UCLA sophomore Quiroga guides Argentina to 5th place at World Championship
An All-MPSF player led his nation to a top-five finish at a prestigious international tournament.
UCLA outside attacker Gonzalo Quiroga had a match-high 16 kills as No. 1 Argentina swept No. 15 Bulgaria 25-20, 25-11, 25-19 in the fifth-place championship match at the Youth World Championship on Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This was the fifth time in eight World Championship matches that Quiroga led Argentina (5-3) in kills. The Argentina captain also led all players at the tournament with 138 kills through the first two rounds, including a match-high 27 kills in a victory against the United States in the opening round.
As a freshman for UCLA last season, Quiroga was named to the Second-Team All-MPSF and the All-MPSF Freshman Team after leading the Bruins with a 2.73 kills per game average.
Argentina reached the fifth-place match after sweeping Greece in the semifinals on Saturday.
Argentina entered this tournament on its home court having won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championship and was one of the favorites to win this year’s championship. After winning its opening-round pool, though, Argentina finished its second-round pool in third place to drop out of contention for a medal finish.
Quiroga is one of six starters returning to the Bruins for the 2012 season, the final season for Hall of Fame UCLA head coach Al Scates. UCLA finished last season in the top 10 of the final coaches poll and lost in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.