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Serving affected South America's top two in opening round

Argentina had the best ace/faults serving ratio on day one of competition
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 19, 2013 - South American neighbours Argentina and Brazil both lost their opening matches on day one of the 2013 World League finals in Mar del Plata, and only wins in their respective final pool matches will give them a chance to move into the semifinals.

Serving was a key aspect in their opening matches of the tournament.

Home team Argentina were competitive and boasted the best ace/faults serving ratio on day one of competition, but it still wasn't enough to earn them victory, as Bulgaria won 3-1.

Argentina scored eight aces and made 16 faults with their serves, whereas opponents Bulgaria scored just two aces alongside 26 faults - the worst ratio of all day-one teams.

Argentina's blocking undermined their serving efficiency however, with Bulgaria way ahead in that aspect of the match, scoring 12 blocking points from 59 attempts, compared to Argentina's two from 51.

Efficient serving will once again be important for Argentina, but point-scoring from blocking needs to improve against Italy.

Serving was even more crucial in Brazil's opening-match 3-2 defeat against Russia. 

Brazil made fewer serves than Russia - due to the bigger margins in their winning set scores, and Russia recorded a superior ace/faults serving ratio, but it was the effectiveness of Russia's in-play serving that caused Brazil problems.

One of Brazil's leading points scorers in the match, Lucas, confirmed that it was Russia's strong serving that allowed them to level the match at 2-2 in the fourth set. "We didn't have a lot of chances with the first ball because they served really strongly and broke our phases."

The powerful Russian serving forced Brazilian captain Bruno to set from difficult positions further away from the net and made his sets more predictable for Russia's blocking plays. 

Responding well to Canada's serving will allow Bruno to bring his hitters into the plays more effectively and pressurise the opposition defence.

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