China, Iran Outlast Foes in 5-Setters, Move on to 5th-Place Showdown

  0 Wendy Mayer | July 01st, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, Canadian Volleyball, International Volleyball, News

FIVB U21 Championships


Classification Matches 5-8

Iran 3, Argentina 2 (25-23, 15-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-10)

China 3, Canada 2 (25-27, 26-24, 21-25, 28-26, 15-9)


Iran and China will meet on Sunday with fifth place on the line as both teams won five setters in classification play on Saturday. Iran topped Argentina, while China edged Canada.


Iran 3, Argentina 2

After dropping its tournament opener to Italy in three sets, Iran has made a habit of giving fans their money’s worth, playing six straight five set matches, the most recent against Argentina in Saturday’s classification round.

Saturday’s win marked the team’s fourth win in the stretch and second against Argentina, which it also defeated in Pool C play on June 25.

In this meeting, Iran capitalized on Argentinian errors in a 25-23 Set 1 win. Argentina bounced back, cruising to a 25-15 Set 2 score. Iran led by five early in Set 3, only to see its foe rally to a 25-18 victory. In Set 4, it was the Iranians that came from behind to grab a 25-22 win. Argentina was doomed in the tie-breaker by unforced errors, helping Iran to a 15-10 win and the match.

“We made the fifth place our new target,” Iranian coach Behrouz Ataei said. “It was really important to inform the team and be together. It was really a hard match and we are very happy that we won.”

Argentina won all major statistical categories, but committed 39 errors which kept the team from getting the victory. The Argentines outdid Iran offensively (63 kills to 51), on the block (10-6) and from the service line (9-2), but could not get out of its own way. Iran, on the other hand, limited its miscues to just 23, in the victory.

“We had a great match, but we let it slip away in the fourth set,” Argentina’s Luciano Palonsky said. “If we had changed a few things, the result could have been different.”

Amirhossein Esfandiar paced Iran with 14 points, including 13 kills, while Rasoul Aghchehli added 11 points and 10 kills. Ali Yousefpoornsfeji added six points, including three blocks.

Juan Horacio Bucciarellli downed a match-high 24 points for Argentina, including 22 kills and two blocks. Four other players chipped in double-digit scoring efforts: Jan Martinez Franchi (17), Sergio Soria (12), Liam Ernesto Arreche (12) and Felipe Benavidez (11). Franchi put down 17 kills, while Benavidez served up four aces and Soria managed a team-best four blocks.


China 3, Canada 2

Canada served up four aces in a 27-25 Set 1 win, but China rallied to even the match at a set apiece with a 26-24 Set 2 score. The back and forth battle continued over the next two sets as Canada grabbed a 25-21 Set 3 win and China answered with a stunning blocking effort in a 28-26 Set 4 victory. Canada boasted a slim 9-8 lead in Set 5, only to see China score seven straight points to steal away the win.

“We have played a lot of five-set matches and all my players are tired,” Chinese coach Genyin Ju said. “We fought through the end of the match. Our player Jingyi Wang played really well today. He fought a lot and so did the whole team.”

Canada tallied 10 more kills (75-65) and five more aces (9-4) in the match, but were done in by 34 miscues in the match. For its part, China managed one more block (12-11) and limited its miscues to just 16.

“Today we had our chances, but we did not make it,” Canadian coach Gino Brousseau said. “But our team never gave up, they played through the end. For China it does not matter if they are down; they are always coming back. We do not have time to feel disappointed, because we have another match tomorrow.”

Tariq Sani led all scorers with 26 points for Canada, managing 21 kills and five aces. Eric Loeppky (19), Fynnian Lionel Mccarthy (19), Matthew Passalent (17) and Deanan Gyimah (10) also turned in double-digit scoring days. Loeppky and Passalent added 17 kills apiece, while Mccarthy chipped in 10 kills and a team-best seven blocks.

Six Chinese players tallied 10 or more points in the match, led by Jingyi Wang’s 21. Wang downed 19 kills and added a block and an ace. Yuantai Yu (15), Liying Zhou (11), Nan Li (10), Zixuan Tao (10) and Zhengyang Jiang (10) followed with double-digit scoring efforts. Yu added 13 kills, while Jiang added five blocks and Tao served up two aces.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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