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World Championship semifinal pairings, match times announced

August 8, 2011

The match-ups and start times for the World Championship semifinals are now set.

No. 9 United States and No. 1 Argentina will play in the first semifinal match at 11:30 a.m. (EST) Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro, while No. 2 Russia and No. 5 Serbia will play in the other semifinal match at 3 p.m. (EST) Tuesday.

The semifinal matchups will pit the first-place team from Pool E against the second-place team from Pool F and the first-place team from Pool F against the second-place team from Pool E.

The United States (4-2, 2-1 Pool E) lost to Russia in its second-round finale Sunday to fall to second-place in Pool E and get paired with Argentina, the second-round Pool F champions.

This will be the first semifinals match for the United States in the 40-year history of the World Championship. Prior to this tournament, the United States’ best World Championship finish in the last 10 years was seventh place in 2007.

Argentina (5-1, 2-1 Pool F) dropped its first match of the entire tournament Sunday with a five-game loss to Serbia. However, it was still able to win its second-round pool to get a top seed for the semifinals.

Argentina won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championship — the country’s first medal finish at the international tournament.

Russia, the other top seed in the semifinals, is the only remaining undefeated team at the World Championship and captured the second-round Pool E title with its five-game victory against the United States on Sunday.

Following the demise of the U.S.S.R., Russia (6-0, 3-0 Pool E) has received a medal at the World Championship six times, including most recently winning the silver medal in 2007.

Serbia (5-1, 2-1 Pool F) was the final team to reach for the semifinals.

Serbia qualified on the final day of second-round play after upsetting Argentina and then having last-place India defeat Brazil. These results moved Serbia ahead of Brazil and into second place in the final Pool F standings.

The FIVB will provide free live online video of both World Championship semifinal matches on its website.

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