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First round concludes with USA, Poland leading charge

 
Hiroshima, Japan, September 13, 2015 – The first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 concluded in Hiroshima and Hamamatsu on Sunday with USA and Poland very much in control, remaining unbeaten on five wins.

USA’s straight sets (25-20, 25-13, 25-21) win over Egypt and Poland’s four set (25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 25-23) victory against Venezuela ensured they maintained their positions in the two Olympic qualifying berths as the action prepares to move on to Osaka and Toyama. Meanwhile, Canada picked up their first win, beating Australia as they both broke the record for most points (245) and longest match (two hours 49 minutes) ever in a World Cup.

The United States needed little effort to defeat Egypt in straight sets (25-20, 25-13, 25-21). A strong showing from the serve line and an effective block was the difference as the US spread their attack well, with Taylor Sander topping the charts on 14 points. For Egypt, it was a tough encounter following their lengthy five-set match against Australia just a day earlier.

Dawid Konarski starred as Poland prevailed 3-1 (25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 25-23) over Venezuela. The 26-year old scored a match-high 22 points as Marcin Mozdzonek added 12, half of those blocks. It was a terrible start for the world champions however as they were stunned in the opening set by the Venezuelans.

It was also a straightforward match for Argentina, who beat Tuinisia in straight-sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-20). Luciano Zornetta and Maximiliano Gauna attacked well for the victors, taking 11 points apiece as they led Tunisia on all fronts with 39-33 spikes, 9-7 blocks and 6-2 aces. Hamza Nagga of Tunisia topped all scorers with 18 points.

The record book was torn to shreds as Canada held off Australia in five sets (32-34, 25-14, 25-21, 27-29, 20-18). A total of 245 points were scored, the most in any World Cup match ever whilst it was also the longest game in the history of the tournament at two hours 49 minutes. Thomas Edgar, who scored 50 points himself a day earlier, sat out the majority of the opening three sets before being brought in. Canada’s John Gordan Perrin topped all scorers with 26 points.

Dmitriy Muserskiy was once again central to a Russian victory, this time scoring 20 points, including 16 kills, one block and three aces as his country beat Iran in straight sets (26-24, 25-18, 25-20). Iran gave up over a set in errors, with 27 mistakes in total.

Four aces in a row from Ivan Zaytsev helped Italy close their match with Japan in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-15) as the first round came to an end in Hiroshima. He also contributed 17 points as Italy made easy work of the hosts.

Top Scorer by Day
26 – Facundo Conte of Argentina v Iran on September 8
36 – Abdelhay Ahmed of Egypt v Canada on September 9
24 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Egypt on September 10
50 – Thomas Edgar of Australia v Egypt on September 12
26 – John Gordan Perrin of Canada v Australia on September 13

Top Individual Serving Performances
6 – Simone Gianelli of Italy v Australia on September 9
5 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Japan on September 13
5 – Ahmed Abdelhay of Egypt v Japan on September 8
4 – Abou Mohamed of Egypt v Canada on September 9
4 – Matt Anderson of USA v Italy on September 12
4 – Russell Aaron of USA v Egypt on September 13
4 – Dawid Konarski of Poland v Venezuela on September 13

Top Team Serving Performances
11 – USA v Japan on September 9
11 – USA v Egypt on September 13
10 – Argentina v Venezuela on September 9
10 – USA v Australia on September 8
10 – Egypt v Japan on September 8
9 – Italy v Japan on September 13
9 – Egypt v Canada on September 9
9 – USA v Canada on September 10
9 – Russia v Argentina on September 12
9 – Poland v Venezuela on September 13

Top Individual Blocking Performances
8 – Sebastien Sole of Argentina v Iran on September 8

Top Team Blocking Performances
16 – Australia v Canada on September 13
15 – Argentina v Iran on September 8
14 – Canada v Australia on September 13
13 – Russia v Tunisia on September 10
13 – Australia v Japan on September 10

Highest Scoring Sets
32-34 Canada v Australia (1st set) on September 13
32-30 Venezuela v Argentina (1st set) on September 9
29-27 Russia v Venezuela (1st set) on September 8
29-27 Russia v Tunisia (3rd set) on September 10
29-27 USA v Italy (3rd set) on September 12
27-29 Canada v Australia (4th set) on September 13

Highest Scoring Matches
245 – Canada d Australia 3-2 (32-34, 25-14, 25-21, 27-29, 20-18) on September 13 *NEW WORLD CUP RECORD
219 – Australia d Egypt 3-2 (23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13) on September 12
218 – Canada d Egypt 3-2 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 24-26, 15-12) on September 9
216 – Venezuela d Tunisia 3-2 (19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13) on September 12
202 – Poland d Iran 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-11) on September 12
199 – Japan d Egypt 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 15-7) on September 8
189 – Poland d Venezuela (25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 25-23) on September 13
185 – Poland d Argentina 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 27-25) on September 10
183 – Japan d Australia 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 25-18) on September 10

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