Plovdiv, Bulgaria, June 30, 2019 - USA finished their 2019 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League pool play obligations on a high with a win over Iran 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-20) on Sunday evening, ahead of hosting the Final Six of the competition, 10-14 July in Chicago.
With both teams already qualified to the Final Six, the match was more of a formality, but both teams got to showcase some players that would not normally see much time on court. The result sees Iran complete pool play on a 12-3 record in second place in the standings, behind leaders Brazil. USA, who had their spot in the Final Six secured anyway, as hosts, wrapped up the preliminary round at 9-6.
No team got a lead wider than two points at any time during the first set and USA were first to reach set point at 24-23. Iran promptly cancelled that and the next one, but back-to-back kills by Benjamin Patch and Jake Langlois brought it home.
It was similar in the second, but this time USA had three set points to spare at 24-21 and a George Huhmann block on Masoud Gholami closed it immediately.
And again in the third it was not after 19-19 that USA got to peel off and build a four-point lead which Jeffrey Jendryk II extended to five with a match point block on Farhad Ghaemi.
Iran's Farhad Ghaemi gets in front of libero Mohammad Reza Hazratpour to defend the ball against USA, Sunday in Plovdiv.
Patch ended up with a match-high scoring of 16, followed by Langlois on 13 and Jendryk on 10, as USA outblocked Iran 10 to 6 - five stuffs coming from Jendryk alone. Milad Ebadipour was the Asian side's best scorer on 14 points, with Porya Yali adding another 13.
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