Volleyball Nations League, Week 4: Chicago, Illinois


USA Flexes It’s Muscles

Stage 4 of FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) saw the USA sweep through the weekend with 3 straight-set victories against #8 Serbia, #3 Poland and #11 Iran. After the weekend’s result USA moved into 2nd place in the VNL standings behind France.

The USA used a variety of lineups that were all extremely effective offensively. In previous weeks of VNL the USA started out slowly going 5 sets in weeks 1 and 2, and losing 0-3 in week 3 to Germany. That wasn’t the case for week 4. Unfortunately the only negative of the weekend was the loss of Wing Spiker, Thomas Jaeschke, who went down with a knee injury in Saturday’s match vs. Poland. Coach Speraw inserted TJ DeFalco, a Senior at Long Beach St. University, who performed well in Jaeschke’s absence.


On night one (Friday, June 15th), #11 Iran pulled off a straight-set upset of #3 Poland. Wing-Spiker Milad Ebadipour led the way for the Iranians with 13 points along wit Middle Ali Shafiei who also chipped in 13 points. Saeid Marouf orchestrated the Iranian offense effectively running an efficient offense in the upset. Poland was led by Damian Shulz’s 12 points.

Louder Than the Pols

The biggest surprise of the weekend was how passionate and loud the Iranian volleyball fans were all weekend. They came out in force for Sunday’s match. In an attendance of 3,000, I would have to estimate that 2,000 of them were Iran fans. Usually in Chicago, the Polish fans would be the loudest in Sears Centre– that wasn’t the case for this last weekend.