Four Down, Four More To Go
At this point, the four teams that will compete in the quarterfinals of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022 have been determined, and two of the teams also know who they will play next: the United States of America and Poland will play each other once more on their way to the semifinals.
On Monday and Tuesday, four more matches will be played in the Round of 16 to determine the remaining pairings for the subsequent rounds.
There was an obvious favorite in each of the four games played over the weekend. However, this did not prevent three of the matches from continuing on for more over three sets, which provided the spectators in Slovenia and Poland with a great deal of excitement. The fact that none of the outcomes of the remaining four matches in the round can be predicted with any degree of certainty is a very positive development.
Already decided is who will face off against whom in the opening match of the quarterfinals. The United States of America and Poland, who are also co-hosting this year’s World Championship, are scheduled to play each other on Thursday in Gliwice. This will be their second meeting at the tournament, as they previously met in Katowice during a Pool C game.
The reigning champions rallied from a set down to overcome USA in four sets, however in all fairness, both teams had already advanced to the next round, and the Americans rested their key setter and captain, Micah Christenson. However, he made his return in the round of 16, and he was a significant contributor to his team’s triumph over Türkiye.
The libero Erik Shoji once again showed how effective he can be in defense, and the nine digs that he had on Sunday evening moved him to the top of the leaderboard for the greatest diggers in the competition. David Smith, the captain of the USA’s VNL 2022 team, also had a spectacular performance throughout the course of all five sets played against the Turks. In what is a somewhat uncommon event for a middle blocker, Smith finished as the team’s top scorer. Therefore, it is highly likely that the hosts will be required to pay a heightened level of attention to his first-tempo strikes as well as his monster blocks.
Poland was the only side to win their Round of 16 match over the weekend without dropping a single set, and they did so against Tunisia with relatively little difficulty.
Their middle blocker Jakub Kochanowski was in terrific form, scoring 100 percent of his assaults, slamming four aces, and building the anticipation for his face-to-face clash with his American counterpart Smith on Thursday. Kochanowski will be competing against Smith on Thursday. Even from the outside, Kamil Semeniuk was a formidable opponent for the North Africans. As an attacker, he was successful 69% of the time, putting him at the top of the scoring chart for the game.
Slovenia, the other nation that is co-hosting the World Championship, got off to a strong start in the first two sets that they played against Germany on Saturday. However, they were forced to fight tooth and nail in the subsequent two sets and even enlisted the assistance of Rok Mozic, a 20-year-old prodigy, in order to prevail over their rivals.
Toncek Stern and Klemen Cebulj led the way in scoring for Slovenia, but all of the players on the floor made a contribution to the team’s victory. Their opponents for the quarterfinal on Wednesday will be determined by the outcome of the uncertain match between the Netherlands and Ukraine that will take place on Monday evening in Ljubljana at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT).
The match between France and Japan that will take place late on Monday in the capital of Slovenia at 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) will select Italy’s opponents for the quarterfinals that will take place on Wednesday. Yuri Romano, the Italian team’s opposite player, led the way with 14 spiking points at a success rate of 50% to lead the Italians to victory over Cuba in a challenging match in the round of 16.
The match took place over the course of four sets. Once again, the team’s setter and captain, Simone Giannelli, demonstrated why he is such an invaluable asset to the group. As did the veteran middle blocker Simone Anzani, who stepped in as a sub to assist the team at a challenging period and led the scoring in the last set with as much as five points, including two spikes with a success rate of 100% each, two kill blocks, and an ace.
The two teams who will compete in the fourth quarterfinal match will be determined by the results of Tuesday’s Round of 16 matches in Gliwice. The match between Serbia and Argentina will begin at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT), while the match between Brazil and Iran will begin at 21:00 local time (19:00).
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