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FeVA - Argentine Volleyball Federation

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21-09-2015

AFTER THE SILVER MEDAL ARGENTINE GRASS-ROOT VOLLEY DEVELOPMENT POINTED OUT

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Tijuana, Mexico, September 21, 2015 - Argentina finished in the second position at FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship. But finishing in a podium it is not easy. Everybody talk about the champion but medal winners have also merits to share.

This is the second time in one month that an Argentinian team claim an age group world championship medal.

Just a couple of weeks ago, in the cities of Resistencia and Corrientes, the Argentinian U19 national team finished with a silver medal and a month before, the senior team conquered the greatest honors at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto after beating Brazil for the gold medal.

Beyond the places at the U21 World Championships in Argentina and Mexico, the South American country programs have experience positive results.

A great group of coaches have been contributed throughout the years for the development and success of Argentinian men’s volleyball.

In Toronto, the legendary Julio Velasco was helped by two great assistants: Hernan Ferraro and Julian Alvarez, who have also worked with the younger generations.

And when talking about Alejandro Grossi, he has been in charge of great groups like the generation of Junior players that captured a bronze medal at the Senior Men’s Pan American Cup in Mexico City in 2013.

A couple of years later, another brilliant generation of players have shown their quality at a tournament that has just finished in the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, with two of them among the best players of the competition.

Matias Sanchez was named Best Setter and Santiago Danani as Best Libero.

“After all I am glad for the group.

I think we made a great championship. Finishing second it is not bad at all. It is not a bad position but it is tough at this time,” said Argentinian captain, Gaston Fernandez, who made a special recap about the final.

“We knew that it was going to be a long and tough match against a great opponent, and that’s what they were the champions of this age group two years ago”, he said.

“They forced us a lot with the service. Things became difficult for us and it was easier for them to read our game, so they knew what to do to win against us and it was.”

But the importance of reaching a final can be transcendental. “We expect to improve and whatever happened after this moments, I think we will give a special value to this medal,” coach Alejandro Grossi mentioned.

Russia kept the crown and extended their unbeaten streak to eight in a row after defeating Argentina in five sets for the gold medal. Scores were 20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-11. Argentina best record for its U 21 Men's Team in this World Championship gave them the Silver Medal facing in a terrific tiebreaker the title holder, Russia. Matias Sanchez (setter) and Santiago Danani (libero) finished being named as part of the ideal team of the competition.

Russia played the first tie-break of the World Championship but could solve the match in their favor after a 0-2 deficit.

Dmitry Volkov scored 24 points for the defending champions, while Sergei Prainien finished with 13 and Maxim Belogortcev closed with 12. For Argentina Bruno Lima was the top scorer with 16 points, while Nicolas Lazo scored 14.

Argentina had a dominant start of the game and even neutralized Russian reaction in the first set. The South American team kept concentration as well as some advantage on the scoreboard also in the second set putting the series 2-0 for the light blue - white team.

But Russia reacted in the third and fourth set as they played a tie-breaker for the first time at the World Championship. Coach Mikhail Nikolaev, requested time-outs to regroup his team.

Russia used their best weapon: services, with Denis Bogdan, Aleksandr Melinkov, Sergei Pirainen and Dmtry Volkov.

But Argentina also worked with Brian Melgarejo to keep the South American hopes alive. Bogdan aced four times, while Prainien had three successful service plays and Aleksander Melinkov 2 for the Russian team that after one hour and 58 minutes extended their hegemony in this age group.

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