Iran Blitz Aussies 3-1 to Capture Pool b Top Spot at AVC Cup
Defending champions Iran downed Australia 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 25-16) and took their second win on the second day of 6th AVC Cup for Men at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium.
Both sides stuck to each other from the beginning relying on their powerful spikes as the score rose from 8-7 at the first technical timeout to 14-16 in favor of Iran at the second. Australia continued to give pressure to their opponents by pushing the score to 18-19, but they failed to last longer. With 3 points in a row, Iranians established a safe 22-18 lead and smoothly reached a 25-20 set win.
The second set went in a similar way as Australia chased closely until 22-22 tie. A timeout called by Iran wrecked Australians’ efforts. Winning straight three points, Iran ended the second set in 25-22.
In the third set, Australia solved their problem in service and scored effectively at the beginning. With many nice plays, they got their first winning set 25-18 in this Cup.
Though Australia had many great plays in offense and defense in the fourth set, their service problem resumed and stopped them having a comeback. Iran took the set 25-16.
“My team performed well today. Certainly, we were capable to win the game by encouraging our players, and we just did so on the court, just like how we won at the third set,” said Australia head coach Liam Sketcher. “Although we are younger team in this Cup, I do not consider that age would be the main problem during the competition. They can play senior volleyball, and they did so. Yet, Chinese Taipei are a great team. It will be a tough game tomorrow night.”
Porya Yali chipped in with 17 points for Iran including 16 kills from 32 attempts, while Curtis Stockton scored match-high 21 points including 18 kills and 2 blocks as well as 1 service ace.
With the record of two 3-1 wins, Iran top Pool B, while host Chinese Taipei and Australia will fight each other Friday evening for the second place of the pool.
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