MU 21 CAN vs RUS26

In the last match of Pool D at the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship, Russia defeated Canada at the Levski Sofia volleyball hall in Bulgaria to top the final pool standings unbeaten and snatch the last available vacancy among the top eight of the tournament.

To progress to the upper half of the tournament bracket, Russia needed to win at least two sets in their last Pool D match, but went for the victory and achieved it after four sets against Canada, 3-1 (25-13, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22). The Russians clearly overpowered their North American opponents by a wide margin in the first set. In the second, Canada tried fighting back, but again the Russians were too strong for them.

The European squad came out for the next sets with an almost entirely different starting line-up. Canada took advantage of it to claim set three, but in set four, the Russians dominated again until Vadim Iutsevitch’s kill delivered the match winner. Canada’s Samuel Cooper produced the match-high 21 points.

“We are the stronger team, but we made some mistakes. I think we have every chance to be first in the next-stage pool and we will try to do it. I think that Poland will be in second place. In the pool in Italy, the hosts are the favourites,” Russia’s middle blocker Kirill Ionov told Volleyball World.