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Venezuela win South America Men’s World Championship qualifier

Venezuela joined Brazil and Argentina as the teams to have qualified from South America for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland 2014

Medellin, Colombia, September 15, 2013 – World No. 20 Venezuela booked their ticket to the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 after defeating the hosts Colombia 3-2 (29-27, 24-26, 25-17, 19-25, 17-15) in the final of the South America qualification tournament for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 at the Coliseo Polideportivo Sur de Envigado Stadium. 

The win saw Venezuela qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship for the fourth time in a row, having qualified 10 times out of the 17 editions held previously while Colombia were close to qualifying for the first time ever and Chile claimed third place. 
The hosts began the match making many mistakes, feeling the pressure of the encounter. Venezuela quickly took the advantage by 8-3 but Colombia got back into the game, encouraging themselves and improved their blocking to get close at 16-14. Venezuela's Máximo Montoya had to be replaced by Jhoser Contreras because of an injury during an attack play so the team maintained a good level in reception but suffered in attack. Alexander Moreno made two aces with the score 23-21, making the crowd excited with the scores level at 23-23 however, Venezuela defined better every point and earned the set by 29-27.

The second set started with both sides playing well, making the match even with spectacular points and an amazing atmosphere in the stadium. Colombia was 12-10 down but quickly went ahead 17-15 taking advantage of the reception mistakes made by Venezuela. Colombia had a set ball at 24-23 but couldn't make use of it failing in the attack. However they had a second opportunity with the score at 25-24 and this time claimed the set to tie the match 1-1.  

Venezuela jumped ahead at the beginning of the third set 8-7 but made many mistakes allowing Colombia to keep the score close. However, as the set wore on Colombia couldn't make the double change effective and with four errors in a row, the hosts soon trailed 22-15 before Venezuela won the set 25-17.

Colombia couldn't let go the opportunity of claiming their first qualification for a World Championship so the team played strongly in the fourth set and reached the technical time out leading 8-6. Thanks to an ace made by Alexander Moreno, the hosts increased the advantage at 11-8 and with Carlos Mosquera's block Colombia soon led by four points. Another two blocks and Kervin Piñerúa out of the court, Colombia went further ahead at 16-9 and 19-12 before they won the set 25-19 thanks to a block to force the tie-break. 

The decisive game was full of tension in defence. Venezuela began better and with a block of Verdi took the lead 5-2, but a block and two attacks by Humberto Machacon and Alexander Moreno Colombia fought back to trail by one at 8-7. The match went point by point at this stage. An error in serve made by Carlos Mosquera gave Venezuela match point but Alexander Moreno tied the set again 14-14 and made a block that gave Colombia the chance to win the match. However, Venezuela tied the score again before winning the set 17-15 to claim the victory and a spot in Poland, joining Brazil and Argentina.
Carlos Paez (Venezuela): “Thank God we could win the match and reach our goal. Colombia played at a great level but we took the victory in the decisive moment with our passion, that is our characteristic.”

Kervin Piñerúa (Venezuela): “We didn't have a good preparation for this tournament and is our first international one together, however, with all our passion we improved and Venezuela qualified for the World Championship.”

Gerardo Nodarse (Venezuela coach): “Congratulations to Colombia because they have an extraordinary team, but ours did everything we asked for to reach the goal.”

Marcelo Gigante (Colombia coach): “The sadness is deep. Colombia was never that close to a qualification for a World Championship. The players did their best and I am very proud of them. The road is long. Three months behind we didn't dream with a South American podium and the possibility of being close to a World Championship.”



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