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Peerless Poglajen leads Argentina to 3-1 win over Aussies

 

Melbourne, Australia, June 23, 2018 - Cristian Poglajen delivered a masterclass of power and precision to lead Argentina to an emphatic 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21) win against Australia in the men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Saturday.

Argentina's top pointscorer in the VNL, Poglajen tormented the Pool 17 hosts at the Hisense Arena with his lethal combination of brute strength and precision as he finished with a game-high 17 points, featuring 14 spikes from 28 attempts, as well as two thundering aces and a block.

Bruno Lima was also in devastating form, particularly in the opening set to lay the platform for his team's win, as he racked up 12 kills in his 15 points, while Agustin Loser spearheaded the Argentine defence with four kill blocks in his 13 point tally.

Jordan Richards led the Australians with 15 points, all spikes, while Nehemiah Mote contributed 14 and Max Staples chipped in with 11 after starting on the bench.

Argentina came into the match on the back of four straight defeats in the VNL but had never lost to the 'Volleyroos' in their five previous head-to-head clashes at world level events and kept their perfect record intact.

With Lima stamping his authority on the match from the outset, the South Americans raced through the opening two sets in brilliant fashion, aided by some loose serving from the Australians.

The home side rallied late to win the third set, clinching it with an angled spike from Staples that was challenged by Argentina but had clipped the line, and Australia led for most of the fourth, raising the hopes of the local supporters.

But Argentina's strong defense proved decisive with two key kill blocks helping wrap up victory for the visitors.

With the win, Argentina improved to 3-11 in the competition while Australia fell to 5-9. Both teams are out of contention for a place in the finals.

Argentina's next opponent on Sunday is Olympic champions Brazil while the Pool 17 hosts Australia tackle world champions Poland in the final round of pool games.

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