PUNE, India (Aug. 6, 2009) - Argentina dropped Russia 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 on Thursday during the third and concluding day of Pool E second-round competition of the 2009 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship being played at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.
With the victory, Argentina advanced to the tournament’s semifinals that start on Saturday. Other semifinalists already qualified include Brazil and Cuba from Pool F. The final spot will be determined in tonight’s India versus Belgium match. The top two teams from Pool E and Pool F comprise the semifinals, while the bottom two teams will compete for classification positions 5-8 starting Saturday. The tournament concludes on Sunday.
Facundo Conte scored 17 points in leading Argentina, while Sebastian Rodrigo Sole added 11 points with four blocks. Pablo Crer chipped in 10 points with a team-high five blocks.
Russia’s Levan Kalandadze led his team with 13 points, while Artem Volvich chipped in nine points in the loss.
Argentina scored 39 points on its 80 spikes and held a commanding 16-3 block advantage. Russia produced a 5-2 margin in aces.
Argentina finished Pool E with a 2-1, while 2007 runner-up Russia ended with a 1-2 mark in the second round.
Argentina captured the first two points of the opening set. The teams traded points until Hruby put up a block at 13-10. Russia responded by scoring the next two points to close to 13-12. Argentina went into the second technical timeout back up by three, 16-13. Argentina inched its lead to 18-14, but Russia came back to cut the gap in half at 18-16 with consecutive points. Argentina opened up a four-point edge at 23-19 following a Hruby spike. Argentina gained set point at 24-19, and Poglajen ended it promptly with a kill after several key Argentina saves to prolong the point. Sole and Conte contributed five points each in Argentina’s 25-19 opening set victory.
Uriarte leaped for a block and Conte hit off the Russia block giving Argentina a quick 4-1 advantage in the second set. Crer and Uriate combined for a block at 5-1 after Russia subbed out its captain and setter Valentin Bezrukov. Russia responded with a dump spike from Kobzar and kill from Kalandadze to close to 5-3. Poglajen tipped over the Russia block to put Argentina in front 8-4 at the first technical timeout. Russia roared back into a tie at 8-4 after two aces by Volvich and block by Burtsev. Kalandadze served an winner to put Russia up 10-9, which was followed by a block pushing the lead to 11-9. Burtsev fired an ace extending Russia’s advantage to 13-10, then added another winner when Argentina was out of rotation at 14-10. Russia went into the second technical timeout up 16-11. An Argentina block and Russia attack error narrowed the deficit to 17-15. Conte slammed back a Russia attack to close Argentina within 17-16. Russia hit wide tying the score at 18-all. Crer slammed an overpass spike to swing the lead to Argentina at 19-18. However, Russia came back to take the lead at 20-19 on a Volvich ace. Conte moved Argentina in front 23-22 with a kill ending a long rally. Crer and Uriarte combined for a block on the winner at 25-23. Although Russia picked up five points on aces in the set, Argentina’s Conte contributed eight points alone in the second set and his team totaled six blocks.
Crer was credited with a block putting Argentina in front 3-1 in the third set. Hruby pounded a spike past Russia to increase Argentina’s margin to 5-2. A Russia attack widened the spread to 7-3. Argentina scored points on each side of the first technical timeout to grab a 9-4 advantage, but two errors cut the deficit back down to 9-6. Uriarte combined for blocks with both Hruby and Sole to put Argentina in front 11-6. Russia closed back to within three at 11-8 after a long attack. Hruby put up a block to gain a 15-10 cushion. Conte claimed a block at 20-14 and Argentina cruised the final points to a 25-18 victory.