2018 FIVB MEN’S VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE – WEEK 1/POOL 2
- May 25-27, 2018
- Beilun Gymnasium; Ningbo, China
- Time Zone: UTC + (US Eastern Time +12)
- World Rankings: #2 United States, #7 Argentina, #14 Bulgaria, #20 China
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
|25 May||16:00||Argentina||2–3||United States||27–25||26–24||24–26||21–25||10–15||108–115||P2 P3|
|25 May||19:30||China||2–3||Bulgaria||18–25||25–18||25–19||17–25||11–15||96–102||P2 P3|
|26 May||16:00||Bulgaria||1–3||United States||19–25||25–22||19–25||20–25||83–97||P2 P3|
|26 May||19:30||China||3–0||Argentina||25–22||25–21||25–18||75–61||P2 P3|
|27 May||16:00||Bulgaria||3–1||Argentina||19–25||25–19||25–21||25–22||94–87||P2 P3|
|27 May||19:30||China||0–3||United States||20–25||24–26||18–25||62–76|
Bulgaria def. Argentina 3-1
- Bulgaria defeated Argentina 19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22
- Bulgaria moved to 2-1 (5 points); Argentina moved to 0-3 (1 point)
Argentina put up a good fight, winning the first set despite resting middle blocker Pablo Crer and outside hitter Ezequiel Palacios for the entire match, but ran out of gas in the end against a strong Bulgarian block.
The Bulgarians’ 11-6 advantage in blocks was the difference in an otherwise close match statistically. Bulgaria also owned a slight 2-1 edge in aces and earned one extra point off of Argentinian miscues (26-25). Both teams put down 55 kills.
Nikolay Uchikov paced the Bulgarians with 26 points, including a match-high 25 kills. Valentin Bratoev (15) and Svetoslav Gotsev (12) also chipped in double-digit scoring efforts. Bratoev downed 11 kills and put up four blocks, while Gotsev notched seven kills and registered a team-best five stuffs.
Argentina went with a more balanced attack with Bruno Lima (12), Lisandro Zanotti (11), Agustin Loser (11) and Tomas Lopez (11) sharing the scoring load. Lima posted a team-best 12 kills, while the other three pounded down 10 apiece. Joaquin Gallego guided the team at the net with four blocks.
Here are some post-match reactions:
Argentina coach Julio Velasco: “Congratulations to Bulgaria for the victory. For us it was a good match, we fought all throughout the match, but it wasn’t enough. Bulgaria changed some players and we had problems. We couldn’t block against their attack and we made some mistakes. I think we had a good experience in China. Next week, some players who are training in Argentina will join the team. We hope that we can start winning when we have the full team.”
Bulgaria coach Plamen Konstantinov: “I am happy for the victory. We needed more passion in this match because Argentina are a fighting team. They have so many young players in their line-up. We felt that it is important to win the match. We were under pressure because we were expected to win. We found the solution after the first and I am happy for the guys who came off the bench and helped us take the victory.
“Under the new system, we will play three matches a week, so it is impossible to play with just six players. I am happy all my players will get their experience in this tournament. We all know that we need to improve in the next matches.”
Bulgaria player Nikolay Uchikov: “We understood our mistakes in the first set. We analysed what we did and what we didn’t do, so we tried to fix it as fast as possible.
“It is important for us to start playing our style, but we didn’t start well and gave points away from our mistakes. We had miscues in blocks and some miscommunication. These are normal things because we have just been together for one week. We will start to play better and better each day.”
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