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08-10-2013

U 23 MEN WORLD CHAMP.: ARGENTINA 3 - DOMINICAN REP. 0

Blocking was one of the best Argentine weapons

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 8, 2013 - Argentina recovered from defeat to rivals Brazil, but were made to work hard for a 3-0 (21-14, 27-25, 24-22) win against Dominican Republic on day three of the Men's U23 World Championship at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves. Kukartsev was Argentina's top scorer with 15 points, but Mendez finished on 10 after being inserted during the second set.

For Dominican Republic, captain Luis Adames Figueroa led his team with 15 points and was well assisted by opposite Henry Tapia Santana who claimed 14. Both players clearly surpassing their tournament totals in a single match.

Day four of competition is the penultimate round of pool matches with Argentina up against Egypt, while Dominican Republic will face Tunisia in the last match on court.

Argentina coach Alejandro Grossi was able to give starters Pablo Kukartsev and captain Juan Ignacio Finoli a rest during the first set as his team had little trouble taking it 21-14. Kukartsev had already scored five points when he went to the bench.

Dominican Republic woke up for the start of the second set however and, with Argentina's starters restored, took an early 5-2 lead mainly through good blocking. They gained confidence and carried the lead through the technical timeout and up to five set points before some strong play from Nicolas Mendez helped Argentina take the set 27-25.

The third set remained competitive with the lead changing hands a few times before Argentina forged ahead 18-15 towards the end. Dominican Republic responded again, first levelling the score, then earning a set point, but couldn't take it and Argentina eventually closed out the set 24-22.

Mixed zone:

Henry Tapia Santana, Dominican Republic player: "We felt really well on court tonight. We could actually have won this game, but we failed in some minor things and that had a bad influence on us. We are very happy anyway, because we improved from previous games and we are moving forward. We have faith that we can make it."

Nicolas Mendez, Argentina player: "In the first two matches we were challenged to our maximum, but today it was different. We were surprised by their level, they played very well in attack, but I think our team have the attitude to win. I still believe we can achieve great things."

Statistics: P2 | Photos: FeVA - FIVB

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