Tokyo, Japan, June 5, 2016 – Iran completed their matches at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament with a 3-2 (25-23, 27-29, 21-25, 25-18, 15-8) win over Venezuela at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday.
Mojtaba Mirzajanpour had a good all-around game and recorded 20 attacks and four of Iran’s nine total blocks. Milad Ebadipour also had a solid performance for Iran with 17 points. Venezuelan hitters Willner Rivas and Kervin Pinerua were impressive and contributed 21 and 15 points, respectively. Iran served 10 aces in the match.
Venezuela scored the first two points in the first set, but Iran grabbed the lead at 6-4 as they benefitted from their two great service aces. The succeeding plays became a point-by-point exchange led by Iran’s Mirzajanpour and Venezuela’s Kervin Pinerua. Iran gained a 24-22 edge from their opponents’ service error and an ace from Farhad Ghaemi, until Hamzeh Zarini closed the set at 25-23 with a powerful swing from the left side. In the second set, Mirzajanpour and Zarini continued to pin down their spikes, while Jhonlenn Barreto and Willner Rivas gave Pinerua some support on offence. Iran led 9-6 using their pressure serves on the Venezuelan side. After trailing Iran in the middle of the set, Venezuela tied the score at 20-all from a great block on Zarini. The deadlock and lead changes continued, until Venezuela prevailed on two attacks from the left and right flanks 29-27.
Venezuelan hitters Pinerua and Rivas played aggressively against the Iranian blockers, which helped them move ahead. The South American side established a five-point cushion with excellent defence that enabled their setter to set-up the hitters to find the open spot. Pinerua’s ace gave them set point, until they scored again to conclude the set 25-21. Iran played with better pace on offence in the fourth set, paved the way to keep a constant lead on Venezuela. Iran cruised to win the fourth set 25-18.
In the final set, Iran opened with three service aces that forced Venezuela to call a timeout. Venezuela positively responded as they tied the score at 5-all. Iran scored four straight points to increase the gap 9-5. Mirzajanpour scored on back-to-back hits that closed set and match 15-8.