2019 Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

  • Poletaev after having just concluded an amazing club season, it's such a mystery why he is such having a hard time adapting in NT. If he continues like this, I'm afraid his roster for Tokyo is not so secured after all.. Kliuka at the moment I think can be a better Opp than him

    He showed his best in Russian League Finals so I think it is understandable that he needs time to come back to his shape. I am just guessing, I haven’t watched his game in VNL yet.

  • I'm happy for Portugal :D I was quite surprised how well they played today. I actually expected them to win some games, but I never predicted they'd win against Bulgaria :D Sadly, I feel like Australia is going to be the worst challenger team. Too bad, as they really made some progress, and even after this weekend, they deserved more than just 1 point.

  • Canada just beat Argentina 3-1 in Argentinian soil, so there are only 3 teams left unbeaten: Iran, France and Brazil. One of Brazil and Iran will face off first thing the next round, so only 2 are gonna be left.


    Gotta say I enjoyed the first round, Games have been enjoyable so far.

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

    Bronze - Volleyball Nations League 2019 (W) Prediction Game

  • Did Bulgaria seriously just lose to Portugal? lol

    When you play the way they did last night, you normally lose :) And quite deservedly so! Congrats to a very sympathetic and motivated Portuguese team that took full advantage of Bulgaria's dizziness/laziness! By the way, this is their first-ever win against Bulgaria! Portugal showed some of their best volleyball ever and were significantly better than in the previous days. Two main differences could be seen in comparison to the two defeats, apart from the better game organization and mood overall which were the end effects - Marco Ferreira's performance and Caique's contribution. The former is a very athletic but risky opposite who has barely delivered with the NT jersey. He plays more powerful volleyball but has failed on so many occasions that I have wondered for years how come he is still the first choice at the expense of an overall better Valdir Sequeira. However, Ferreira enjoyed one of his best nights as a starting Portuguese opposite. He made his usual mistakes, of course, yet his contribution was visible at last. The other very needed change was Caique, a not really tall, young, or remarkable OH who played very smart, demonstrated experience and helped with the reception tasks. Although they weren't quite challenged this time. I like Lourenco Martins, he is not a bad player, but Caique provided the balance Portugal needed. Alex Ferreira didn't feel alone anymore, he was given thus more freedom and he literally did whatever he wanted at times.


    What irritated me in the Bulgarian team wasn't the defeat that much but rather some of the rotations. Ok, Prandi is clearly still experimenting with the roster, that's the purpose of the tournament, providing that they eventually keep their place for the next season. But this weakened Canada and then Portugal were probably the only opportunities for him to test younger players. Instead, Uchikov played all the time, even yesterday when things were going bad and a defeat/a run of problems could've been somewhat foreseen, Chernokozhev stayed on the bench the entire time. Let's not even mention that Parapunov, after his great season in the US college championship, probably won't be tested at all. I doubt that Chernokozhev or any other new face will be used in the remaining games which will be way more difficult and perhaps important for the team's presence, especially the two weekends at home. Rozalin Penchev didn't have a good game, although I understand that resting Skrimov and V. Bratoev makes sense. Seganov was very bad, too, another setter could've be taken with the team and G. Bratoev could've been saved for the next long trip. Good that at least Krasi Georgiev stayed on the field, his needs more time and confidence in the NT after a solid season in France. Nikolay Kolev is obviously someone who will only travel as a tourist this summer in order for him to see how things are done. That's what I didn't enjoy. Prandi could've certainly rotated the squad more or brought 1-2 new faces, the same way Italy, USA, Germany, and Serbia used theirs.

    I'm happy for Portugal :D I was quite surprised how well they played today. I actually expected them to win some games, but I never predicted they'd win against Bulgaria :D Sadly, I feel like Australia is going to be the worst challenger team. Too bad, as they really made some progress, and even after this weekend, they deserved more than just 1 point.

    Hmm, I don't agree. Australia is not a bad team. Even if they lost 3 matches, they fought hard in those and could've been more lucky. Also, they faced tough opponents in the likes of Poland, Brazil, and USA. Their program will be easier from now on and they will start picking points. Portugal are still the ones in danger.


    I also had to intervene when you guys mentioned the experiment with Ma'a. They tried something similar with Daniel McDonell already last year when he was converted from MB to OH. Well, it wasn't really a tactical trick but I guess they just have a bunch of universal players. Ma'a played quite normally as OH and didn't do bad at all. Although obivously, apart from the second set when he scored 6 points, he wasn't trusted that much by the setter Tuaniga and was there mostly for the service and the reception. Still, I didn't know Ma'a is a universal player. This is not common in modern volleyball and impressed me a lot.


    Last, jumping in to the lefties topic, I think Australia might be the NT with most left-handed players (ever?). 3 left-handed opposites available to choose from and an OH like Walker. Williams is still much more aggressive, in my opinion, than Stockton and Carroll, thus offering more to the Australian game, but it is still arduous to bring much different tactics when you replace one left-handed opposite with another (despite Williams's slightly different profile).

  • how many players Russia is going to add this first week squad for the Olympic Qualifiers ? Mikhaylov, Volvich, anybody else ? Butko ? anybody else than Zenit Kazan players ? is Muserskiy healthy ?


    I'm just trying to figure out is there any chance for Iran to upset Russia. :lol: I know none of European users here want such a thing but thinking is free :whistle: Russia with Sammelvuo didn't hugely impress me . now I can give something like 5-10% chance to Iran

  • how many players Russia is going to add this first week squad for the Olympic Qualifiers ? Mikhaylov, Volvich, anybody else ? Butko ? anybody else than Zenit Kazan players ? is Muserskiy healthy ?


    I'm just trying to figure out is there any chance for Iran to upset Russia. :lol: I know none of European users here want such a thing but thinking is free :whistle: Russia with Sammelvuo didn't hugely impress me . now I can give something like 5-10% chance to Iran


    Max, Artem and Butko surely will join team for OG, also Muserskiy who undergo inguinal hernia surgey. Read some rumors Verbov will join team for OG Qualies. In general I don't Iran will stand a chance against Russia as this Russia is far from ideal form and clearly Sammelvuo is still experimenting. They need to find automathism in gameplay, adopt his ideas as he is totally different coach with different ideas than Shlyapnikov. I expect Russians will grow from week to week in some aspects but don't think Sammelvuo will insist on reaching F6, IMO the very first thing he will insist on is players adopt his ideas and tactics.

  • Some teams have done it in the past, I think.


    Well, Kiraly brought 3 setters to Rio :whistle:

    But our beloved Karch's coaching is all about good vibes, so he was completely right bringing Courtney Thompson as cheerleader third setter: she was the soul of the team, no volleyball player could spread more positive vibes than her. Good vibes is the way. Karch is the way. Trust Karch. :heart:

  • Last, jumping in to the lefties topic, I think Australia might be the NT with most left-handed players (ever?). 3 left-handed opposites available to choose from and an OH like Walker. Williams is still much more aggressive, in my opinion, than Stockton and Carroll, thus offering more to the Australian game, but it is still arduous to bring much different tactics when you replace one left-handed opposite with another (despite Williams's slightly different profile).

    not just that, they have really tall OHs... how many teams have OHs that are 207-208 cm (carroll, walker)? and walker also a lefty.

  • I also had to intervene when you guys mentioned the experiment with Ma'a. They tried something similar with Daniel McDonell already last year when he was converted from MB to OH. Well, it wasn't really a tactical trick but I guess they just have a bunch of universal players. Ma'a played quite normally as OH and didn't do bad at all. Although obivously, apart from the second set when he scored 6 points, he wasn't trusted that much by the setter Tuaniga and was there mostly for the service and the reception. Still, I didn't know Ma'a is a universal player. This is not common in modern volleyball and impressed me a lot.

    McDonnell just played OH out of sheer desperation though for a brief time. Ma'a legitimately can play OH and did so for a lot of the college season.