FIVB Volleyball World League: Brazil Clobbers Italy, USA Overwhelms Iran En Route to Finals
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The Finals match has been set after Brazil pounded Italy and the U.S. overwhelmed Iran in the semifinals matches on Saturday at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League.
Brazil proved why they are No. 1 in the world with their 3-0 win over Italy, while the U.S. likewise scored a shutout victory over listless Iran.
The Brazilians hammered the ball down the line and consistently blocked attacks which left the Italians stunned and committing far too many errors. The nine-time World League champions Brazil silenced the host nation's crowd by taking command of the first set, taking an early lead 11-4.
Brazil's Ricardo Lucarelli, Sidnei Dos Santos, Wallace De Souza and Lucas Saatkamp contributed to a barrage of spikes that left the Italians empty handed to pull-off a 25-11 win of the first set.
The Italians clawed their way back in the preceding sets behind Simone Buti and Ivan Zaytsev but with 17 service errors and Brazilian defenders scouring over the net, last year's runner-up Brazil took the remaining two sets to make their way back to the finals with a final score of 25-11, 25-23, 25-20.
Zaytsev was interviewed after the match and said "I felt like I was playing children's volleyball."
In the other semifinals match, Iran looked nervous against the U.S., playing a lackluster game which was a stark contrast against the previous match they played.
The US capitalized with a series of attacks that left Iran shaking their heads. The Americans took their way to a 25-18 first set advantage.
Amir Ghafour's number was marked by USA as Iran's top scorer couldn't hit the ball past a wall of American blockers. Taylor Sander was unstoppable at the net as he led his team with 16 attacks conquering Iran to a 25-18, 25-22, 25-16 victory and a chance to win their second World League title.
Iran's team captain, Mir Saeid Marouflakrani said after the match that it wasn't a bad day for them "it was just a very good day for the USA - they played perfectly."
Brazil will face the U.S. on Sunday for the World League crown, while Italy and Iran play for third place.