Slovenia, playing in black, today defeated Bulgaria to qualify for the semi-finals of the men's Volleyball Nations League ©Volleyball World

Russia missed out on qualifying for the last four of the men’s Volleyball Nations League by the narrowest of margins after the final day of preliminary round matches.

After beating the side that topped the Volleyball Nations League standings Brazil in the final match of the day Russia moved on to the same number of wins and points as France in fourth but missed out by having a lower set ratio than their closest challengers.

Brazil finished top with 13 wins and 38 points despite losing in the final match of the day to Russia 25-21, 28-26, 25-20.

Poland finished second in the standings on 12 wins and 37 points despite being edged out by France, who finished fourth ahead of Russia on set ratio, in five sets 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-11.

Slovenia finished third with 12 wins and 34 points after defeating Bulgaria 25-23, 25-16, 25-18.

In the day’s other matches Australia, who finished bottom of the table with just one win to their name, lost to The Netherlands 25-23, 25-19, 25-19, the United States overcame Japan 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 and Argentina beat Iran 33-31, 25-23, 30-32, 25-18.

Elsewhere, two other matches went the distance, with Canada coming from behind to beat Serbia 17-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 17-15 and hosts Italy defeating Germany 25-12, 24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13.

The men’s semi-finals are scheduled to take place on Saturday (June 26) with Brazil facing France and Poland up against Slovenia.

Attention switches to the women’s semi-finals tomorrow, where Brazil take on Japan before the United States face Turkey.