United Sates fell to Italy and Cuba to the Netherlands

OTTAWA, Canada, June 6, 2025.- The world champions swept the United States and the Netherlands defeated Cuba in four sets at the TD Place on Thursday at the Volleyball Nations League 2024.

Italy swept the United States 3-0 (25-25, 26-24, 25-20) providing them 10.31 FIVB World Ranking points, which served two major purposes for them, pushing Italy one step closer to the Paris Olympics and moving them up to second place in the Rankings with 364.77 points, surpassing the Americans, who went down to 349.71.

The Americans, who this week in Ottawa are using the roster selected by head coach John Speraw to compete at the Olympics in 50 days, had outside hitter Torey Defalco and middle blocker Max Holt as their leading scorers with eight points each.

“We had opportunities to close the first two sets and we didn’t take them, that was the difference,” Holt reflected. “They’re a world-class team and we knew they were going to bring everything they had today. We have to learn from it and we know we’re probably going to see that team in a very important match in the near future.”

The USA are in 13th place with six points (two wins, four losses) and will need to do better in their six remaining Preliminary Phase matches to qualify the VNL finals.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The United States will be back on the court in Ottawa on Friday, playing Serbia at 20:00 local time (00:00 GMT, Saturday).

Namir goes up to score one of this 38 points against Cuba

Nimir scores 38 points against Cuba

The first match of the day in Ottawa saw arguably the greatest individual performance of the VNL 2024 so far, with star opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz leading the Netherlands to a 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22) win over Cuba with impressive 38 points, falling just five short of his own record.

Outside hitter Marlon Yant, with 16 points, and opposite Michael Sánchez (who celebrated his 38th birthday on the court), with 14, were Cuba’s main scorers.

The 9.66 World Ranking points earned kept the Dutch alive in the race to qualify for the Paris Games as they are still the second team below the qualification line with 222.71 but managed to reduce the gap to both Serbia (247.59), the last team inside the zone, and Cuba (242.53), the first ones looking from the outside.

Cuba will face Italy on Friday at 11:00 local time.