The U.S. Men’s Junior National Team having already clinched a berth in the World Championship semifinals will now attempt to win its second-round pool.
With No. 9 United States trailing No. 2 Russia by one point for first place in Pool E, the two teams will play each other in their final second-round match Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Both the United States and Russia have clinched the two Pool E spots in the semifinals. However, the outcome of today’s match will have significant ramifications on the semifinal seeding.
Check out what to know about this Pool E match between the United States and Russia.
No. 9 United States (4-1, 2-0 Pool E, 5 pts.) vs. No. 2 Russia (5-0, 2-0 Pool E, 6 pts.)
Match vitals: 4 p.m. (3 p.m. EST) in Rio de Janeiro
Follow live: Live stats, Online video
Last medal finish at World Championship: United States (never); Russia (2007 silver)
Current NCAA players on roster: United States (15); Russia (zero)
What to know: The two remaining undefeated teams in Pool E will play their second-round finale against each other in a defacto pool championship match. The United States enters the match after upsetting No. 4 Iran in four games Friday and defeating No. 11 Spain in five games Saturday. Russia is one of two teams to be undefeated throughout the tournament, including sweeps against Iran and Spain. Both Russia and the United States have already clinched spots in the semifinals. The winner of today’s match will play its semifinals match against the second-place team in Pool F. The loser will play the first-place team from Pool F in the semifinals. The Russia-United States match will also feature two of the top blockers at the World Championship. Russia middle attacker Igor Filippov leads the tournament with a 1.50 blocks per game average, while UC Santa Barbara middle attacker Dylan Davis is fourth at the World Championship averaging 0.90 blocks per game. In addition, BYU outside attacker leads the United States and is fourth in the tournament with 84 kills, including a match-high 25 kills in the United States’ victory against Spain.