FIVB U21 Championships
- June 23-July 2, 2017
- Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Egypt 3, United States 1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19)
Italy 3, Czech Republic 2 (23-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 18-16)
Italy stayed atop Pool G with a five-set win over the Czech Republic, while Egypt kept the United States from building on its first victory.
Egypt 3, United States 1
Miscues again doomed the Americans, keeping the team from garnering its second straight win. The United States committed 29 errors in a four-set loss to Egypt on Thursday and were outserved 9-3, but won the offensive battle (54-53) and blocking front (13-7).
“This was a good match,” Egyptian coach Maged Mohamed said. “My team showed a good discipline and good analysis of the game.”
Egypt held off the American attack, including nine points by Kyle Ensing, in a 25-22 Set 1 win. Ensing added nine more points and hit at a 50 percent clip, helping the USA to a 25-23 Set 2 victory. The United States boasted a large lead in Set 3 only to see it slip away in a 25-18 win. Egypt wasted no time building a nine-point edge en route to closing out Set 4 at 25-19.
“We seemed to respond well but couldn’t put it together and that makes the difference towards the end of the tournament,” USA coach Jay Hosack said. “We have to work harder to be consistent for longer periods of time.”
Omar Aly racked up 21 points, with 18 kills, two blocks and an ace, to lead Egypt. Mohamed Aly (14), Man Badawi (13) and Abdelrahman Seoudy (12) followed. Mohamed Aly added a team-leading four stuffs and three aces, while Badawi and Seoudy managed 10 kills apiece.
Ensing scored a match-high 23 points, including 20 kills and two blocks. Brett Rosenmeier added 15 points, including 14 kills and an ace. George Huhmann put up a team-best five blocks, while Scott Stadick added four.
Italy 3, Czech Republic 2
Italy won all facets of the game in a five-set thriller against the Czech Republic on Thursday. The Italians tallied 11 more kills (59-48), two more blocks (9-7) and three more aces (8-5).
“I tried another system today and I’ve seen beautiful things happen,”Italian coach Michele Totire said. “The first place in this pool is important but we wanted something else of course.”
Italy struggled with its reception late in Set 1, allowing the Czechs a 25-23 win, but rebounded with a 25-14 Set 2 drubbing. The Czechs led 8-1 in Set 3 and held off a late Italian rally, despite a tie at 16-all midway through. Italy rallied late to grab a 25-18 Set 4 win and extend the match. Both teams had a shot at the match in the fifth set, but in the end, Italy prevailed.
Roberto Cominetti (18), Giulio Pinali (16) and Paolo Di Silvestre (12) carried the Italians to victory with double-digit point tallies. Pinali downed 16 kills, while Cominetti added 15 and Di Silvestre chipped in 10. Cominetti and Di Silvestre tallied two blocks apiece. Yuri Romano served up four aces for the victors.
Donovan Dzavoronok put up 21 points for the Czechs, with 17 kills and three aces, while Matej Smidl chipped in 14 points, recording 12 kills and two blocks.
“It was such a thriller,” Dzavoronok said. “I have to take the blame of the end of the fifth set on me. I had to take the points but I didn’t. I think we played good overall. This championship is not what we’ve hoped for but we have to take every set and enjoy the time we are here.”