FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals medal matches to follow tonight

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Check out all the semifinal matches at FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals to follow on Sunday and how to follow them live.

United States (12-6) vs. Russia (14-4)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets
NCAA players on U.S. roster: George Huhmann (Princeton); Matt Anderson (Penn State 2006-08); Micah Christenson (USC 2012-15); Max Holt (Penn State 2006-09); Thomas Jaeschke (Loyola 2013-15); Jeff Jendryk (Loyola 2015-18); Micah Ma’a (UCLA 2016-19); Garrett Muagututia (UCLA 2007-10); Ben Patch (BYU 2013, 2016-17); Aaron Russell (Penn State 2012-15); Taylor Sander (BYU 2011-14); Erik Shoji (Stanford 2009-12); Kawika Shoji (Stanford 2007-10); David Smith (UC Irvine 2004-07)
NCAA players on Russia roster: None
What to know: What’s new — the United States and Russia are meeting in an international men’s volleyball match with a medal on the line. The teams three years after the United States beat Russia in five games to win the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics will now play for the gold medal at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals. The United States rallied from a one-game semifinals deficit to beat Brazil in five games on Saturday and earn its first trip to the gold-medal match of the Volleyball Nations League, or the annual tournament’s predecessor the FIVB World League, since winning the 2014 title. Former Penn State All-American opposite Matt Anderson in the victory had a match-high 20 kills, including seven kills in the final two games of the comeback. In addition, former BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander had 15 kills against Brazil with two of those kills coming in the decisive fifth game. This was the second match at the Finals that Sanders had double-digit kills. Coach John Speraw also utilized middle attacker Jeff Jendryk coming off the bench to help spark the semifinal comeback. The former Loyola All-American went on a five-point serving run with his jump float serve in the fifth game and ended the match with four kills on an 80.0 percent offensive efficiency. Russia advanced to the gold-medal match following a four-game victory against Poland in the semifinals. The defending Volleyball Nations League champions in the victory had 11 aces with outside attacker Egor Kliuka contributing a match-high five aces. Kiluka also was one of three Russians to have double-digit kills against Poland. Opposite Victor Poletaev finished the match leading all players with 21 kills on a 67.7 percent offensive efficiency. This will be the second meeting in a span of three days between the United States and Russia. The United States swept Russia on Friday in its pool-play finale to secure a top seed for the semifinals. With both teams having already clinched semifinal berths, Russia did not play Kiluka and Poletaev along with several of its other starters. Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo said on Saturday he opted to rest his starters for that match to prevent them from having to play matches in four consecutive days at the Finals. Russia has a chance to become the first country to repeat as Volleyball Nations League or World League champions since Brazil in 2009-10. A U.S. victory, though, would mark the first time since 1994 that the host nation won the gold medal at the Volleyball Nations League or World League.

Poland (13-5) vs. Brazil (15-3)
Match vitals:
3 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Live stats
NCAA players on Poland roster: None
NCAA players on Brazil roster: None