FIVB World League semifinal matches to follow today

Check out the men’s volleyball semifinal matches from the FIVB World League Final Round to follow today and how to follow them live.

United States (5-6) vs. Brazil (8-3)
Match vitals:
3:05 p.m. (1:05 p.m. CST) in Curitiba, Brazil
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets, TV (Universal HD)
Season series: First meeting
World League championships: United States (2); Brazil (9)
Last World League title: United States (2014); Brazil (2010)
NCAA players on U.S. roster: TJ DeFalco (Long Beach State); Jeff Jendryk (Loyola); Taylor Averill (Hawai’i 2012-15); Carson Clark (UC Irvine 2008-12); Micah Christenson (USC 2012-15); Thomas Jaeschke (Loyola 2013-15) Garrett Muagututia (UCLA 2007-10); Dan McDonnell (UC Irvine 2011-12); Ben Patch (BYU 2013, 2016-17); Taylor Sander (BYU 2011-14); Kawika Shoji (Stanford 2007-10); Erik Shoji (Stanford 2009-12); David Smith (UC Irvine 2004-07); Dustin Watten (Long Beach State 2005-09)
NCAA players on Brazil roster: None
What to know: Not only will the United States have to contend with the defending Olympic gold medalists in the FIVB World League semifinals, but possibly one of the largest road crowd for a volleyball match this year. The United States will play its semifinal match against Brazil at Arena da Baixada, an enclosed soccer stadium that seats about 42,000 people. In addition, there was a combined total attendance of 24,190 people at Arena da Baixada for Brazil’s two pool-play victories earlier this week. The United States clinched a semifinal berth for the third time in four years after beating Serbia in four games on Wednesday. Outside attacker Taylor Sander in the pool-play victory had both a match-high 18 kills on a 62.07 percent offensive efficiency and three aces. The former BYU All-American has four consecutive matches with double-digit kills. He also entered the Final Round in the tournament’s top five with both a 50.43 percent offensive efficiency and more than 100 kills. This semifinal match will feature two of the top setters in the world. Setter Micah Christenson guided the United States to a better offensive efficiency than its opponents in the two pool-play matches. The United States in both matches finished with more than 45 percent offensive efficiency. Defensively, Christenson contributed a combined 15 digs and five blocks during the pool-play stage. The former USC All-American also started the Final Round as one of the six setters in the World League with more than 100 excellent sets. Brazil setter Bruno Mossa Rezende led the World League with 237 excellent sets during the tournament’s preliminary stage. Bruno also ended with match-high 35 excellent sets as Brazil had a 53.23 percent offensive efficiency in a five-game victory against Russia on Thursday to clinch a semifinal berth. Both Christenson and Bruno have at least 30 excellent sets in every match they have played so far during the Final Round. Along with Bruno’s offensive performance, outside attacker Ricardo Lucarelli Souza had a match-high 22 kills and was one of three Brazil players with double-digit kills versus Russia. The winner of this semifinal will advance to the championship match on Sunday and play the winner of the other semifinal match between Canada and France.

France (10-1) vs. Canada (6-4)
Match vitals:
5:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m. CST) in Curitiba, Brazil
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: France leads 1-0
World League championships: France (1); Canada (0)
Last World League title: France (2015); Canada (Never)
NCAA players on France roster: None
NCAA players on Canada roster: None