Men's Update: France Will Host VNL Final

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | March 09, 2018, 12:44 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Men's National Team listens to the National Anthem

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 9, 2018) – The FIVB announced that Lille, France will host the finals of the men’s Volleyball Nations League on July 4-8.

After five weekends of pool play, the final six teams, including the host team, France, will play in Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy, which opened in 2012.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will host Volleyball Nations League pool play matches on June 15-17 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Poland vs. Iran - Friday, June 15, 2018 5:30pm
USA vs. Serbia - Friday, June 15, 2018 7:30pm

Serbia vs. Iran - Saturday, June 16, 2018 2:00pm
USA vs. Poland - Saturday, June 16, 2018 7:30pm

Poland vs. Serbia - Sunday, June 17, 2018 12:00pm
USA vs. Iran - Sunday, June 17, 2018 5:30pm

Tickets are available at http://bit.ly/18MVNLTix.

ITALY

The Italian League Serie A playoffs begin on March 11. The top eight teams in the league qualified for the playoffs.

Sir Safety Perugia with outside hitter Aaron Russell and setter James Shaw finished first in the league with a 23-3 record. It will play Bunge Ravenna in the first round of playoffs.

One of the team’s most exciting matches was its Feb. 25 loss to middle blocker Max Holt and Azimut Modena, 21-15, 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13. Holt scored 12 points on a match-high six blocks and six kills. Russell scored 21 points on 17 kills, two blocks and two aces. Shaw played as a substitute.

Setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Taylor Sander and Cucine Lube Civitanova finished second at 22-4. Civitanova will play Wixo LPR Piacenza in the first round.

Civitanova won a tough match against Piacenza on Feb. 25, 19-25, 28-26, 23-25, 25-19, 15-13. Sander was one of his team’s leading scorers with 20 points on 18 kills, one block and one ace. Christenson started the final two sets and scored three points on two kills and a block.

Holt and Modena finished in third place at 20-6. They will play middle blocker Taylor Averill and Revivre Milano in the first round.

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Calzedonia Verona placed fifth at 18-8. Verona will play Diatec Trentino in the first round.

Jaeschke led all scorers on Feb. 21 in a 25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20 win over Averill and Milano. Jaeschke finished with 24 points on a match-high 20 kills, two blocks and two aces. Averill started the first three sets and scored six points on four kills and two blocks.

Milano finished sixth in the league at 14-12.

Setter Kawika Shoji, outside hitter Jake Langlois and Gi Group Monza finished in ninth at 9-17. Libero Erik Shoji and Taiwan Excellence Latina finished 10th at 7-19. Opposite Ben Patch and Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia placed 11th at 4-22.

POLAND

Middle blocker Dan McDonnell and Trefl Gdańsk are in fourth place in Poland’s league at 18-6. On March 7, Gdańsk beat Indykpol AZS Olsztyn, 17-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 16-14.  McDonnell played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill.

Libero Dustin Watten and Cerrad Czarni Radom are 10th with an 11-13 record. On March 2, Radom beat middle blocker David Smith and Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22. Watten was credite with 20 receptions, 35 percent positive. Smith scored four points on four kills.

Zawiercie is in 13th place at 8-16. On March 7, Zawiercie beat Łuczniczka Bydgoszcz, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. Smith was one of his team’s leading scorers with 16 points on 14 kills (.813) and two blocks.

Setter Jonah Seif and MKS Będzin sit in 11th place at 10-14. On March 7, Bedzin beat BBTS Bielsko-Biała, 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21. Seif scored three points on two kill and an ace and set his team to a .414 hitting efficiency.

FRANCE

Setter Michael Saeta and Chaumont have moved into second place in the league with a 15-5 record.  On March 3, Chaumont beat Toulouse, 29-27, 25-19, 25-23. Saeta scored five points on three kills, one ace and one block. He set his team to a .469 hitting efficiency.

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl and Paris are in third place at 13-6. On March 1, Paris fell to Sète, 25-21, 26-24, 25-20. Stahl scored five points on five kills.

RUSSIA

Outside hitter Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan won the Russian Super League regular season title with a 24-2 record. Kazan won the final match of the regular season against Zenit St. Petersburg, 25-15, 25-21, 25-22. Anderson scored six points on five kills and one ace.

Kazan will play Nova Novokuibyshevsk in the first round of the playoffs, which begin March 10.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Champions League pool play is complete and it has moved into the playoff round of 12.

Russell, Shaw and Italy’s Perugia went 6-0 to win Pool A and will play Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara in the first match on March 13.

Christenson, Sander and Italy’s Civitnova finished second in Pool A at 4-2 and will play Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow on March 14.

Anderson and Russia’s Kazan won Pool D at 6-0.Kazan will host the semifinals and finals, so the team will not play in the next round.

Outside hitter Kyle Russell and Germany’s Berlin Recycing Volley’s finished third in Pool D at 3-3 and will play Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen in the next round on March 14. American middle blocker Scott Kevorken plays for Friedrichshafen.

Saeta and France’s Chaumont placed third in Pool C at 3-3. They will play Italy’s Diatec Trentino in the next round on March 14.

CEV CUP

Jaeschke and Italy’s Verona went 2-0 against France’s Montpellier in the CEV Cup and has advanced to the semifinals.

Verona will host Turkey’s Ziraat Bankasi Ankara in the first semifinal match on March 13. The teams will play in Turkey on March 20. Russia’s Belogorie Belgorod will face Poland’s Asseco Resovia Rzeszow in the other semifinal.