Lavia leads Italy in fifth win in Men’s U21 World Championship

Manama, Bahrain, July 23, 2019 – Italy extended their winning streak to five matches after taking a 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 31-29) victory against Iran to lead Pool F of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship. 

Daniele Lavia scored 24 points, with Kristian Gamba adding another 16 markers for Italy’s win on Tuesday. Porya Yali topped all scorers for Iran with 20 points. 

Italy started off strong taking the first two sets, but never without Iran’s intense level of play. By the third set, the Asian side switched to their second setter, which paid off in improving their attack rhythm. In the fourth set, Italy resisted with steadier plays and sound decisions in the crucial moments of the match. 

Argentina defeated hosts Bahrain 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-15) in the other Pool F match on Tuesday evening. The South American side led on all fronts, scoring off 46 attacks, 9 blocks and 7 service aces. Argentine middle attacker Franco Medina connected with 15 points to lead all scorers on the board. 

Earlier, Brazil defeated Russia in four sets 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-22), which brings the South American side to the top of Pool E. Brazilian hitter Victor Aleksander Cardoso led with 24 attacks and a service ace. Opposite Maksim Sapozhkov scored 22 points in the European side’s loss. 

Russia’s Sapozhkov (103) now joins Argentina’s Luciano Palonsky (117) in reaching the 100-point mark in the competition. 

Also in Pool E, China claimed a straight-sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-20) win over Korea. The Chinese team dominated their opponents in attacks (36 points) and in blocks (11 points). Xiu Chengcheng, Zhai Dejun and Tian Cong were China’s attacking trio, all figuring in double-digits in Tuesday’s win. 

The second round comes to a conclusion on Wednesday. Korea and Brazil (11:30 local) and Russia and China (14:00 local) play in Pool E. Italy and Argentina (16:30 local) and Bahrain and Iran (19:00 local) play in Pool F. 

The top two teams in Pool E and Pool F will progress into the semifinals to be held on Friday at Bahrain’s Isa Sport City.

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