Defending champs Argentina outlast Puerto Rico in straight sets at the Pan American Games

SANTIAGO, Chile, October 30, 2023.- Defending champions Argentina outlasted Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-23, 26-24,25-15) in their first outing in the Men’s Volleyball tournament of the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games that runs from October 30 to November 4 at the Arena Parque O’Higgins.

On Tuesday, Argentina’s next opponent is the Dominican Republic, while Puerto Rico will face the host, Chile.

Both teams first Pool B match of  the competition was a closely contested duel in the first two sets. In the first set, they reached a tied score of 22, closed with a block of Argentina’s middle blocker Gustavo Maciel and a kill from Facundo Conte. In the second set, Argentina lost a set point due to  a direct attack by Puerto Rican Jonathan Rodríguez, extending  to 26-24 with a kill from Bruno Lima and an error by Puerto Rico. Argentina comfortably dominated the third set.

Pelegrin Vargas, PUR, defense

Argentina held advantages in every skill of the game, iattacks (42-35), blocks (6-1), and service points (5-0). Puerto Rico made fewer unforced errors (23-26).

Argentina’s captain Facundo Conte, scored 12 points, followed by middle blocker Gustavo Maciel and the opposite Bruno Lima with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Puerto Rico was also led by their team captain, outside hitter Pelegrin Vargas, with 11 points. Omar Hoyos added 10 points.

Argentina’s captain, Facundo Conte, said, “I think it was a very exciting game for everyone. Some of the guys are playing with the senior team for the first time. Yesterday, we all got together; it was the first practice we did all together. Daniel González, our former setter for the national team, is returning after seven years, and I imagine it was a very emotional moment for him too. I’m very happy to be here, to be part of this group. Without a doubt, after each set, we will continue to improve. We will find coordination among us, which is the most important thing in volleyball. But today, the most important thing was achieving our first goal, which was to win”.

Pelegrin Vargas, captain of Puerto Rico, explained, “It was a very important match for us, at a big stage. We have a group with a mix of young players and some older, more experienced ones, and we came here to learn and grow with this tournament. I don’t think it was bad for a first time; we had opportunities to do better things. Overall, I’m quite happy and grateful for the guy’s commitment. It has been a challenging journey because one of our players couldn’t enter the game, and for many young ones, this is their first experience. I am calm and looking forward to continuing to grow”.