Top scorer Kervin Pinerua and his Venezuelan teammate, libero Hector Mata, rejoice
Tunis, Tunisia, June 25, 2016 - Kervin Pinerua contributed 24 points to Venezuela's roller-coaster five-set win against Mexico in their FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 Group 3 match in Tunisia. The South American squad defeated their North American opponents by 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 15-10) and are still in contention for a spot in next week's Group 3 finals.
Top scorer Pinerua's teammate Jonathan Quijada impressed with the seven blocking points he contributed. On the Mexican side, Samuel Cordova and Daniel Vargas shared the honours with 15 points each.
This was the first World League encounter between these two Latin American nations and also Venezuela's first victory over Mexico in a major international competition.
With Vargas as the main guy in charge of the offence, Mexico was well in control of the first set, winning it by 25-22.
Pinerua exploded with seven points in the second set to help Venezuela lead the way throughout the set and close it at an impressive 25-18.
Set 3 was more competitive, at least through the second technical time-out, which came at 16-14 Venezuela's way. From that point on, the South Americans managed to hold on to their lead and finished the set off at 25-21.
It looked like Venezuela were cruising towards the three points, as they had the upper hand in the fourth set until after the second technical time-out. However, with Vargas once again on fire, especially in blocking, Mexico mastered a turn-around, which led to 25-23 in their favour.
The tie-breaker set went even until the side-switch, after which Venezuela managed to break away thanks to their better blocking effort and eventually claim a 15-10 set win and a 3-2 match victory.