Favorites Show Dominance On Day 2 Of Women’s U23 Worlds

  0 Liam Smith | September 11th, 2017 | 2017 U23 World Championships, African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball


The second day of competition saw six exciting games of volleyball in Ljublijana. Brazil, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and China all play very effectively and remain unbeaten in the tournament. Below, you’ll find updated pools and FIVB recaps from all of the day’s action.

Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Slovenia 2 0 6 8 1 8.000 135 102 1.324
2  China 2 0 6 8 2 4.000 142 105 1.352
3  Dominican Republic 1 1 3 5 6 0.833 154 150 1.027
4  Thailand 1 1 3 4 6 0.667 124 127 0.976
5  Egypt 0 2 0 4 8 0.500 140 173 0.809
6  Argentina 0 2 0 2 8 0.250 106 144 0.736

Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Brazil 2 0 6 8 0 MAX 122 73 1.671
2  Bulgaria 2 0 6 8 2 4.000 144 102 1.412
3  Japan 1 1 3 6 4 1.500 139 128 1.086
4  Turkey 1 1 3 4 4 1.000 108 111 0.973
5  Cuba 0 2 0 0 8 0.000 93 123 0.756
6  Kenya 0 2 0 0 8 0.000 51 120 0.425

Brazil x Turkey

Brazil’s spikers teamed-up to guide the reigning champions to a straight-set (17-15, 15-12, 15-6, 15-12) win against Turkey. It was the eagerly awaited Pool B first-class contest between two of the most mentioned tournament favorites. Brazil made the difference with a harmonious offense while Turkey’s setters mainly focused on their star spiker Hande Baladin (14 points). Captain Drussyla Costa booked ten kills for the winning side, including one block winner. The South Americans are on an eight-set winning streak after their opening day 4-0 win versus Kenya. Turkey has dropped to a 1-1 match record.

Reigning champions Brazil jumped out for a 5-0 lead in the early stages of the opening set. The Europeans bounced back bravely but could not catch up. It remained a tight contest in the second set (15-12) – however – the South Americans kept the upper hand. Turkey coach Ataman Guneyligil sent in Saliha Sahin and Ebrar Karakurt for the third set but it did not help (6-15). Still, Brazil kept momentum in the fourth and last set and never looked back until 15-12.

Here are the post match reactions:

Brazil coach Wagner Coppini: “It was a very hard match despite the final score. Turkey is the European Champion. We played very well in attacking. At the practice for this match, we focused on all levels of volleyball. The final result is the consequence of this training.”

Brazil captain Drussyla Costa: “We are very happy to win the second match with 4-0 as well. It was very important that we kept our concentration throughout the entire match. We remember from our last match against Turkey and all the time we tried to stay focused.”

Turkey coach Ataman Guneyligil: “If we compare the match with the one yesterday, we played better. We were much more focused. However, my spikers committed too many easy errors. We will try to concentrate now on all our other matches and improve our game.”

Turkey captain Çagla Akin: “This was not our real game; we made too many unforced mistakes. If we continue like this, we cannot win this tournament. Nevertheless, we have many matches ahead of us on which we have to focus on and solve our basic problems.”

Slovenia x Dominican Republic

Slovenia summarily dismissed the Dominican Republic 4-1 (15-11, 15-9, 11-15, 19-17, 15-11) in an hour and 16 minutes. With a second solid performance in a row the home team provided great entertainment for the fans and even when the ‘Queens of the Caribbean’ attempted a comeback after the third, Slovenia upped their game to come from behind in the fourth, fighting for every ball and taking it on their sixth set point before pushing on for the win. Sixteen points each from Sasa Planinsec (including a tournament-high six blocks) and Iza Mlakar paved the way for Slovenia who applied pressure with their serving and proved more efficient in digging and receiving – despite the best efforts of the vistors’ libero Winifer Fernandez.

Here are the post match reactions:

Slovenia middle blocker, Tina Grudina: “The Dominican Republic have unbelievable defense. They’re very stubborn and the more we attacked, the more they defended. They played with our nerves a lot and we are very pleased this was one of our strongest matches. Today we saw where we stand and where we can improve our performance and move forward.”

Slovenia captain, Eva Mori: “I feared this match the most because we played against the Dominican Republic a thousand times before. I would like to congratulate the whole team for this victory.”

Slovenia coach, Alessandro Chiappini: “This was a very important victory because this is a very hard competition. Today the Dominican Republic played very strongly and we had to fight back. I think we are the only team today that didn’t serve very well in the second part of the match. We lost quality and they started to play incredibly well. They are very strong, very powerful and we couldn’t easily find a way to stop them.”

Dominican Republic coach, Wagner Pacheco: “Slovenia have a very good team with strong defence and good attack. I’m happy.”

Dominican Republic captain, Yokaty Perez: “We had a lot of opportunities but we made too many mistakes and they cost us the match. In key moments we lacked things that cost us the victory.”

Argentina x Thailand

Thailand rallied from a set down in the beginning and held out when Argentina attempted a comeback to score their first win, 4-2 (11-15, 15-5, 15-10, 15-12, 13-15, 15-10). Thailand enjoyed a lead in the fifth that should have seen them comfortably take the match 4-1, but the South Americans caught up 11-11 and reached set point at 12-14 before Sol Piccolo sent a rocket straight down the line from the right for the set.

Wipawee Srithong powered Thailand with 20 points, including a tournament-high of four aces. Watchareeya Nuanjam scored 14 and Patcharaporn Sittisad was also on double digits with 12. Argentina coach Martin Lopez tried to change the flow of the game with several substitutions – and indeed, Camila Hiruela came on in the third to emerge Argentina’s best scorer on 12 points. But Thailand kept the pressure and finished with another tournament high of 11 aces for the whole team.

Here are the post match reactions:

Thailand coach, Chamnan Dokmai: “We are not familiar with the [new scoring] system which is very fast-paced. And due to the changes in serving, players always worry about stepping on the line so that affected our serves. That is why our serves weren’t good today. We feel okay with this match but we want to improve ourselves and hopefully the next match will be better.”

Thailand captain, Boonlert Tichaya: “Today we played quite well and we’re happy with the result. We had to adapt to the new 15-point system and we tried not to make any mistakes. At the end we succeded and we are very happy about today. Tomorrow we will face other opponents and it will be tough.”

Argentina coach, Martin Lopez: “I think in some moments we played very well in attack. Thailand were always one step ahead, especially in reception. We knew throughout the game who we we were playing against and I still believe we did well as a team. At the moment the defeat costs us a lot but we have to admit Thailand played better.”

Argentina captain Antonela Fortuna: “We knew that it was an important match but in the end we performed poorly at receiving.”

Bulgaria x Kenya

Bulgaria’s offense scored 35 points to boost their campaign with their second triumph here in Ljubljana, a 4-0 (15-1, 15-5, 15-6, 15-11) win over Kenya. Beside their 35 fruitful spikes, Bulgaria added seven successful blocks and five aces to their scorebook. Yvone Wavinya was the best scorer for Kenya with five points.

The East Europeans jumped out for an ultra-quick first set win (15-1!), building on their exceptional 4-2 win against Japan on Sunday night. Kenya did their utmost to resist but could not cope with the speed and organization Bulgaria displayed. It remained a one-sided affair in the following three sets with Antonina Zetova’s squad never looking back. Miroslava Paskova concluded Bulgaria’s imposing firework with a blistering winner from the left to make it 4 to nothing in only 54 minutes.

Here are the post match reactions:

Bulgaria coach Antonina Zetova: “The result is okay but the quality of the game today was not that good. The one good thing is that all my players had a chance to play. Nevertheless, as I said I am not satisfied with the quality of our game. We must improve from game to game.”

Bulgaria captain Gergana Dimitrova: “Our game was okay today. Kenya did not show much resistance. However, I am happy we can stay focused in matches like that.”

Kenya coach Catherine Mabwi: “The reason why we lost today was our lack of confidence. Nothing more. I wish we had started the match the way we have played it in the last set.”

Kenya captain Shyrine Jepkemboi: “We did not play our second match the way we have expected it. We managed to play better in the last set although we lost it at the end.”

China x Egypt

China remains undefeated after the second day of play, but they had to fight from 1-2 down to beat Egypt 4-2 (10-15, 15-11, 12-15, 15-10, 15-7, 15-7) in an hour and 33 minutes. For a second day Egypt produced a sensational performance and showed great fighting spirit but eventually ran out of steam as the physical superiority of China prevailed.

Setter Doaa Abdelghany was stretchered off as Egypt led 14-10 in the first. She was substituted by Mariam Ebrahim but immediately after the interruption Aya Ahmed stepped up to serve an ace and give the African side the lead. After the collapse of Egypt in the fourth, China picked up and dominated play on the net, but the Asian side still committed as many as 16 unforced errors (to Egypt’s 14).

Yunlu Wang led China with 16 points and Ye Jin, who came on off the bench in the second, added another 15. Kailin Yu rounded off the scoring for China with 14. But again it was Egypt’s Aya Elshamy with 22 points who was top scorer of the game (although she too had to be benched in the sixth due to injury), while Aya Ahmed served a tournament-high of 5 aces.

Here are the post match reactions:

China coach, Wu Sheng: “Today our players didn’t focus on the match from the start. They got into the game very slowly and Egypt played quite well today. It’s not normal for us to be that slow. We didn’t progress the way we wanted to.”

China outside hitter Wang Yunlu: “We weren’t focused like yesterday. They put great pressure on us so we didn’t block them very well, but through the match we got more focused and played as a team. I think it will get even more difficult in the next days so we need to focus on every match from the very beginning.”

Egypt coach, Maged Mohamed: “It was evident we had problems because of the injury of our setter and also our best attacker Aya. We have a young, inexperienced team, which makes a lot of mistakes. Let’s hope tomorrow we will do better.”

Egypt captain, Farida Askalany: “These [Dominican Republic yesterday and China today] were probably the two most difficult matches in the competition. I think we did good. We were so close but I think we should aim for more in the next matches. We want to win all of them.”

Japan x Cuba

Captain Misaki Yamauchi recorded 13 points to lead Japan in their dominating 4-0 (15-12, 15-12, 15-7, 15-13) win over Cuba. Yamauchi made ten fruitful attacks and three blocks to lead Japan to their first victory here in Ljubljana, Slovenia, after their unexpected lost against Bulgaria on the opening day. Best scorer for the Cuban side was Heidy Casanova with twelve kills. Japan dominated with 37 to 21 successful spikes.

Misaki Yamauchi and Miwako Osanai headed the offensive charge against Cuba to give Japan a 15-12 opening set win. The plot of the match did not change in the following sets, as the young Cubans could not take advantage of their height and power whereas Japan utilized their quickness to pull through.

Here are the post match reactions:

Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo: “Today my team played much better then yesterday. Our attacking improved. I am convinced that we will continue to play like this also in the next matches. We have to focus on our game and play with confidence.”

Japan captain Misaki Yamauchi: “We are very happy to win the first match here in Ljubljana. Despite the 4-0 victory, the match was not easy for us. We prepared well for today’s match. All my teammates played very well.”

Cuba coach Wilfredo Robinson: “Our performance today was better than against Turkey on Sunday. We improved but made too many mistakes in the end of the sets although we were good in blocking.”

Cuba captain Diaris Perez: “We hope that we would perform better in this match but in the final moments of the sets we committed too many errors and eventually lost the match.”


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