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Bydgoszcz, Poland, September 14, 2014 — Argentina in a shocking match eliminated USA, FIVB World League 2014 champion, with a 3-2 (19-25, 28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11) in Pool E of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Luczniczka Hall on Sunday. Facundo Conte (Argentina) was the top scorer with 21 rallies followed by USA Mathew Anderson with 17. The team coached by Julio Velasco showed improvement along the World Championship Poland 2014 and goes home with a record of 5-4 win-loss, winning the last two matches in Pool E in the Second Round.

Key Points

• The USA would have been certain of a third round berth with a 3-0 or 3-1 victory, but Argentina forced USA to a tiebreaker that eventually capped their 2014 campaign.

• Argentina have ended their campaign but finished with two consecutive victories.

• USA used the same lineup in all five sets, only David Smith saw action from the USA bench in the third set.

• USA and Argentina both had five players scoring in double figures.

• Argentina’s Facundo Conte won the scoring game with 21 points over USA’s Matthew Anderson, who had 17 markers.

Argentina led 6-2 in the early stages of the first set as Conte’s powerful offensive game clicked. Conte later on committed attack and service errors that started the USA run to cut down the lead 8-5 of Argentina at the first technical timeout. USA were persistent on their attacks and were rewarded with the lead, then a service ace by setter Micah Christenson gave USA a safe advantage at 20-16. USA pulled through victory at 25-19.

Maxwell Holt’s attack helped his team to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the second set. The attack exchanges became heated that still favoured the USA squad until Argentina coach Julio Velasco called for timeout. After the break, Argentina played better defence to takeover the lead at 9-5. USA fought back to bring the score at 16-11 until a spirited Argentine run started from better defence and offence plays to cut the lead to within one 19-18. Conte’s hit from the backrow brought the score back up for Argentina 22-21. Velasco called timeout for his team at 23-22 then a tight exchange of rallies ensued. Argentina finally broke free as Javier Filardi’s attack was blocked out to end the set 28-26.

Argentina led 8-4 and 16-12 in the technical breaks of the third set. Conte also showed excellent defence that kept his other team-mates running their offence. Argentina increased their lead 18-13 that prompted USA coach John Speraw to call for time. Argentina still led and left handed hitter Jose Luis Gonzalez closed the set with a superb ace 25-20.

USA fought back in the fourth set by a slim margin 25-23. USA started with a 4-1 lead but Argentina recovered and stayed close 8-7 at the first technical timeout. David Lee served an ace to make it 20-15 but with the loud cheers from the crowd, the Argentines got their rhythm back to narrow the gap to 24-23. However, Argentina captain Javier Filardi sent the ball to the net that gave the set away to USA 25-23.

USA led in the fifth set but a solid block by Sebastian Sole tied the score at 4-4. Conte’s attack gave Argentina the lead at 8-7 on side change. Then at 9-8, an important challenge favoured USA. Sole’s block brought the lead back to Argentina 11-8 until Conte found an open court to score put the lead up 12-8. Gonzalez gave Argentina match point and Sole’s block finished the set and match 15-11.

The light blue - white jersey team will return to Argentina at 7.00 Tuesday morning via Frankfurt with Lufthansa flight LH 0511.

Press Conference:

Argentina coach Julio Velasco: “I am glad we won against the USA, as I often call this team as a role model for our team. What I asked my players for today is to fight for each ball. We did better in a lot of elements but we still did not play so well as we hoped for. The two victories in Bydgoszcz have been good for us. For sure next year, it will be easier to improve and continue our change as a team.”

Argentina captain Javier Filardi: “I am really happy we could compete against the best teams in the world, and even more that we won against them. It was a hard game for us, which makes the victory taste even sweeter.”

USA coach John Speraw: “I am really disappointed, especially in the second set. Despite our advantage we did not win this set. It was not the best day for our hitters. We have played better in this season and we expected this tournament to be a better one for us. Now we have to learn the lesson from it so we can continue to move on as a team.”

USA captain David Lee: “Argentina played a very good match especially in defence, which made it difficult for us to attack. Unfortunately, we lost concentration. We stopped being focused and now we have to end our run in the competition.”

All Argentine matches at the World Championship Poland 2014:

Bydgoszcz Pool E (2nd round)

Wed - 11.30 v France 1-3 (Info)

Thu - 11.30 v Iran 0-3 (Info)

Sat - 11.30 v Italy 3-1 (Info)

Sun - 11.30 v USA 3-0

Wroclaw Pool A (1st Round)

Sun - 11.00 v Venezuela 3-0 (Info)

Tue - 8.00 v Serbia 1-3 (Info)

Thu - 8.00 v Cameroon 3-0 (Info)

Sat - 8.00 v Australia 3-0 (Info)

Sun - 11.30 - v Poland 0-3 (Info)