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Tijuana, Mexico, October 6, 2013 —Argentina defeated Mexico in straight sets 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 to claim their first victory in Pool A of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship on Sunday night at Baja California High Performance Center. This Monday, at 19.00 Argentine time the light blue - white team will play its third match v Turkey (that lost v Dominican Republic this Sunday as Argentina did on Saturday's first match, 0-3).

The victory earned Argentina an even win-loss record at 1-1, while Mexico dropped to a 0-2 mark.

Three Argentineans finished with 10 points — Maria Calvete, Victoria Zabala and Sofia Bulgarella - while Virginia Granado contributed with 8 points.

Andrea Rangel and Claudio Rios scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the defeated side.

Mexico topped Argentina in blocks (7-4) and in aces (5-4) but the winners were the better team in spikes (41-32).

It was a close battle for most part of the first set. Argentina led 8-6 and Mexico was in front 16-15 at the technical time-out. At 22-all, Micaela Fabiana and Maria Calvete scored consecutive spikes for Argentina. Then, Micaela Fabiani and Calvete failed with their serve and kill attempts. Eugenia Nosach scored for Argentina and Claudia Rios’ attack was too long. Argentina took the set 26-24.

Argentina was in front 8-7 and 16-13 at the technical stops. Claudia Rios’ spike followed by one ace from Alejandra Perales closed the gap to 21-18 forcing a time-out from Argentina. Rangel and Perales combined spike and ace for 21-20 but Sofia Bulgarella responded from the Argentinean side. Fabiani blocked Lizbeth Sainz for the 25-21 score in favor of Argentina.

Argentina commanded at the two technical time-out of the third set 8-3 and 16-12 with a balanced attack led by Calvete and Victoria Zabala. Two spikes by Rios led a Mexican reaction to shorten the distance to 17-15. Andrea Rangel sent Mexico within one point at 20-19 but two spikes by Fabiani helped Argentina to the 25-21 score and the victory.

The two new rules to be tried at both U 23 World Championships, after several feed backs from Mexico women’s will be now tested only in Brazil’s men’s. They are a) to play 21 points per set (apart from the fifth set, which was to remain until 15) and b) to limit the time between serves to 15 seconds. The women’s tournament will now be conducted under the original FIVB Rules of the Game.

Argentina elevated their game putting pressure with accurate serves at the key moments to claim the victory against Mexico.

Press Conference:

Antonela Curatola, captain of Argentina: It was a well fought match with all the sets pretty evened until point 20. From that stage on, we were able to put pressure with our serves and located them to their outside hitters.

Alejandra Perales, captain of Mexico: It was a good match and we made good points. We missed with our serves and blocks at the key moments. Argentina made the adjustments and closed the sets.

Guillermo Caceres, coach of Argentina: We knew it was going to be a close match because Mexico is a battling team. We knew the tendencies of some of their players and made the defensive adjustments. I am happy because our girls were able to keep the focus.

Francisco Pineda, coach of Mexico: They took advantage of our mistakes. It was a real battle until the 20 points but from there on, they capitalized on our mistakes.


RESULTS (Local time)

05-Oct 21:00 DOM-ARG 3-0 (14-25, 18-25 y 16-25) Statistics - P2

06-Oct 23:00 MEX-ARG 0-3 (24-26, 21-25 y 21-25) Statistics - P2

07-Oct 19:00 ARG-TUR

08-Oct 19:00 ARG-JPN

09-Oct 19:00 ITA-ARG