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USA end 30 years of hurt with World Cup triumph

 
Tokyo, Japan, September 23, 2015 – USA sealed their first FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup in 30 years as well as a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-20) victory over Argentina as the tournament reached its thrilling conclusion in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The triumph saw them leapfrog Poland and Italy into first place, with the Poles resigned to third and denied a spot at the Olympics despite being unbeaten until their final day loss to the Italians.

Maxwell Holt won the most impressive player award with 18 points as his country sealed their first World Cup since 1985. Facundo Conte topped the scorers with 22 points.

The United States started strong, as they have done all tournament, with an attack from back court by Aaron Russell taking them to 10-7. Argentina came storming back though and, following an error on reception, came to within one point at 16-15. It remained close until the United States began to pull away on 21-19 before a Matt Anderson block ended the set in the American’s favour.

Micah Christensson got the second set underway with an ace, but Argentina ploughed back, and led at 9-8 after and Anderson spike went wayward. USA regained control at 10-9 and kept hold of the set throughout as the match moved to the third set following a Christensson ace.

USA kept that winning rhythm up in the third, an Anderson serve ace making it 7-6. Argentina eventually found themselves in the lead, a big spike from Facundo Conte extending it to 13-9. USA’s error count began to rise and Argentina took full advantage, going up on 21-13 with a Conte ace. From there, it took little effort to see out the set and give Poland, waiting in the wings and hoping for a USA loss, a last chance at a Rio 2016 spot.

It was a tense third set, but USA edged closer to the title on a three point advantage as David Lee spiked through the Argentinean block. Ever the professionals, USA regrouped, and found another level as Taylor Sander fired a vicious ace to take his side to within five points of the title. A Palacios ace brought Argentina to within three points on 21-17, but no one could deny the Americans as an incredible Erik Shoji dig on 23-18 led to match point following a block error from the South Americans. Maxwell Holt had the honour of spiking home championship point.


FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup

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