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Favourites make light work of championship's first day

Brazil provided Dominican Republic a tough defeat in front of a noisy crowd in Uberlandia
Uberlandia, Brazil, October 6, 2013 - Tournament favourites Russia and Brazil both claimed 3-0 wins on the opening day of the Men's U23 World Championship at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Brazil treated the home crowd to victory with a dominant start to the championship, sweeping Dominican Republic aside 3-0 (21-12, 21-6, 21-10). Wing spiker Rafael Araujo was a dominant presence throughout and claimed five blocking points as part of a match-leading 12 points in total. 

"It was very positive for the first match," said head coach Roberley Leonaldo. "We didn't know that well their team, but we came prepared for something similar to 
what happened. They came with very young players that felt the pressure."

Russia were first on court on day one and also had little trouble despatching Mexico 3-0 (21-11, 21-14, 21-13). Mexico just couldn't handle their all-round spiking options and didn't register a single blocking point in the match as Russia cruised to a straight-sets win in pool B.

Despite defeat Mexico libero Jose Roberto Mendoza Perdomo was still positive. "This is a brand new experience for Mexico. You don't usually get to face Russia, so it was a great chance for us to develop and learn." 

Also in pool B, Serbia overcame a slow start and an error-filled first set to claim a close match 3-1 (15-21, 21-18, 21-19, 21-14) against Venezuela, with captain Aleksandar Atanasijevic unstoppable in attack as he claimed 28 points.

"It was a difficult start," said Atanasijevic. "We knew also that Venezuela is a very good team. The most important thing is that we won our first match, which is always difficult, and now we have to improve for the next matches."

In the final pool B match, Iran made short work of Australia for a 3-0 (21-11, 21-15, 21-7) win. Wing spiker Mojtaba Mirzajanpour led the scoring and then said Iran were "ready to win" the tournament.

In the first pool A match, Argentina survived a strong Tunisia comeback to register a 3-2 (21-14, 21-18, 13-21, 19-21, 16-14) victory. Argentina went into a 2-0 lead before Tunisia's confidence grew and pushed them right to the end of a tense tie-break.

"It turned out to be a tough game for us," said Argentina wing spiker Nicolas Mendez. "As the sets went on, they started playing more relaxed and their attack became very difficult to handle. However, I think this is great for us because this will teach us to play at our maximum the whole match."

The final day one action on court was Bulgaria's pool A match against Egypt which ended in a 3-0 (21-17, 21-17, 21-12) win for the Europeans. Opposite Jani Jeliazkov (14) and wing spiker Branimir Grozdanov (13) provided the majority of points.

On day two of competition, pool B matches will be first on court with Mexico v Iran at 9:00 (local), Russia v Venezuela at 11:00, and Serbia v Australia at 14:00, while pool A matches will start with Bulgaria v Dominican Republic at 16:30, Brazil v Argentina at 19:00, and Egypt v Tunisia at 21:30.

2013 Men's U23 World Championship Performances

Top Scoring Performances
28 - Aleksandar Atanasijevic of Serbia v Venezuela (October 6)
21 - Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah of Tunisia v Argentina (October 6)
18 - Pablo Kukartsev of Argentina v Tunisia (October 6) 
15 - Mojtaba Mirzajanpour of Iran v Australia (October 6)

Top Blocking Performances
5 - Rafael Araujo of Brazil v Dominican Republic (October 6)
4 - Jonathan Quijada of Venezuela v Serbia (October 6)
4 - Federico Franetovich of Argentina v Tunisia (October 6)

Top Blocking Performances by Team
12 - Serbia v Venezuela (October 6)
12 - Argentina v Tunisia (October 6)
9 - Venezuela v Serbia (October 6)
9 - Iran v Australia (October 6)

Top Serving Performances
2 - Alexander Safonov of Russia v Mexico (October 6)
2 - Dmitry Kovalev of Russia v Mexico (October 6)
2 - Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah of Tunisia v Argentina (October 6)
2 - Thiago Veloso of Brazil v Dominican Republic (October 6)
2 - Jani Jeliazkov of Bulgaria v Egypt (October 6)
2 - Dimitrov Dobromir of Bulgaria v Egypt (October 6)

Top Serving Performances by Team
7 – Russia v Mexico (October 6)
6 - Tunisia v Argentina (October 6)
5 - Iran v Australia (October 6)
5 - Brazil v Dominican Republic (October 6)
5 - Bulgaria v Egypt (October 6)

Highest Scorers by day
28 - Aleksandar Atanasijevic of Serbia v Venezuela (day 1, October 6)

Highest Set Score
21-19 Serbia v Venezuela (3rd set, October 6)
21-19 Tunisia v Argentina (4th set, October 6)

Highest Scoring Matches
178 - Argentina def Tunisia 3-2 (21-14, 21-18, 13-21, 19-21, 16-14) day 1, October 6
150 - Serbia def Venezuela 3-1 (15-21, 21-18, 21-19, 21-14) day 1, October 6


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