Reggio Calabria, Italy, September 27, 2010 - USA fought back from a set behind to down Argentina 3-1 (22-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-20) in the Pool D decider of the 2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship at the PalaCalafiore in Reggio Calabria on Monday.
Argentina began well and claimed the first set but the American team found a rising rhythm that allowed them to overwhelm their opponents and come out on top in the most exciting match of the section. USA duly finished top of the pool with three victories and will progress to Pool L in Ancona where they will meet the Czech Republic and surprise package Cameroon. Argentina came second with a win-loss ratio of 2-1 and travel to Milan to take on France and Japan in Pool M.
Argentina started the match aggressively and scored four successive points through the razor-sharp spikes of Facundo Conte, their wing spiker, who sent rockets from the front and back lines. Clayton Stanley scored the first USA point but Argentina continued as the better side through the skilful combinations of setter Luciano De Cecco and reached the First Technical Timeout (FTT) 8-5 ahead. Yet with the Americans' strong spike service troubling Argentina, Alan Knipe's men recovered to lead 16-14 at the Second Technical Timeout (STT). The game tilted back in Argentina's favour, however, through their solid block and after moving 22-19 in front, Knipe opted to call a timeout. With Argentina captain Rodrigo Quiroga managing to avoid the block and, at the same time, the Argentina blockers presenting a big barrier, the South Americans clinched the set 25-22.
USA woke up early in the second set and led 6-2 using their sharp service and deploying their block at the net. With Argentina struggling with their receiving, the Americans advanced to 8-5 at the FTT. Argentina changed their strategy to quick attacks through the centers to penetrate the solid American block but USA dealt well with the ploy and stayed ahead at 16-12. The American middle blocker Maxwell Holt completed some quick spikes in service to make it 20-17 and although Argentina narrowed the deficit to 23-22, a fault from Conte in spiking meant USA settled the set at 27-25 and drew level.
Argentina got back on track at the beginning of the third set, taking a 5-2 lead and with a diagonal spike form Conte they were 8-6 ahead by the FTT. The match then went point by point up until 19-19 with the blockers of both teams playing a major role. But the USA, led by efficient wing attacker William 'Reid' Priddy, finally managed to break through and win the set 25-22 for a 2-1 lead.
Federico Pereyra opened the scoring in the fourth set for Argentina but Stanley then used his well-known spike service to give the US the lead as an exciting match came to the boil. While Priddy's superb serve ensured that USA accumulated points, Argentina's big gun, Conte, committed a number of attacking errors that helped put the Americans in front at 14-12. Thanks to Priddy's block, the USA broke the two-point margin to lead 19-16, and then he served three times to widen the score to 21-16. It was easy thereafter for USA to secure a 3-1 victory after winning the set 25-20.