PUNE, India (Aug. 4, 2009) – Belgium started off the FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship (U-21) second round Pool E on a positive note in beating Argentina 22-25, 25-21, 28-26, 21-25, 15-9 at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.
Kevin Klinkenberg led Belgium with 20 points, while Sam Deroo added 19 points. Pieter Verhees contributed 16 points in the victory.
Facundo Conte paced Argentina with a match-high 23 points, while Pablo Crer added 14 points. Pablo Hruby chipped in 11 points in the loss.
Belgium held a 13-10 advantage in blocks and 62-59 margin kills. Both teams had three aces and the errors were nearly identical (33 for Argentina, 34 for Belgium).
Argentina plays host India on Wednesday at 18:00 on the second of three days of top eight classification pool play. Belgium faces Russia at 14:00 on Wednesday in its second contest.
Belgium built an early 3-0 lead on consecutive blocks from Verhees, but Argentina came back with kills from Aschemacher and Crer to close to 3-2. Crer added two more kills to tie the set at 4-all. Belgium went on a 4-1 run, including a Verhees block, to the first set technical timeout leading 8-4. Argentina scored two points out of the break to cut the deficit in half at 8-6. Belgium returned to its four-point advantage at 11-7 after a Klinkenberg kill. Aschemacher served an ace and an Belgium error in passing allowed Argentina to tie the set at 12-all. An Argentina block moved it in from for the first time at 14-13 and increased its advantage to 15-13 on the next point. Conte put up a block at the second technical timeout to put Argentina in front 16-13 as part of an 8-1 run between the two breaks. Belgium’s Klinkenberg spiked an overpass and Sam Deroo followed with an ace to knot the score at 19-all after the teams traded serve for several points. After a service error, Argentina picked up a 21-19 cushion with a block. Belgium tied the score again at 22-all with a service error and attack error. However, a Belgium attack went long to yield two Argentina set points at 24-22 and Cristian Poglajen ended it promptly with a kill. Conte and Crer each scored five points for Argentina to offset the six points Deroo scored for Belgium.
Belgium scored four of the first five points of the second set for a 4-1 lead. Argentina crawled back to within 5-4. Belgium scored three unanswered points to take an 11-7 lead, but Argentina cut it back in half at 11-7 following a Belgium attack that went wide. Crer slammed a spike pulling Argentina to within one at 13-12, only to have Belgium answer with three consecutive points capped by a Klinkenberg ace at 16-13 going into the second technical timeout. Belgium extended its margin to five at 20-15 after an Argentina attack went into the antenna. Following its own timeout, Argentina rolled off three unanswered points including a Nicolas Bruno spike at 20-18. Out of a Belgium timeout, Argentina added another point with a wide Belgian attack at 20-19. However, Belgium picked up the pace again with consecutive points to regain a 22-19 margin. Wim Backaert blocked a soft Argentina attack at 24-20 and his team won the set 25-21 on a Argentina service error. Klinkenberg scored five points for Belgium in the second set.
Belgium earned a 3-1 lead in the third set after two Argentina errors. Bruno powered a back-row kill to tie the set at 3-all. Deroo answered with a kill all allowing Belgium back in front by two, 5-3. Argentina tied the set after an errant Belgium shot. Conte drilled a spike yielding Argentina’s first lead of the set at 9-8 and the lead extended to 11-9 with another kill off the Belgium block. Belgium answered with two straight points with Valkiers a block. Belgium went in to front 12-11. Aregentina scored four out of five points out of the technical timeout to take a 19-17 lead, but Belgium responded with three consecutive points to regain the lead at 20-19. Argentina answered with two straight points of its own for a 21-20 lead and reached a critical two-point cushion at 23-21. An Argentina spike led to a 24-21 lead and Belgium saved two set points to close to 24-23. Leonard De Schruver put up a block to tie the score at 24-all. Belgium gained set point at 25-24 with its fourth unanswered point after Argentina could not control the pass. Klinkenberg was part of a double-block to give Belgium the 28-26 victory.
Like the first three sets, Belgium jumped to an early lead in the fourth at 4-1. However, Argentina came back to tie the set at 4-1 with its own 4-1 run. After Belgium went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7, Argentina rattled off a 6-2 scoring run to establish a 13-10 advantage. Argentina went into the second technical timeout up 16-12 after a Belgium attack error. Belgium came back to within two at 17-15 with consecutive points. Bruno served an ace giving Argentina a 19-15 advantage. Belgium charged back with three straight points including a Klinkenberg spike 22-21. A Belgium attack error gave Argentina set points at 24-21 and Crer ended the set at 25-21 with a block. Conte ended the fourth set with seven points in leading the Argentina offense.
Belgium jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the tiebreaking fifth set as Ruben Van Hirtum scored three points in the charge. Belgium’s Valkiers added a block out of an Argentina timeout to push the score to 7-2. Argentina scored consecutive points before Belgium went into the switch at 8-4. Argentina rallied to within three at 10-7 thanks to a hitting error by Belgium. Klinkenberg put up a block returning Belgium in front by five at 12-7. Belgium was awarded a point at 13-8. After an Argentina service error, Belgium earned the final two points of the set for a 15-9 victory.