2019 Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

  • As I have heard some complaints over the years as to how Bulgaria (and no one else) fails to be a good organizer (by some wanna-be pundits only, of course, but still), with last year's WCH as the latest example, I now have to point out that USA and Brazil, two of the game's powerhouses, are playing in front of an iconic but empty Spodek Hall in Katowice. Nothing more to add, without aiming for a brawl in any way.


    Otherwise, 3 from Long Beach State's recent back-to-back collegiate champions start for USA (the setter Tuaniga, DeFalco, and Ensing). Tuaniga is doing great so far. I liked Ma'a more, to be honest, don't know what his form is or how he's been doing this year so far.


    I enjoyed watching the very young German roster today. There are some other promising players in VCO Berlin, for instance, and they should have bright years ahead. The most impressive performance so far today belongs, in my opinion, to Pouria Fayazi.

    I just checked it, it's not that empty. I mean, there are lots of people in the upper part of it. It was shown earlier.

  • Seems like Tuaniga and USA's OHs & OPP doesn't have any connection.

  • Poletaev's greatness in Club, doesn't seem to transfer over to NT. Or maybe he is just having a bad day today

  • As I have heard some complaints over the years as to how Bulgaria (and no one else) fails to be a good organizer (by some wanna-be pundits only, of course, but still), with last year's WCH as the latest example, I now have to point out that USA and Brazil, two of the game's powerhouses, are playing in front of an iconic but empty Spodek Hall in Katowice. Nothing more to add, without aiming for a brawl in any way.


    Otherwise, 3 from Long Beach State's recent back-to-back collegiate champions start for USA (the setter Tuaniga, DeFalco, and Ensing). Tuaniga is doing great so far. I liked Ma'a more, to be honest, don't know what his form is or how he's been doing this year so far.


    I enjoyed watching the very young German roster today. There are some other promising players in VCO Berlin, for instance, and they should have bright years ahead. The most impressive performance so far today belongs, in my opinion, to Pouria Fayazi.

    According to FIVB's official stats, almost 6.000 in attendance at the USA-BRA game in spodek. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256206793. Also according to FIVB, 420 fans in attendance at FRA-SRB game during 2nd group stage match in Varna at 2018 the World Championship. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256119950

    Personally, I don't think it's ONLY Bulgaria, but horrible attendance at both 2018 World Championship and 2015 European Championship, especially at the games played in Varna, is simply a fact.

  • This Goluber russian libero is probably one of weakness libero I ever see. What happend with Kabeshov why he is not playing ?

    Kabeshov was not invited and is not part of the roster. The other libero is Martynyuk but I wonder too why he has not stepped in court

  • I thought Butko was the worst among Russian setters. Now this award goes to Kovalev.

    He did pretty okay in my opinion, better than Kobzar. Poletaev was the biggest disappointment on the Russian side today.

  • I do not understand it is the first game of Russian NT. Why everyone is using the same words like Poletaev is worse, is disappointment, is suck etc. It is first game of Russian NT, and we barely lost 4th set, if Poletaev did not make mistake on serve, we had a chance to play in 4th set. If he will play worse next games, I'll be agreed with this opinion "his being worse". Hope he won't do such mistakes next games otherwise I'll also be mad at him

  • According to FIVB's official stats, almost 6.000 in attendance at the USA-BRA game in spodek. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256206793. Also according to FIVB, 420 fans in attendance at FRA-SRB game during 2nd group stage match in Varna at 2018 the World Championship. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256119950

    Personally, I don't think it's ONLY Bulgaria, but horrible attendance at both 2018 World Championship and 2015 European Championship, especially at the games played in Varna, is simply a fact.

    You have to include half of Katowice's population in order to reach that number. These sheets are not always accurate. Similar is the situation right now in Mendoza in Argentina. Similar (way worse than in Varna) was Frankfurt during a 2012 World League weekend (I was in the hall), or at the 2001 ECH in the Czech Republic (just came to my mind). I agree about general attendance in Varna/Bulgaria but there are other problems, too, lack of interest is not that big. That's not even my point, I mean that there is much more to a great organizer than pure attendance. And an empty hall once in a while doesn't change that impression, be it Bulgaria, Argentina, Germany, Czech Rep., or just anyone.


    I know it's a long topic, we've had that discussion before.

  • An entertaining practice match between Canada and Bulgaria. In the end, the team with more A-team players won. After only 2 friendlies, Silvano Prandi's Bulgaria plays more organized and pleasant to watch volleyball than in 99% of Konstantinov's matches, his predecessor that is. I hope the trend continues. I guess no matter what they do they would still be able to keep their position for the VNL next season, so I would really like to see all players compete in the NT jersey. Like Alex Grozdanov tonight. It is amazing how fast he developed from a Junior NT member, to a champion in Dobrudzha's golden season, to a bench player in Grbic's Verona, and to a now key figure in Greenyard Maaseik's champion season and a regular NT candidate.


    It was also great to see Vernon-Evans back in play, he had some nice attacks. Brett Walsh did fine, he should challenge Jay Blankenau for the back-up position (don't know anything about TJ Sanders, I hope he comes back soon). What I don't understand is why Hoag keeps insisting on Marshall as a libero. It wasn't really a successful stint at the WCH last year, his performance tonight was devastating. Overall, Canada demonstrated a practice mode, I hope they show more in the weeks to come.

  • It still feels kinda surreal to be watching Portugal in the VNL. Unfortunately, as I expected, they seem very weak tactically, especially when it comes to defense. I hope they manage to grow throughout the tournament and are able to challenge some of the lower-tier teams.

    Gold - European Championship 2013 (M) Prediction Game
    Bronze - World Championship 2014 (W) Prediction Game

    Bronze - Volleyball Nations League 2019 (W) Prediction Game

  • Italy starts good, winning the first just like yesterday. They had some ups and downs, but they exploited Fromm's bad reception and gad some good attacks.

  • Italy comes back from behind and wins the second set 30-28. Very good game for Cavuto, I really hope this guy can find his way in the great volleyball. Positive contribution from Nelli and Russo.

    On the other hand, I'm already tired of seeing the hopeless Antonov :white:

  • No need for the german team to lose this 0:3. The way they handed over set 2 and 3 to the italians was amateur style. Bad choices by Kocian in clutch moments too :mad:

  • You know when Dosanjh is trying to fancy his setting, he makes more mistakes than when he doesn't. I believe he should only reserve all of that when he sets the middle or the pipe and not the wings.

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda