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USA, Poland continue win streak

 
Hiroshima, Japan, September 12, 2015 – Poland and USA remained the only unbeaten teams at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 as play resumed in Hiroshima and Hasamatsu on Saturday.

Both sides have four wins with the United States topping the table after dropping just one set in four matches so far. Russia, Italy and Japan follow on three wins as the race for a Rio 2016 Olympic Games berth intensified. Meanwhile, Australia and Venezuela both survived five-set matches to register their first victories at the tournament.

Poland came back from the brink against Iran, seeing them off 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-11) in a marathon match in Hamamatsu. Bartosz Kurek top scored for Poland with 19 points. He was ably supported by Mateusz Mika on 14 points and Michal Kubia on 12. Kubia’s influence in the third and fourth set helped dig his country out of trouble, putting on a game-changing performance. Iran’s Amir Ghafour came up with 18 markers to lead all Iranian scorers.

USA took their win count to four as they held off a determined Italy in straight sets (25-18, 25-23, 29-27) to keep their title hopes alive. It was a battle of the hitters, with Ivan Zaytsev and Matt Anderson scoring 19 and 17 points respectively. But it was David Lee, who contributed 11 points including three blocks, who took the Most Impressive Player title.

Thomas Edgar put on an unbelievable display, scoring an incredible 50 points to carry Australia to their first win of the tournament, beating Egypt 3-2 (23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13). The performance was all the more astonishing given that Edgar suffered an injury to his hand midway through the third set, but he valiantly carried on in a herculean effort.

It was the Kervin Pinerua show as Venezuela defeated Tunisia 3-2 (19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13) to earn their first victory in the tournament. The 24-year old scored a crucial block in the final set to seal the win and condemn Tunisia to the bottom of the table.

Japan made light work of Canada in front of 6,000 fans at the Hiroshima Green Arena, sealing a straight sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-21) win in little time. Captain Kunhiro Shimizu starred as the top scorer with 14 points from one ace, two blocks and 11 spikes.

Finally Maxim Mikhaylov was key in Russia’s 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 25-20) triumph over Argentina in Hamamatsu. The giant Russia led scorers with 19 points, including 15 kills, one block and three service aces. Argentina were carried by Facundo Conte who finished with 27 markers.

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

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
4 – Matt Anderson of USA v Italy on September 12

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
9 – USA v Canada on September 10
9 – Russia v Argentina on September 12

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
13 – Russia v Tunisia on September 10
13 – Australia v Japan on September 10

Highest Scoring Sets
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 Russia (3rd set) on September 12)

Highest Scoring Matches
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
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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