FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship
- July 14-24, 2017
- Cordoba, Mexico
Bulgaria def. United States 3-2 (16-25, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12)
China def. Japan 3-1 (25-19, 30-28, 23-25, 25-23)
China (6-0) secured the top spot in Pool F, knocking off previously undefeated Japan (5-1) in four sets. Meanwhile, Bulgaria rallied for a five-set win over the United States to grab its first win of the second weekend.
China and Japan move on into the tournament semifinals. As the top finisher in Pool F, China will play Turkey, the second place finisher from Pool E. By virtue of its runner-up finish in Pool F, Japan will face Pool E winner, Russia. Semifinal matches will take place on Saturday.
The United States and Bulgaria move on to the fifth through eighth place classification matches.
Bulgaria 3, USA 2
Bulgaria and the United States met on Thursday, each looking to gain its first win in Pool F play. In the end, Bulgaria rallied from a 2-1 deficit to grab the five-set win, despite being outscored 109-101.
The Americans cruised to the 25-16 Set 1 win. Bulgaria used a midset rally to turn a 12-9 deficit into an 18-15 lead in Set 2 and despite wasting four-set point chances (up 24-20), won 26-24. After a tie at 17-all in Set 3, the Americans scored eight of the final 10 to win 25-19. Bulgaria rallied from down 17-13 and 22-19 to clinch a 25-23 victory and force a decisive fifth set. Team USA led Set 5 8-3 at the changeover, but could not hold on, instead giving up the lead at 11-10 and falling 15-12.
The United States won the block 19-10, but Bulgaria boasted a 60-50 advantage in kills and a 10-8 lead in aces. Thirty-one Bulgaria miscues, 10 more than that of the Americans, kept USA in the match.
Monika Krasteva and Elena Becheva scored 25 and 22 points respectively to lead Bulgaria to victory. Krasteva tallied a match-high 21 kills and team-best four blocks. Becheva downed 18 kills and added a team-leading four aces. Aleksandra Milanova chipped in 18 points, with 14 kills, three aces and a block.
Leah Edmond paced the United States with 17 points, including 14 kills and three blocks. Brionne Butler added 14 points, with seven kills, five blocks and two aces. Elizabeth Thayer Hall (14) and Regan Pittman (11) also added double-digit scoring efforts. Thayer Hall managed 13 kills and a block, while Pittman registered six kills, three blocks and two aces.
China 3, Japan 1
China outblocked Japan 18-5 in a four-set win for supremacy in Pool F. The 13-point differential in blocks made up for the team’s shortcomings in other areas.
Japan outdid China 57-56 in kills and 10-5 in aces, but could not close the gap in blocks. The teams were fairly even in errors with Japan committing one more than China (24-23).
Four Chinese players posted double-digit point tallies led by Hanyu Yang’s 20 point effort. Yang downed 17 kills and added two blocks and an ace. Yuqian Zhang (17), Xiaoqing Cai (16) and Han Wu (12) followed. Cai tallied 15 kills, while Zhang put up at team-best nine blocks, to go with seven kills and an ace. Wu added eight kills, two blocks and a team-best two aces.
Five Japanese players registered 10 or more points in the match. Shiori Aratani notched a team-best 16 points, with 15 kills and a block. Ai Kurugo (14), Miyuki Horie (14), Miyu Nakagawa (13) and Shuri Yamaguchi (10) rounded out the group. Horie added 14 kills, while Kurugo chipped in 12 putaways and two aces. Nakagawa served up five aces to go with seven kills and a block. Yamaguchi put up a team-best three blocks and notched seven kills.