News ID: 216349
Published: 0133 GMT June 08, 2018

Marouf leads Iran to victory over China

Marouf leads Iran to victory over China
Iran’s captain Saied Marouf celebrates a point with teammates during a 3-0 victory over China at the 2018 Volleyball Nations League in Ufa, Russia, on June 8, 2018.

It was 10th playing 13th in the Volleyball Nations League as China faced Iran in the Ufa Arena in Russia, but it was Iran which was in control throughout.

Led by its setter and a solid blocking performance, Iranians rode out 3-0 winners (25-19, 25-20, 25-15) with relative ease, reported.

With the teams roughly equal with their average heights, both would expect to bring a solid blocking performance to their matches.  But with statistics of 13-6 in kill blocks, only Iran can tick that box here.

It was a replay of the 2011 Asian Championship final, when Iran won its first Asian title, and it was again its setter who stole the show. 

Saied Marouf is the captain and orchestrator for his team and after the match commented that “there are no easy matches in this competition.  Today our service was good and they had a lot of problems with their side-out.”

Fresh from a five-set win over France last weekend, China seemed to struggle from the off.  Coming into the weekend, Chuan Jiang was top scorer in the VNL on 128 points and can now add another 13, but he will be far from satisfied with his performance.  China’s top performer here was 18 year old Jingyin Zhang who ended the match with 14 spikes and 2 blocks and was often their go to guy.

Amir Ghafour of Iran was in third place in the top scorers charts (with 92 points) prior to the match and he showed exactly why he is currently keeping that kind of company with a solid display in attack top scoring with 19 points.

Both teams stood on two wins and four defeats in this inaugural Volleyball National League prior to the game and are quickly running out of time if they hold any aspirations of making the Final 6 in France next month.  With two of the top teams also in Ufa with them, both of these sides will face bigger challenges over the next couple of days in Brazil (currently 2nd) and Russia (currently 4th).



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