Doha, Qatar, December 15, 2010 – Drean Bolivar of Argentina claimed their first victory in Pool B at the 2010 FIVB Men's Club World Championship as Javier Weber's team produced a solid performance to come back from one set down against USA's Paul Mitchell (23-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-21) in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday.
The South Americans needed some time to warm up and get into the game but their dominance was absolutely evident in sets three and four and they had the top scorer in the match in Federico Pereyra, who contributed 24 points for the victors.
The first match in the men's competition was an all-American affair featuring two teams making their debuts at the FIVB Club World Championship. These young sides find themselves in Pool B together with Trentino BetClic and Dynamo Moscow, two of the most credible contenders for the title, and hence this contest was of vital importance with both desperate for a good start to the tournament before testing themselves against the section's two powerhouses.
As proceedings started on court, it was immediately evident that this was going to be an extremely tight game – the two clubs were showing a similar style of play, with their respective attackers full of power and energy. The teams remained tied until the final rush, as Drean Bolivar eventually forced their opponents into a timeout after Lucas Ocampo scored a diagonal spike for 20-19.
Casey Patterson responded with the same move and another tie came at 21-all, as Ocampo served long. Paul Mitchell returned the favour, however, and it was clear that the final outcome was going to be determined by small details. When Pereyra missed a diagonal spike, he gifted a set ball to the Americans who did not miss their chance as they stamped a double block on their rivals' fast attack to close it 25-23.
The plot did not change in the second set, with Bolivar setting the pace – but only by a slight margin as they led 8-7 at the first mandatory stop. While Paul Mitchell coach Gary Sato sat quietly on the bench, his side showed plenty of fighting spirit, keeping their focus in every single rally. Drean Bolivar finally found the right consistency in attack to widen the gap (15-11) yet the Americans ensured another close finish to the set. When the Argentinian side missed two set balls, Paul Mitchell were back level at 25-all only for a double block from Pereyra and Gabriel Arroyo to close the set and draw Drean Bolivar back level at one set apiece.
Bolivar maintained a strong rhythm in the opening of the third set, displaying a good block and defensive system, and varying their offensive options, albeit the wing spikers were still attacking most of the balls set by Luciano De Cecco. Another mini-break was claimed right before the Second Technical Timeout (STT) with Pereyra spiking from the back row to find his way through the American block and reassert the Argentinians' authority at 16-11. Javier Filardi then extended their lead by two more points as Bolivar began to quicken their march towards the finish line. That was ultimately the case despite a very solid serving turn from Damien Scott, as Pereyra and company bagged the set at 25-18 when Eric Vance served into the net.
Although the Americans did their best in the fourth, Drean Bolivar had all the momentum with Pereyra attacking with stunning efficiency from every position. Coach Sato asked for a break as his players trailed 19-14 and it paid off as the next three rallies went to Paul Mitchell, forcing Javier Weber to regroup his players to re-focus for the final push. That proved the right choice as the South Americans regained their tempo and a fast attack from the middle from captain Arroyo finished the game.