The United States sounded a warning by defeating high-fliers Iran in straight sets ahead of the final round of the International Volleyball Federation Men’s Nations League.
Both teams had already secured progress to July’s showpiece games at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago - Iran by virtue of their impressive record and the US through their status as hosts.
And as both teams opted to showcase players in need of court time, it was the Americans who triumphed 27-25, 25-21, 25-20 at Kolodruma in Bulgarian city Plovdiv.
Ben Patch was America's high scorer on 16 points and they outblocked their opponents by 10 to six, five stuffs coming from Jeffrey Jendryk II alone.
Milad Ebadipour was the Asian team’s best scorer in the Pool 19 fixture on 14 points.
Is that a thunderbolt of the week?! ⚡️ We won’t spoil what happened… you have to find out for yourself!— Volleyball World (@FIVBVolleyball) June 30, 2019
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These two teams are set to be be joined in Chicago by Brazil, Russia, France and Poland.
The Russians completed their preliminary round campaign with a 25-23, 25-23, 28-26 success over China in Pool 17 at Queensland State Netball Centre in Brisbane.
Argentina, who narrowly missed out on qualification, silenced the home crowd when they saw off Australia 25-23, 25-18, 26-24.
In Pool 20 at Arena Leipzig, Japan beat hosts Germany 25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-9.
Poland went into the final round on a high courtesy of a 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 win over Portugal.
In the Pool 19 clash between Serbia and Bulgaria in Plovdiv, the Serbians securing a 25-23, 25-12, 25-18 victory, their sixth of the campaign.
Pool 18 saw France enjoy a 25-22, 28-26, 25-23 triumph against Canada at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.
Reigning Olympic champions Brazil then went onto beat Italy 26-28, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 as they finished top of the rankings with 14 wins from their 15 matches.