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Four teams lead pack after second day of World Cup

 
Hiroshima, Japan, September 9, 2015 – Poland picked up a vital win over European rivals Russia while there were victories for Italy, Argentina, Iran, Canada and USA as day two of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 concluded on Wednesday.

Four teams now sit on two wins after as many matches, with USA leading ahead of Italy, Poland and Argentina. Russia, Iran, Japan and Canada follow with one win while Egypt, Venezuela, Tunisia and Australia are yet to claim victory.

The Poles were led by Bartosz Kurek as the world champions dealt 2011 World Cup winners Russia a 3-1 (26-28, 28-26, 25-19, 25-22) defeat in Hamamatsu. The star finished with 25 points to counter Russia’s top scorer Dmitriy Muserskiy, who had 20 points. Poland outscored Russia in attack 53-46, with Rafal Buszek, Mateusz Bienek and Michal Kubiak adding up to the world champions’ firepower.

USA sealed their second win of the tournament by beating hosts Japan in a fairly dominant display in Hiroshima. US setter Micah Christenson took centre stage as he directed his attackers well, with Matt Anderson top scoring on 20 points. Masahiro Yanagida led Japan with 14 marks. Despite the win, USA will not be happy with a shaky performance in the second set, where errors allowed the home side back into the match.

After picking up a sensational four set win over Iran a day earlier, Argentina struggled past a resilient and determined Venezuela in five sets (30-32, 25-15, 24-26, 25-13, 15-10). Cristian Poglajen and Facundo Conte were the South American’s saviours as they contributed 18 and 17 points respectively despite being named on the bench.

Meanwhile, Iran bounced back from that loss with a 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-14, 25-20) victory over Tunisia. It was far from easy going for the world No.11 however, with the influence of Amir Gharfour, who scored 24 points on 19 kills, three blocks and two aces, key to the win.

Italy put on a lesson in offense as they put Australia to the sword in straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-15). Osmany Juantorena, Ivan Zaytsev and Simone Gianelli were joint top scorers with 10 points apiece as the latter registered an impressive six aces as well as three blocks. Australia gave up 22 errors, but it was on serve where they struggled the most as Italy hit them with 12 aces to one.

Canada and Egypt both put on a show for the fans in Hiroshima as the former survived a scare to seal a 3-2 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 24-26, 15-12) victory. It was the country’s first win at the tournament as Egypt were denied in five sets for the second time in as many days after losing to hosts Japan on Tuesday. Ahmed Abdelhay was the top scorer despite the loss, picking up a respectable 36 points. Most impressive player Gavin Schmitt led Canada with 21.

Top Scorer by Day
26 – Facundo Conte of Argentina v Iran on September 8
36 – Abdelhay Ahmed of Egypt v Canada on September 9

Top Individual Serving Performances
6 – Simone Gianelli of Italy v Australia on September 9
5 – Ahmed Abdelhay of Egypt v Japan on September 8
4 – Abou Mohamed of Egypt v Canada on September 9
3 – Facundo Cont of Argentina v Venezuela on September 9
3 – Luciano De Lecco of Argentina v Venezuela on September 9
3 – David Lee of USA v Japan on September 9
3 – Micah Christenson of v Japan on September 9
3 – Maxim Mikhaylov of Russia v Venezuela on September 8
3 – Aaron Russell of USA v Australia on September 8
3 – Facundo Conte of Argentina v Iran on September 8
3 – Milad Ghara of Iran v Argentina on September 8
3 – Abdallah Bekhit of Egypt v Japan on September 8

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

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

Top Team Blocking Performances
15 – Argentina v Iran on September 8
14 - Iran v Venezuela on September 9
13 - USA v Japan on September 9

Highest Scoring Sets
32-30 Venezuela v Argentina (1st set) on September 9
29-27 Russia v Venezuela (1st set) on September 8

Highest Scoring Matches
218 – Canada v Egypt 3-2 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 24-26, 15-12) on September 9
199 – Japan d Egypt 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 15-7) on September 8

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