The men’s side of Volleyball Nations League began Tuesday and the winners were China, Japan, Argentina and Canada.

On Wednesday, Slovenia and Poland — beating France 35-33 in the fourth set — got victories.

The USA men get underway on Wednesday afternoon in Ottawa, Canada, when they play the Netherlands. Read all about the 14-player USA roster here.

Alex Nikolov looks on as Bulgarian teammate Aleks Grozdanov hits against China/Volleyball World photo

Tuesday’s results

CHINA 3, BULGARIA 2: Jingyin Zhang went off for 21 kills, six blocks and two aces as China rallied for a 25-20, 21-25, 21-25, 25-20 15-9 victory. Yuantai Yu added 11 kills, two blocks and two aces. Alex Nikolov, who in his one season at Long Beach was the national player of the year, led Bulgaria with 19 kills, two blocks and an ace.

JAPAN 3, IRAN 0: Japan cruised to a 25-16, 25-22, 25-19 win behind 18 kills, a block and an ace by Yuki Ishikawa, who hit .600 Ran Takahashi had nine kills and an ace. Amin Esmaeilnezhad had nine kills for Iran to go with a block and an ace.

ARGENTINA 3, ITALY 0: Argentina opened with a 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 sweep behind Bruno Lima, who had 17 of his team’s 40 kills. Luciana Palonsky had eight kills, a block and two aces, and Luciana Vicentin had nine kills, six digs and two blocks. Yuri Romano had 12 kills, a block and an ace for Italy.

CANADA 3, CUBA 2: Ryan Sclater had 22 kills, four blocks, 13 digs and ace as Canada won 25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13. Stephen Maar added 14 kills, two blocks and two aces, and Nicholas Hoag had 12 kills and a block. Danny Demyaneko had six kills and four blocks. Landon Currie had 12 digs.

“We want this fighting spirit to be a part of our identity,” Sclater said. “We always want to keep fighting through the ups and downs of any game, so that was good to see. 

“It’s fun to be that scrappy team that just loves to fight. Playing at home this week has been really fun. It’s going to be an amazing week.”

Cuba’s Jesus Herrera had the line of the day with 24 kills, two blocks and two aces. Miguel Angel Lopez and Marlon Yant had 15 kills each and Javier Concepcion had 12 kills.

Slovenia’s Rok Možič gets up over the Serbian block/Volleyball World photo

SLOVENIA 3, SERBIA 1: Rok Možiç rocked it with 22 kills and two blocks and Tine Urnaut had 21 kills and an ace as Slovenia won 31-29, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21. Alen Pajenk had six kills and four blocks. Serbia’s Drazen Luburic had 20 kills and a clok and Miran Kujundžič had 12 kills, an ace and a block.

POLAND 3, FRANCE 1: Karol Butryn had 20 kills (hitting .560) a block and four aces for Poland in its 25-23, 18-25, 35-33, 25-15 victory. Artur Szalpuk had 14 kills, a block and an ace and Bieniek Mateusz had 10 kills and two blocks. Karol Klos had five kills, five blocks — including the match winner — and an ace and Kamil Semeniuk had four kills, three blocks and two aces. 

France got 23 kills from Theo Faure, who addd three blocks and two aces. He hit .620. Kevin Tillie, who played at UC Irvine for USA coach John Speraw, had 10 kills, a block, six digs and an ace.

“We expected a tough game against France as always and we were ready for it,” Semeniuk said. “Obviously, we are so happy to win our first game of the tournament. There is always some nervousness around the first game, especially for the new guys on the national team, and I’m so proud that we won the game. 

“To be honest, I didn’t play so well today, but for me the important thing was that we won the game and took the three points. My game was OK. Next game will be better.”

USA vs. Netherlands, 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Brazil vs. Germany, 8 p.m. Eastern



France’s Kevin Tillie hits against the Polish triple block/Volleyball World photo

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