FIVB U21 Championships
- June 23-July 2, 2017
- Brno, Czech Republic
Iran 3, China 0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-21)
Argentina 3, Canada 2 (22-25, 30-28, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11)
Italy 3, Turkey 0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-19)
Ukraine 3, Egypt 2 (26-24, 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 15-11)
Japan 3, United States 1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-20)
Czech Republic 3, Morocco 1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20)
Poland won the U21 title over Cuba and Russia swept Brazil for the bronze, but six other matches decided the rest of the standings last week, fifth through 16th place.
Iran 3, China 0
Iran racked up 49 kills in just three sets en route to a sweep of China to sew up fifth place in the U21 Championships.
“Our championship target was to enter the top four,” Iranian coach Behrouz Atael said. “We lost very sadly in five sets against Poland so afterwards, our goal was to take the fifth place. So I am really satisfied with the result and also with the fact, that we finished the tournament with a victory.”
Each team managed 10 blocks and Iran served up three aces, while allowing just one.
Allasghar Mojarad tallied 12 points, with seven kills and a match-high five blocks, to pace Iran. Rasoul Aghchehli and Amirhossein Esfandlar added 10 points apiece. Esfandlar downed a team-best 10 kills.
Jingyi Wang scored a match-high 13 points, including 12 kills and an ace. Haoyu Du added 10 points, including a team-leading five blocks.
Argentina 3, Canada 2
In a match decided by just three points (112-109), the Argentinians made three fewer miscues (32-29). The rest of the statistics evened out: five more kills for the Argentines (74-69), balanced three more blocks (7-4) and two more aces (4-2) by the Canadians.
“We had a long preparation, but the championship did not go as well as we expected,” Argentinian captain Ignacio Roberts said. “That is why we are grateful for this victory. We are so tired, but happy.”
Limiting errors was key in the first two sets as Canada won Set 1 25-22 and Argentina answered with a 30-28 score. After suffering a 25-20 set back, Canada leveled the match with a 25-20 Set 4 win behind Eric Loeppky. Argentina capitalized on Canadian miscues in a 15-11 Set 5 victory to earn seventh place.
“Today’s match was with such a result, but generally we did not give up again,” Canadian coach Gino Brousseau said. “I am very happy with the entire tournament. Our players are university students and not to used to play at such tournaments. That is why I think our matches were very good and we managed to play well against such teams as Poland and Russia. So I am really very happy with our game and our final result at this tournament.”
Jan Martinez Franchi (22) and Geronimo Elgueta (21) led Argentina with match-high scoring. Franchi tallied a team-best 22 kills, while Elgueta added 20. Agustin Loser chipped in 14 points, with 13 putaways.
Loeppky and Taryq Sani paced Canada with 19 and 18 points respectively. Each downed 16 kills, while Loeppky added two aces and Sani put up two blocks. Jesse Elser added 10 points, with seven kills, two blocks and an ace.
Italy 3, Turkey 0
Italy led nearly throughout its sweep of Turkey to claim ninth-place in the U21 Championships. Giulio Pinali scored a match-high 18 points and his team won all major statistical categories including aces (6-2).
The Italians outdid Turkey offensively (47-33 in kills) and 6-5 on the block to overcome 22 miscues in the victory.
“I am happy but at the same time I’m not content because I remember the first match of the tournament,” Italian coach Michele Totire said. “We should have played like this from the beginning. We are very pleased with the organisation of the Championship.”
Pinali downed a team-best 14 kills, while adding two blocks and two aces. Paolo Zonca chipped in 15 points, with 13 kills, a block and an ace. Roberto Cominetti added nine points, all on kills.
Adis Lagumdzija led Turkey with 13 points, all on kills. Ozgur Turkmen added nine points, with eight kills and an ace.
Ukraine 3, Egypt 2
It came down to the fifth-set tie break, in which Egypt held the early advantage, as the Ukrainians rallied for the victory, claiming 11th place.
“If only we placed ourselves in the top eight of this competition,” Ukrainian coach Mykola Pasazhin said. “That did not go according to plan but we are very happy with the organization of this championship.”
A strong offensive charge led the Ukraine to wins in the first two sets (26-24, 25-22), but Egypt found its stride and countered with victories of 25-22 and 25-21.
“The tournament was very tough; we tried everything to end up with a good result,” Egyptian captain Abdelrahman Seoudy said.” We tried our best this match and hope the best for the future.”
Ukraine won all statistical categories to overcome 37 errors in the match. The team managed 61 kills, 13 blocks and eight aces, against Egypt’s 55 kills, 11 blocks and four aces.
Rohozhyn Andrii scored a match-high 25 points, with 17 kills, a team-leading six blocks and two aces. Tymofii Polulan added 18 points, including 16 kills, while Ostapenko Volodymyr chipped in 12 putaways.
Youssef Hamdy Awad paced Egypt with 17 points, including 16 kills. Three other players: Seoudy (12), Mohamed Aly (11) and Omar Mohamed (10) followed. Mohamed put up a team-best three blocks, while Seoudy tallied two aces.
Japan 3, USA 1
The Americans won the opening set and dominated the block, but could not overcome the Japanese down the stretch in a four set decision in the 13th place match.
The United States managed 12 blocks, while allowing just five, but were bested by the Japanese in kills (56-40) and aces (6-4) and aided the victor’s cause with 31 miscues.
“We tried to achieve a place with the top eight in this tournament but we couldn’t do it,” Japanese captain Kenta Takanashi said. “We had a really good experience here with my team and enjoyed the tournament.”
Yudai Arai put down 21 points for the Japanese side, including 19 kills and two blocks. Takanashi was the only other player in double-digits with 12 points, downing 11 kills and an ace.
Kyle Ensing led the American charge with 15 points, including nine kills, four blocks and two aces. Austin Matautia (12) and Brett Rosenmeier (10) also added double-digit scoring efforts. Scott Stadick put up a team-best four blocks.
“It is a good learning moment for these kids,” USA coach Jay Hosack. “They are well coached back home but playing with an international style of volleyball, you have to be a little bigger, faster and stronger. This placement is we didn’t want but we did want was the learning experience and we have accomplished that well.”
Czech Republic 3, Morocco 1
Home court advantage was not enough to help the Czech Republic throughout the U21 Championships, but the team was able to give its fans one final thing to cheer about, wrapping the event with a four-set win in the 15th-place match.
“It is sad, our first match was very important,” Kristian Cervinka said. “If we could’ve won that one, we would be in the top eight. Here, we didn’t play well at all. We are happy we won today, the last match we played together as a team, we won.”
After dropping the first set, the Czechs switched lineups and found success by capitalizing on Moroccan miscues and five aces. More Moroccan errors and a strong attack gave the home side the victory.
Morocco led in blocks (13-12) and aces (7-6), but fell behind by eight kills (51-43) in the loss.
Matej Smidl came through with 30 points to pace the Czech attack, tallying 25 kills, three blocks and two aces. Marek Sulc and Lukas Vasina added nine points apiece in the win. Sulc put up three blocks, while Vasina added seven kills and two aces.
Soufiane El Gharrouti managed 16 points, with 12 kills and four blocks, to lead Morocco. Oussama Elazhari and Mohamed En-Nakhai chipped in 10 points apiece, including eight kills each.
“I would like to thank the FIVB and the Czech people for their hospitality,” Moroccan coach Mohammed Abdellaoui Maan said. “This tournament gave us the chance to get to know many great people. This is sport. After our result we can still be happy because we are on the right path.”