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Cuba Blanks Iran

Cuba's Rolando Cepeda Abreu powers a spike against Iran

PUNE, India (Aug. 4, 2009) – Cuba defeated Iran 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 to start off the FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship (U-21) second round Pool F at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.

Cuba’s Rolando Cepeda Abreu notched a match-high 14 points for his team, while Wilfredo Leon Venero and Armando Danger Mulen each compiled 10 points in the victory.

Mojtaba Gheyasi and Arash Kamalvand contributed 10 points for Iran, while Sasan Dejara added eight points.

Cuba’s aggressive serve kept Iran out of system. Cuba had a 6-0 advantage in aces and put up a 9-6 block margin. Offensively, Cuba had 44 kills to Iran’s 36.

Iran challenges Brazil on Wednesday at 16:00 on the second of three days of top eight classification pool play. Both teams finished their respective first-round pools with 3-0 records, the only two countries in the 16-team field to do so. Cuba returns to the court against USA at 12:00 on Wednesday in its second contest.

Camejo Darruthi and Leon Venero each had blocks as Cuba started the opening set with a 4-1 advantage. Macias Infante added another block at 6-2. However, Gheyasi served an ace as part of four-point run that tied the set at 6-all. Cuba regained its two-point cushion with an Iran attack error at 9-7 and erupted to a 14-10 advantage. Cuba increased its margin to 19-12 with five of the next seven points. Cuba cruised to the 25-18 victory.

Cuba earned an early 3-1 lead in the second set, but Iran bounced back to tie it at 9-all after the teams traded points. Leon Venero fired a service winner to give Cuba the two-point cushion back at 13-11. Iran responded with three unanswered points to take a 14-13 lead. Ramshini came from the middle for a kill increasing Iran’s lead to two at the second technical timeout, 16-14. Cuba came back to tie the set at 16-all. A Cuban error gave Iran a two-point cushion again at 18-16. Cepeda Abreu served an ace to put Cuba back into a tie at 18-all. Danger Mulen served a winner to give Cuba the advantage at 21-20. Cepeda Abreu added another point to the cushion at 23-21 with a kill off the Iran block. Cepeda Abreu put away the set winner at 25-23 with his seventh point of the set.

Ramshini stopped a Cuba overpass to give Iran an 3-1 lead in the third set. Danger Mulen hit a cross-court winner to tie the set at 7-all. Danger Mulen crushed a spike and Cepeda Abreu served a winner allowing Cuba to move in front 10-8. Iran scored consecutive points to move into a tie at 12-all. Camejo Durruthi put down a quick set to push Cuba back in front by two at 14-12. Leandro Macias Infante and Isbel Mesa Sandobal combined for a block to increase Cuba’s advantage to 16-13 at the second technical timeout. Salafzoon and Dejara formed an Iranian block to cut the gap back to one at 16-15. Two quick Cuban kills gave them an 18-15 lead. Cuba gained a four-point edge at 21-17 and traded points until Reza Safaei put a kill through the Cuban block at 23-21. Salafzoon added a block to inch Iran closer at 23-22, but a service error gave Cuba two match points at 24-22. Leonardo Leyva Martinez put down the winner with a quick attack at 25-22.


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