Source: Press TV
Iran men's national volleyball team has suffered a straight-set loss at the first round of the 2015 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Cup in Japan, slumping to the Russian side. On Sunday, the Iranian squad conceded a 3-0 (24-26, 18-25 and 20-25) defeat to Russia in a match staged at the Hamamatsu Arena in the western Japanese city of Hamamatsu.
Russians players defending against an Iranian strike
Iranian volleyball players made a strong start, taking an early lead with three consecutive points. Russians then sprang into action, and tried to stop the Persians from earning points, before both teams went into the first technical timeout 8-5.
The Russian side changed tactics and player positions after the breather, and managed to bring the score level at 9-9 shortly afterwards. The Iranian sportsmen, however, did not relinquish and entered the second technical timeout 16-14. Russians finally grabbed the first set 26-24.
Russian volleyball players maintained their pressure on Iran's defense in the second set, raced out to an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout. The European athletes were up 16-15 at the second technical timeout, and won the second set 25-18 at last.
The Iranians, having lost two consecutive sets, began the third set soundly and were 8-5 ahead at the first technical time out. The Russian athletes, however, were tailing them and leveled the score at 8-8.
The Iranians then sought to extend the deficit, and recorded a 16-15 lead at the second technical time out. Russian volleyball players put right their mistakes after that, and surged ahead to close the set at 25-20.
Iran men's national volleyball team will return to action on September 16, when it takes on Italy in its opening match at the second round of the event.
The 2015 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup started in Japan on September 8, and will finish on September 23.
The tournament is a qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The top two teams will qualify for the Olympics and join Brazil, which has already secured a berth as the host country.
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