ARDABIL, Iran (Dispatches) - France made the race for the Final Six of the 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball more exciting by beating Pool 15 hosts Iran on Week 4 closing.
France gave Iran the real chance only in the first set, prevailing in the next two relatively easy to end rival’s seven-game winning streak (team record): 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-21). Thus, France prevented Iran to have a perfect record after two successive weeks in which they were hosts – Week 3 in Urmia and this week in Ardabil.
Both teams are among the top six teams in the charts that will take part in the Finals in Chicago, the USA.
Trévor Clévenot highlighted for France (9-3; 28 points) with 15 points, while Mohammadjavad Manavinezhad notched 10 for Iran (10-2; 30 points).
The clash between the two teams fighting to avoid relegation Portugal and Australia, knowing that they are the lowest ranked challenger teams in the 2019 VNL standings at the moment, went into the favor of the players from the "Down Under” country 3-0.
Portugal (2-10; 7 points) had an advantage in the block (12-2) but Australia out-served rivals (11-2).
Lincoln Williams top-scored for the "Volleyroos” (2-10; 10 points) with 21 points. Marco Ferreira made 15 for Portugal, while Phelipe Martins set up 5 kill blocks.
Iran will travel to Bulgaria for its 5th week of the games where they will play Serbia, and the USA, as well as the hosts.
The top five teams in the standings plus hosts the USA will qualify for the finals in Chicago, which will be held from the 10th to the 14th of July.
******Iran have suffered their first straight sets defeat of the 2019 FIVB Nations League after falling to France in their last home game, May 23, 2019 .