As the world continues to recover from the global pandemic that swept every nation in 2020, things continue to return to our lives. One such thing is the relatively new Volleyball Nations League (VNL) which has just begun its third tournament after canceling the event last year. Tuesday, June 2 will begin the second week of the 2021 FIVA Women’s VNL, with the men resuming their action on Thursday, June 3.
|What||Men's and Women's 2021 Volleyball Nations League|
|When||May 25 - June 27, 2021|
Along with 15 other nations, the United States has a team in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Hosted in a bubble environment in Rimini, Italy, the Volleyball Nations League tournament will run through the month of June, with the finals on June 25 for the women and June 27 for the men. After missing last 2020, the U.S. women’s team entered this year as reigning champions after defeating Brazil two years ago in the final. On the men’s side, the Americans will look for revenge against the Russian team that beat them in the final of the indoor tournament in 2019.
USA Women’s Volleyball Preview
It’s still early, but after one week the U.S. women’s team looks primed to three-peat as VNL winners. Through four matches they are undefeated at 4-0 and have dropped just one set in the preliminaries, which is the best performance at the tournament so far. They are just one of two teams at 4-0, with Turkey right behind them based on record and points. Turkey has 10 points so far compared to the Americans’ 12 points. The USA team has so far faced the Dominican Republic, Canada, Brazil, and Serbia. Brazil is the lone team to take a set.
If a test exists for the women’s team at the VNL, one will surely come on Tuesday morning when action resumes and they face the Netherlands, currently in third place. At 3-1, the Netherlands’ only loss so far came against Germany in the second game of the preliminaries. They’ll have the task of stopping the USA’s leading scorer from the third game, Jordan Thompson. Thompson recorded 17 points on 15 kills (both game highs), as well as the match’s winning point.
Tuesday’s match between the USA and The Netherlands is at Noon EST / 11 AM CST / 9 AM PST.
Women’s 2021 VNL Standings
USA Men’s Volleyball Preview
As dominant as the U.S. women have been, that’s what the American men are up against as Russia looks to three-peat themselves. After losing to the Russians in the 2019 final, the USA’s men’s team is 2-1 going into their next game on Thursday, and sitting in eighth place in the early standings.
The Americans opened up the tournament with a 3-0 win over their friendly Canadian neighbors but lost their second match 0-3 to Brazil. They were able to close the first week with a 3-1 victory over Argentina. Thursday, the U.S. team will find themselves in a primetime rematch of the 2019 final against Russia.
Coming off of a loss to Japan to end play last week, Russia has given up five total sets in three matches on their way to 3-1 as well. A win for the USA could be a major boost moving forward in the tournament. There’s nothing like a little revenge to fuel the competitive spirit.
Thursday’s match between the USA and Russia is at 1 PM EST / Noon CST / 10 AM PST.
Men’s 2021 VNL Standings
How to Watch Volleyball Nations League 2021
In the United States, NBC will carry all USA Volleyball games from the VNL in Italy. If you’ve already cut the cord, it can be a bit difficult to watch the matches. Before you create a new email address for another trial of a streaming service or cave and sign a contract, I recommend you check out PremiumTV. With no contracts or VPN required, PremiumTV is a perfect way to watch just the events that you want to without the hassle or waste of other services. For the Volleyball Nations League, they are offering the entire month of action for just $29.99 (Tournament Pass) Team USA all matches