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Poland prevail to take control on first day of final round

 
Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2015 – Poland now sit top of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 standings after defeating USA, while Italy leapfrogged Russia into third as the first day of the final round drew to a close in Tokyo.

The world champions are now within touching distance of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but with two matches left to go, nothing has been decided yet.

Despite the slow start, Poland showed what they are capable of in attack with a dominating 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-15) win over world No.5 USA. Michal Kubiak was on form, scoring 17 points and spearheading an efficient and deadly Polish offense. USA were shut down in their attacking game and coach John Speraw will have to regroup his squad quickly ahead of their clash with Russia on Tuesday.

A surprisingly poor performance from Russia meant they dropped a second match, this time in straight sets  (25-15, 26-24, 25-18) to Italy, to all but end their chances of finishing in the top two. They gave up more than a set’s worth of points in errors – 26 in total, as Ivan Zaytsev punished them with 20 points for Italy. The world No.4 also scored six aces to Russia’s zero.

Argentina earned their seventh victory of the tournament, beating Japan in straight sets (26-24, 25-22, 25-21) as Luciano De Cecco masterfully conducted proceedings. Japan were determined to stay in the fight, but it was Argentina’s superior blocking game – scoring 11 to the host’s three – that made the difference.

It was win number three for Canada, who registered a straight sets victory (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) over Venezuela. It was a well spread attack from the Canadians, with Gavin Schmitt taking 16 points and John Gordon Perrin 11.

Ahmed Abdelhay became the third-highest scorer in World Cup history as Egypt grabbed their first win of the tournament, beating Tunisia in five sets (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11). The 31-year old scored 38 points as his side ended a seven-match losing streak in Japan. 

Australia sealed their second win of the tournament, beating Iran 3-0 (27-25, 27-25, 25-22). With record top scorer Thomas Edgar sitting out the match it was Paul Carroll who led the attack with a 24-point performance. The loss piles the pressure on Iran who have had, by their standards, a disappointing campaign in Japan.

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
26 – Facundo Conte of Argentina v Canada on September 18
38 – Ahmed Abdelhay v Tunisia on September 21

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
5 – Bartosz Kurek of Poland v Australia on September 18
4 – Abou Mohamed of Egypt v Canada on September 9
4 – Matt Anderson of USA v Italy on September 12
4 – Aaron Russell 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
4 – Hossam Abdalla of Egypt v Russia on September 18
4 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Russia on September 21
4 – Mohammed Elhalim of Egypt v Tunisia on September 21

Top Team Serving Performances
13 – Poland v Australia on September 18
12 – USA v Venezuela on September 16
11 – USA v Japan on September 9
11 – USA v Egypt on September 13
11 – Egypt v Tunisia on September 21
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
9 – Russia v Egypt on September 18
9 – Poland v USA on September 21

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
13 – Argentina v Canada on September 18
13 – Iran v Japan on September 18

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)
29-27 Australia v Canada (4th set) on September 13
29-27 USA v Tunisia (3rd set) on September 18
29-27 Argentina v Canada (3rd set) on September 18

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
211 – Iran d Japan 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-12) on September 18
210 – Egypt d Tunisia 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11) on September 21
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
197 – Argentina d Canada 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 29-27, 25-22) on September 18
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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