVP twice this season.

And yet another Frenchman, the 2018 VNL best libero Jenia Grebennikov, continues his career this season with Itas Trentino, currently second in the standings of the Italian league. Individually, the 28-year-old stands third in the list of top liberos of the Italian league, based on his reception performances. Grebennikov also won the best libero award when Trentino won gold at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in December. 

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