FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Argentina survive Tunisia scare to claim victory

Pablo Kukartsev was Argentina's top scorer in the tight victory

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 6, 2013 - Argentina survived a strong Tunisia comeback to start their Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-2 (21-14, 21-18, 13-21, 19-21, 16-14) victory on the first match day at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Argentina claimed the first set, largely assisted by 10 errors from Tunisia, but were forced to work harder in the second set, and needed an early timeout from coach Alejandro Grossi to refocus after going behind.

Grossi's words worked and Argentina turned their deficit into a 12-9 lead at the technical timeout with opposite Pablo Kukartsev becoming the key scoring attacker as Argentina claimed the set 21-18.

Grossi needed another early timeout as Argentina started the third set slowly, but Tunisia got into a small lead and managed to hold it, through a combination of points from captain Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah and wing spiker Mohamed Ali Ben Othmen Miladi, and win the set 21-13.

Tunisia carried their confidence into the fourth set and Ben Abdallah was again prominent, as was middle blocker Mohamed Ayech, as Tunisia claimed a close set 21-19 to send the match into a tie-break.

Wing spiker Nicolas Mendez was Argentina's key player in the decider, contributing crucial receptions and blocks as his team just held off Tunisia's challenge to win the tie-break 16-14.

On day two Argentina face South American rivals Brazil, while Tunisia play against Egypt in the final match of the day.

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