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Gap widens as top six continue battle for World Cup

 
Osaka, Japan, September 17, 2015 – It was another day of victories for Poland, USA, Italy, Russia, Argentina and Japan at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 with all six on at least five wins apiece as the race for a Rio 2016 Olympic Games berth continued on Thursday.

The United States and Poland remain in the driving seat with both yet to be defeated after seven triumphs. Close behind are Russia and Italy on six wins, with Argentina and Japan on five. Meanwhile Iran joined Canada, Venezuela, Australia, Egypt and Tunisia as the latest team to be guaranteed a place outside the top two, missing out on Olympic qualification.

USA needed all their experience to beat Iran 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21) despite the Asian side dominating on blocks. The Americans were stuffed 15 times and could only claim three of their own. They also gave up 31 errors to Iran’s 27 but John Speraw said some of his less experienced players “showed poise” to come away with the win.

Poland picked up a seventh victory, this time seeing off Egypt in three sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-18). Bartosz Kurek asked the African champions some serious questions from the service line, contributing four aces in a match where he scored 14 points.

A slight rally from Tunisia in the third set could not stop Italy going on to capture a straight sets (25-18, 25-23, 25-22) win in Osaka. Filippo Lanza and Ivan Zaytsev topped the scorer charts with 14 points apiece. But it was Italy’s blocking game which was the difference as they held out the Tunisian attack on 11 occasions.

It was win number six for Russia as they dispensed of Canada in straight sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-19). It was a commanding attacking display from the Russians as they registered an eight to one advantage on both serve and block. Dmitriy Muserskiy topped all scorers with 16 points.

Venezuela and Japan played out an entertaining three set match, with the hosts ending the encounter on top (33-31, 26-24, 25-19). Venezuela made life difficult for the home side but 30 errors to Japan’s 26 seemed to be the difference maker alongside some enthusiastic support from the stands.

Finally, Facundo Conte was critical as Argentina remained in the hunt with a 3-0 win (25-21, 25-23, 25-16) win over Australia. Conte and offensive partner Cristian Poglajen pulled in 19 and 12 points respectively as the Argentine attack consistently found gaps in the struggling Australia defence.

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
26 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Iran on September 16
19 – Matt Anderson of USA v Iran and Facundo Conte of Argentina v Australia on September 17

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
5 – Kunhiro Shimizu of Japan v Tunisia on September 16
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
4 – Matt Anderson of USA v Venezuela on September 16
4 – Taylor Sander of USA v Venezuela on September 16
4 – Artem Volvich of Russia v Australia on September 16
4 – Aaron Russell of USA v Iran on September 17

Top Team Serving Performances
12 – USA v Venezuela on September 16
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
9 – Poland v Canada on September 16

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 – Iran v USA on September 17
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
13 – Italy v Tunisia on September 17

Highest Scoring Sets
32-34 Canada v Australia (1st set) on September 13
33-31 Japan v Venezuela (1st set) on September 17
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 3-1 (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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