Jesolo, Italy – Argentina beat Russia in straight sets to win the bronze medal of the tournament. The score was 25-22, 30-28, 25-22 with Argentina also prevailing 15-13 in the blocking battle.
The third place is a team-best for Argentina whom fell short off the podium by finishing fourth in the editions of the championship in 2005 and 2007 in Algeria and Mexico.
Gonzalo Quiroga led the winners with 17 points including five blocks and Ivan Castellani added 16 with three blocks. Gustavo Vacas contributed 9 points to the triumph and Sebastian Sole had four blocks among his 8 points. Russian Ivan Nikishin led all the scorers with a match-high 20 points and Oleg Tsentalovich.
Nikishin spiked and blocked helping Russia to an 8-4 lead in first set. One ace by Tsentalovich expanded the gap to 10-4. Nikishin added another spike for a seven-point lead at 13-6. Russia led 16-11 at the second stop but Argentina came back to take command 22-21 behind the spike of Quiroga. Finoli served one ace and Quiroga scored with a block for a 24-21 lead. Quiroga landed one more spike for the 25-22 win of Argentina.
Vaca scored with two spikes helping Argentina to take an 8-6 advantage. Nikishin and Tsentalovich led a Russian surge taking his side to the top of the score 16-13 at the second pause. With the score tied at 18-all, Argentina made a defensive error but later evened the score with Sole’s spike. Tsentalovich scored for Russia and Castellani answered back for a 20-20 tie. Sole sent Argentina ahead with a block and Russia called for time-out. Sole then scored on a quick play for a 22-20 advantage. Tsentalovich and Filippov scored for Russia. Teams remained locked until Quiroga scored for 29-28 and Tsentalovich hit one out of bounds for the 30-28 win of Argentina.
Argentina led 8-5 in the third set and duplicated the performance towards the second stop when were in front 16-10. Russia cut the distance to 17-15 following a streak of errors by the South Americans. Ramos scored point 18 after a time-out and Tsentalovich connected for Russia. It was time now for Castellani of Argentina followed by a block by Sole for a 20-16 score in favor of Argentina. Quiroga recorded his fifth block for a 22-17 advantage. Block by Shchadilov and ace by Kobzar reduced the gap to 23-20. Quiroga attacked, the spike of Castellani hit the antenna and Nikishin attacked for 24-22. Sole scored with a block for the 25-22 win.