VNL 2021 MVP Bartosz Kurek of Poland is back for more

A galaxy of stars will hit the courts at the Volleyball Nations League 2022. Set to take place from May 31 to July 24, the competition will feature the top athletes in the sport as the VNL enters its fourth edition.

In the men's tournament, Brazil will be back to defend the title they won in 2021. The South Americans will take on their opponents in the competition with last year's Dream Team outside hitter Yoandy Leal and libero Thales Hoss leading the way. Coach Renan Dal Zotto's team also includes star playmaker Bruno Rezende, who was the top setter at last year's Finals, and Fernando Kreling, a setter who claimed the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship title with Sada Cruzeiro in 2021.


Brazil’s Leal in action during the 2021 VNL final

Last year’s finalists Poland, who are also back-to-back reigning world champions, are also taking on the VNL challenge with a powerful line-up. It features 2021 VNL MVP and Dream Team opposite Bartosz Kurek, middle blocker Mateusz Bieniek, and Cuban-born star Wilfredo Leon, who was the best server of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and second best server of VNL 2021.

Reigning Olympic champions and 2021 VNL bronze medallists France are not holding back either. Tokyo 2020 MVP Earvin Ngapeth headlines a shining roster which includes Olympic Dream Teamers Jenia Grebennikov and Barthelemy Chinenyeze, as well as a number of other Tokyo 2020 gold medallists.

Slovenia are another team who will be at full force in 2022 as they aim to improve on last year's fourth place. The best digger and the best receiver of the 2021 Finals, Jani Kovacic and Klemen Cebulj respectively, as well as the best setter of the preliminary round, Gregor Ropret, will do all they can to lead their country’s golden generation to the title.


France stars Ngapeth and Chinenyeze celebrate during the bronze medal match against Slovenia in 2021

Also look out for Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Argentina, featuring Olympic Dream Team setter Luciano De Cecco, top scorer Bruno Lima, best blocker Agustin Loser and best receiver Facundo Conte. Italy, meanwhile, will rely on outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto and libero Fabio Balaso as they aim for the VNL podium. Other standout players inlude Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands, who was the best scorer, best attacker and best server of the preliminary round in 2021. He will be joined by Serbia's best blocker Marko Podrascanin and best receiver Marko Ivovic, Nicholas Hoag of Canada, Milad Ebadipour of Iran, Yuji Nishida of Japan, Micah Christenson of USA, and many more.

The men’s VNL gets underway on June 7, with the Finals in Bologna, Italy to be played from July 20 through 24.

On the women's side of the competition, three-time VNL winners and reigning Olympic champions USA will be back for more with setter Jordyn Poulter and libero Justine Wong-Orantes in action again. The two players featured on both the VNL and Tokyo 2020 Dream Teams last year. Haleigh Washington, one of the middle blockers on the Olympic Dream Team, will also be on coach Karch Kiraly’s squad.


USA’s Washington and Poulter celebrate during the VNL 2021 final

Brazil, who were silver medallists at the previous two editions of the VNL, will go after their first title with star outside Gabriela Guimaraes leading the way. Gabi was another two-time Dream Teamer in 2021 at the VNL and the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.

Meanwhile, Turkey are leaving no one behind as they go for another successful campaign this season. A top-four team in the three editions of the VNL to date, coach Giovanni Guidetti's squad will include experienced Eda Erdem Dundar, cross-court teammate Zehra Gunes, and spectacular hitter Ebrar Karakurt.


Turkey’s Karakurt and Erdem on the block against Japan’s Koga

Joanna Wolosz of Poland and Monica de Gennaro of Italy, the Best Setter and the Best Libero, respectively, of the 2021 Club World Championship, are set to help their national teams in the VNL.

Belgium’s Britt Herbots, Bulgaria’s Hristina Vuchkova, Canada’s Kiera Van Ryk, China’s Xinyue Yuan, the Dominican Republic’s Bethania De La Cruz, Germany’s Hanna Orthmann, Italy’s Paola Egonu, Japan’s Sarina Koga, Korea’s Park Jeongah, the Netherlands’ Anne Buijs, Poland’s Magdalena Stysiak, Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic and Thailand’s Ajcharaporn Kongyot are just some of the other key players to look out for as VNL 2022 gets underway.

The women’s VNL will begin on May 31, with the Finals in Ankara, Turkey to be played from July 13 to 17.