Argentina seal first victory over Serbia

Argentina seal a huge win over Serbia 3-0 in the second match of the first weekend of the Intercontinental Round in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 volleyball fans.



The best weapons of the winners were blocking and serving. Facundo Conte was the best scorer of the South American’ side with 18 points — including 3 blocking and 1 serving – while Starovic totaled 11 for the European team.

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Argentina started with a quick lead 3-0 thanks to Pablo Crer ace and triple blocking before Sasa Starovic was able to score the first two points for his team. The home team kept putting pressure serving and blocking to reach a 6-2 score when Igor Kolakovic requested his first TO. Next it came Rodrigo Quiroga spike to go to the 1st. TTO 8-4. Both teams kept scoring thanks to great output and nearly 1st non unforced errors but the local team widens the lead to six points and Serbia shortens to four during the second part of the first set back and forth with the second technical time out score showing 16-12 with Facundo Conte’s spike. Serbia’s coach requested a new TO 17-12. The great difference blocking (5-2) and serving (2-0) was shortened but two great spikes of Crer, one from Conte over Starovic and the closing point of Pereyra gives Argentina the first set in this World League.

The second set beginning started tied up to 3-3 and with Conde’s blocking the host team got a 3 point difference to maintain it from 6-3 to 8-5. Serbia struggled from behind to shorten the lead of the local team to 10-9. Javier Weber’s team concentration allowed them to keep in front of the score until Milos Nikic leveled the score 13-13 but soon Argentina lead again on the 2nd. TTO 16-14. With Argentina keeping scoring blocking and spiking while Serbia’s unforced errors did not allow them to shorten the gap until the first blocking of Serbia in the set, once more leveled the set 21-21. Weber asked a TO when Luciano De Cecco mistake put the lead on Serbia 21-22. Three spikes of Conte and a blocking over Starovic closed the set to give the local team a 2-0 advantage on the match.

Nothing changed on the start of the third set but this time the tie lasted up to 6-6. The first technical time out found the score 8-6 with a frenetic crowd cheering the light and blue jersey team. Kolacovic team kept fighting with one or two point difference throughout the set up to 19-16 with a dazzling performance of Conte and Crer on one side of the net and Starovic, Kovacevic and Stankovic on the other. With the fans becoming the seventh player on the field the set and the match were won by the local team.

Now both teams travel to Europe to face Portugal and Finland on the second weekend.

Press Conference:
Argentina’s difference was serving pressure

Marko Podrascanin, Serbian player : Yesterday’s match was too easy but today we suffered Argentine serving. They improve a lot so my congratulations to the whole team.

Rodrigo Quiroga, Argentine captain : I congratulate my team because we played a great match. I was sure today the history would be different.We paid a high price on our debut but today Serbia suffered our serving.I am a player that enjoys spiking but I keep not being able to find my own rhythm doing that.

Igor Kolakovic, Serbian coach : My congratulations to Argentina. The difference with yesterday’s match was the growth of the Argentine team.I believe we lost concentration due to yesterday’s victory.Facundo Conte is a player that surprises me, he is very talented and has a great future ahead of him.

Javier Weber, Argentine coach : I am very happy with the victory. The idea was to improve and today we did it.I did not expect a 3-0 but a 3-2 so it was a great match for our boys.Our serving was clue to force their reception.Another clue was to obtain points with our first ball spiking.Now I will try to find what great teams do: to maintain the good level of output during the two hours a match lasts.Crer, Sole and Conte are very young players with great talent.They are the future of our team.

Mixed Zone:

Gustavo Scholtis: I think Serbia played like a strong team but could not maintain yesteday’s momentum. We put pressure serving and that gave us great result.For the pool it is a very important that we won.We are very good, with a great attitude and we did what the coach asked us to do.

Sebastian sole: It was very good to win at home.The difference with yesterday’s match was great but we must keep working I am very happy to be able to play.

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