Pereyra's 23 points weren't enough for UPCN to win their opening match (Photo: ACLAV)

Tokyo Olympic medallist Federico Pereyra had a promising debut with UPCN San Juan, but the 33-year-old opposite wasn’t able to guide his team to victory in their opening match in the 2021-2022 Argentinean League on Thursday.

The only Olympic medallist to compete in the national league in Argentina this season, Pereyra produced a match-high 23 points (15 kills, three aces, three blocks), but saw his new team fall to Defensores de Banfield in four sets (34-32, 25-23, 24-26, 25-23) in Parana.

Playing in Argentina for the first time since 2019, Pereyra had a promising start, producing 11 points in the first set of the match. He remained as a consistent producer for the eight-time Argentinean champions throughout the match, but Banfield were better in the deciding moments of the sets to secure the win.

Middle blocker Bruno Jesus (15) and outside hitter Manuel Armoa (13) also had solid performances for UPCN, but with five players – Lucas Mendez (23), Antu Isso (15), Leonel Escudero (14), Lautaro Verdun (13) and Rodrigo Palumbo (ten) – scoring in double digits, Banfield came out on top.

UPCN’s second match of the season will be played on Friday, against club Atletico Paracao.

This season, the club finished fifth at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship and took silver medals in both the Argentinean Supercup and the Copa Centenario and bronze in the Argentinean Cup.