Brazil (BRA) vs. Slovenia (SLO) men - Pool 3 - Preliminary Phase #16478010

Slovenia’s Toncek Stern in attack against Brazil

In a thrilling match against Brazil, Slovenia scored their sixth win in six matches played in the men’s 2024 Volleyball Nations League and topped the current standings. They also gained 5.03 points towards the FIVB World Ranking, enough to surpass Brazil into the fifth position, while cruising comfortably towards a historic Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2024 live on VBTV

On Friday in Fukuoka, Slovenia celebrated a nail-biting victory over Brazil with opposite Toncek Stern showing an excellent performance on the way to a 29-point match high. He scored two kill blocks and an ace and registered a 58% success rate in attack. Three more Slovenian players reached the double digits in the match – outside hitter and captain Tine Urnaut put away 19 points, his cross-court partner Klemen Cebulj added another 14, while middle blocker Jan Kozamernik finished with 11. For Brazil, outside Adriano Fernandes Cavalcante led the way with 21 points. Captain Ricardo Lucarelli and Darlan Souza added 17 points each.

Particularly dramatic were the endings of sets one and three. Slovenia managed to come back from 24-21 and 24-22 Brazilian leads denying multiple opponent set points to take the sets in overtime.

After this match, Slovenia lead the table on 6-0 and 15 points, while Brazil are fifth on 4-3 and 13.

Slovenia extended their four-game winning streak from Antalya with a successful start of their Pool 3 campaign in Fukuoka earlier this week. On Wednesday, they mastered a 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-20) sweep of their first match in Japan, against Türkiye. Toncek Stern aced three times towards his 22-point match high.

Brazil started their week with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-15) shutout of Germany on Tuesday, with Ricardo Lucarelli leading the way with 16 points, including three kill blocks and two aces. On Thursday, the South Americans followed up with a 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23) victory over Iran. This time Alan Souza was Brazil’s best scorer with 20 points, including four blocks and an ace. A 24-point match high was delivered by Iranian opposite Amin Esmaeilnezhad.

Japan and Poland win twice each before going head to head

Before going head to head in Friday’s last match of the day in Fukuoka at 19:20 local time (10:20 UTC), Poland and hosts Japan are both undefeated this week, after scoring two wins each so far.

Japan hammered out a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-17) shutout of Iran on Tuesday with the stellar trio of outsides Yuki Ishikawa and Ran Takahashi and opposite Yuji Nishida sharing the team’s top scorer honours with 14 points each. Iranian outside Meisam Salehi was the best scorer of the match with 18 points, including three aces. The home team had a much more difficult encounter on Wednesday, when they squeezed out the victory over Germany in the tie-breaker of a rollercoaster battle, 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-8). Captain Ishikawa and Nishida once again led their team with 21 points apiece, while Germany’s Moritz Karlitzek and Tobias Brand topped the chart with 27 (three blocks, two aces) and 25 (four aces) points, respectively. Japan are now in fourth place in the VNL standings on 5-1 and 13.

Poland started in Fukuoka with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18) victory over Bulgaria on Tuesday. Outside hitter Tomasz Fornal chipped in 14 points towards the win, while Bulgarian opposite Dimitar Dimitrov produced the match high of 18 points. Then, on Thursday, Poland mastered a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-19) shutout of Türkiye, led by outside Bartosz Bednorz with 19 points, including four kill blocks and an ace. On 5-1 and 15, the Poles are second in the table.

Germany and Bulgaria score first wins in Fukuoka

The Germans, who recovered from their losses to Brazil and Japan with a 3-1 (26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 25-16) win over Bulgaria, are in 11th on 2-5 and 7. Karlitzek was the top scorer of that match too, after contributing 20 points to Germany’s success.

Bulgaria, on the other hand, bounced back from their setbacks against Poland and Germany with a 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11) victory over Iran. It was their second win since the start of the VNL and they are 14th in the table on 2-5 and 5, right above 15th-placed Iran (0-7 and 2).

  • Get your VNL merchandise now by clicking here
  • Sync the VNL 2024 with your calendar here
  • Download the VNL Fantasy app here