Kervin Pinerua led Venezuela in their 3-2 win over Tunisia in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup at the Hamamatsu Arena on Saturday
Pinerua scored five of his 19 attacks and one block in the final set, which became the key performance for the Venezuelans. His team-mates Maximo Antonio Montoya Martine and Willner Rivas also notched big numbers with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Hamza Nagga and Mohamed Ali Ben Othmen Miladi scored 21 and 18 points for Tunisia.
Venezuela and Tunisia fought closely in the early stages of the first set, which the African side only managed to pull away at 15-11. Tunisia benefitted from their positive performance on the attack line, while their rivals experienced the complete opposite. Marouen Garci helped his team to gain more ground until his team-mate Ben Othmen ended the set with a kill 25-19. Venezuela came back in the second set when Montoya intensified his game to bolster his team’s offence. Venezuela dictated the tempo to clinch a convincing 25-18 win in the second frame.
In the third set, both sides struggled to pull away, and the most that Tunisia could manage to gain was a two- to three-point advantage throughout the set. Tunisia coped with this scoring pattern and secured the third set 25-22. Tunisia led early in the fourth set but Pinerua and Rivas went all out on their offence to trail their rivals closely. Pinerua succeeded to tie the score at 21-all that helped Venezuela to come up with a 25-24 edge. At 27-26, Venezuela were rewarded with the fourth set victory from a Tunisian attack that hit the antenna. In the final set, the South Americans gained momentum to mount an 8-5 lead at side change. The Tunisians did not give up and tied the score at 12-all, but Pinerua and Montoya converted on two spike attempts that put Venezuela in the lead 14-12, and Ivan Marquez’s quick middle hit sealed set and match victory 15-13.