Russia hold off Argentina but are denied early semifinal ticket


Cairo, Egypt, August 21, 2017 - Argentina took Russia all the way here on Monday, denying the defending champions an early qualification to the semifinals of the 2017 FIVB Men's U23 World Championship, despite their thrilling 4-3 (11-15, 15-12, 13-15, 15-13, 8-15, 15-12, 16-14) win.

Russia, who remain undefeated after four matches, had not dropped a single set prior to today. But now they still need three sets (for one ranking point) against Iran on the closing day of pool play, Wednesday.

This was the fourth seven-setter in the competition after two on the opening day an another earlier today. It was also the highest-scoring match so far in the U23 Worlds.

All matches in Cairo are played under a new scoring system currently being tested: a best-of-seven, 15-point set format.

Argentina can also qualify from Pool B with any win for full points over China in Wednesday's opening match. Otherwise, they'll have to wait for the outcome of the Russia v Iran match later in the day.

Russia dominated Argentina with a tournament high of 14 blocks (to Argentina's eight) including five from Aleksei Kononov.

Sergei Pirainen once again led the scoring for Russia with 20 points as Kirill Ursov added 14. But top scorer of the game was Argentina's German Johansen with 22.

Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017
FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017 - Schedule
FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017 - Teams - Volleyball
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