Marouf Crafts Iran’s Upset Of VNL Champions Russia: FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2019 – Saeid Marouf ran Iran’s well-crafted offence to record their eighth win, along with Brazil in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Sunday.

Iran completed their sweep of their home matches in Urmia with their 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-23) defeat of Russia, as captain Marouf led his team setting up brilliant plays for Amir Ghafour and distributing well-calculated sets to the rest of the starters.

The 33-year-old Iranian setter likewise got involved in scoring with three attack points and two service aces to bolster the team’s strong finish against the reigning VNL champions. He sits on top of the best setter ranking with an average per set of 9.03.

Ghafour, on the other hand, topped all scorers with 17 points that were fired solidly from the attack line. Milad Ebadipour and Seyed Mohammad Mousavi scored eight points each, then Marouf, Purya Fayazi and Ali Shafiei had five points apiece.

Ghafour is third in scoring with 151 total points and is separated only by seven markers from best scorer Sharone Vernon-Evans of Canada (158) and six points from Gabriele Nelli of Italy (157).

Viktor Poletaev and Yaroslav Podlesnykh’s respective double-digit outputs of 16 and 11 were no match for the intensity of the hosts as the latter led in the attack and block categories, committed fewer errors and employed better defence on them.

The Iranians now have a total of eight wins and one loss, while Brazil have the same win-record and trail by two points to stay on the second spot in the overall standings.

For the Pool 15 matches, Iran will move to another city – Ardabil – to face France, Portugal and Australia, while Brazil will fly back home to host Bulgaria, Germany and Russia in Cuiaba for Pool 16 matches.

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