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2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship

 Match info | Description
Experienced Puerto Rico cut Australia down to size

Australia's blocking was not enough against Puerto Rico
Modena, Italy, September 25, 2010 – Puerto Rico beat Australia 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 28-26, 25-19) in Pool C of the FIVB Men’s World Championship at the PalaPanini on Saturday. The taller Australians had the advantage in blocking (15-7) but the experience of Puerto Rico prevailed during the key moments of the match. Jose Rivera and Hector Soto scored 21 and 19 points respectively for the winners, while Victor Rivera added 14. Australians Paul Carroll and Nathan Roberts finished with 12 and 10 points apiece.

Puerto Rico started with Morales as setter, Soto opposite, Jose Rivera and Victor Rivera wing-spikers, Escalante and Rodriguez middle blockers and Rosario as libero. Australia opened with setter Young, Carrol as opposite, Yudin and the expert captain Hardy as spikers, Zigler and Passier middle blockers and Tutton libero. There were plenty of serving mistakes from both sides at the beginning of the match and the scores were tied 7-7 and then 14-14 in the first set. Victor Rivera scored to break the pattern and Puerto Rico took an 18-16 lead. Hardy and Passier then helped Australia to stay in touch until a block by Jose Rivera closed the set at 25-22 in favour of the Puerto Ricans.

In the second set the quality of play improved on both sides but once again they were locked together at 7-7. Australia benefited from good blocks by Passier and setter Alexander, on for Young, and took the lead at 13-11 but two consecutive points for Soto put Puerto Rico 19-18 up before Australia got back to 20-20. Soto again with a nice touch then gave Puerto Rico a 22-20 lead before he notched the final point of the set.

In the third set Australia started well with Carroll particularly prominent, especially from the back line. Making fewer mistakes and gaining in confidence they led 15-11 and 18-14 before Puerto Rico pulled it back to 20-21. A block from Rodriguez, at 41 the oldest player in the tournament, levelled the score at 24-24 but Australia managed to take the match into a fourth set, 28-26.

In what proved to be the final set Puerto Rico set the pace and led 8-3 and 11-4, forcing Australian coach Russell Borgeaud to make a double change with opposite Edgar replacing Carroll and setter Young back on for Alexander. However Puerto Rico, and Rivera and Soto in particular, were not to be denied and they raced to an 18-14 lead before an Australian serving error closed the set and the match, 25-19.

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