Quick hits: What to know about U.S. and World Championship second round

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

The United States is undefeated and moving onto the second round at the FIVB World Championship. Check out what to know about the United States and the second round of this international tournament that occurs every four years.

Second-round format

The 16 teams advancing to the second round are placed into one of four pools. Each pool will have a round-robin format with the pool champion advancing to the third round. In addition, the two second-place teams with the best records from all four pools will earn the final third-round berths. The second round will take place Friday through Sunday.

What to know about United States

First-round record: 5-0, 13 points (first place in Pool C)
FIVB World Ranking: No. 2
FIVB World Championship titles: 1 (1986)
Last FIVB World Championship third-round appearance: 2010
Record this year vs. second-round opponents: 3-0
Offensive stat leaders: Both Taylor Sander and Matt Anderson are in the tournament’s top six with more than a 55 percent offensive efficiency. Aaron Russell also has more than a 50 percent offensive efficiency.
Serving stat leaders: Sander finished with a tournament-best 12 aces in the opening round, while Micah Christenson is in the tournament’s top 10 with nine aces.
Setter stat leaders: Christenson is second at the World Championship with a 10.55 excellent stats per game average.
Defensive stat leaders: Erik Shoji is third at the tournament averaging 1.90 digs per game, while Sander leads all players with a 42.42 percent reception efficiency.
NCAA players on U.S. roster: Matt Anderson (Penn State 2006-08); Taylor Averill (Hawai’i 2012-15); Micah Christenson (USC 2012-15); Max Holt (Penn State 2006-09); Jeff Jendryk (Loyola 2015-18); Jake Langlois (BYU 2014-17); Dan McDonnell (UC Irvine 2011-12); Ben Patch (BYU 2013, 2016-17); Aaron Russell (Penn State 2012-15); 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)

What to know about U.S. opponents

Iran

First-round record: 4-1, 11 points (second place in Pool D)
FIVB World Ranking: No. 8
Last meeting vs. United States: United States swept Iran in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round.
FIVB World Championship titles: Zero
Best finish at FIVB World Championship: Sixth place (2014)
Player to watch: Mohammad Javad Manavinezhad is in the tournament’s top 15 with a 54.76 percent offensive efficiency and had a match-high 19 kills in a first-round win against Bulgaria.
NCAA players on Iran roster: None

Bulgaria

First-round record: 3-2, 9 points (third place in Pool D)
FIVB World Ranking: No. 14
Last meeting vs. United States: United States defeated Bulgaria in four games during the the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round.
FIVB World Championship titles: Zero
Best finish at FIVB World Championship: Silver medal (1970)
Player to watch: Georgi Seganov is 10th at the tournament with a 5.47 excellent sets per game average and helped guide Bulgaria to first-round wins against NORCECA teams Puerto Rico and Cuba.
NCAA players on Bulgaria roster: None

Canada

First-round record: 3-2, 9 points (fourth place in Pool B)
FIVB World Ranking: No. 6
Last meeting vs. United States: United States defeated Canada in four games in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round.
FIVB World Championship titles: Zero
Best finish at FIVB World Championship: Seventh place (2014)
Player to watch: Sharone Vernon-Evans is fifth among all players at the World Championship averaging 0.67 blocks per game and leads Canada with a 53.01 percent offensive efficiency. He also had double-digit kills in losses to both Brazil and France.
NCAA players on Canada roster: None

Second-round pools

Pool E

Team Record Points
Italy 5-0 15
Netherlands 4-1 11
Russia 3-2 10
Finland 2-3 6

All Pool E matches to be played in Milan, Italy.

Pool F

Team Record Points
Brazil 4-1 11
Belgium 3-2 10
Slovenia 3-2 9
Australia 2-3 7

All Pool F matches to be played in Bologna, Italy.

Pool G

Team Record Points
United States 5-0 13
Iran 4-1 11
Bulgaria 3-2 9
Canada 3-2 9

All Pool G matches to be played in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Pool H

Team Record Points
Poland 5-0 15
Serbia 4-1 12
France 3-2 11
Argentina 2-3 6

All Pool H matches to be played in Varna, Bulgaria.