Nebraska’s Kubik scores 31 in Team USA win. Day 5 of Girls’ U18 Worlds

  0 Liam Smith | August 22nd, 2017 | African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball



Nebraska bound Madison Kubik scored an amazing 31 points as Team USA defeated Mexico in a come from behind win after five long five sets (17-25, 24-26, 25-19, 30-28 and 15-10).  She was helped by Texas bound Logan Eggleston, who tallied 17, while Mica Allison registered 13 and Kendall Kip 10. Team USA will no go on to face Slovenia in the round of 16.

Uxue Guerreca also had a high scoring game, leading Mexico with 28 points, Grecia Castro scored 15, Natalie Nava 11 and Melanie Parra 10. Mexico missed three match points in the fourth set and could not close it as needed to achieve their possible first victory of the tournament.

On the other side, the United States came from behind after a 0-2 deficit and capitalized their blocking points with a 13-7 final balance. Mexico prevailed in services 9-5, with three aces by Castro and three by Uxue Guereca. However, Mexicans gave up 36 points while the Americans surrendered 32 in two hours and eight minutes of game time.

Here are the post match reactions:

Madison Kubik, USA: “It was an exciting match, we really fight back in the fourth set after being down in the first two. The most important thing is that we overcome, we played like a group and we got the victory. I was on the bench and I came into the court to do my part and help the team because that is what I am here for, so I’m happy for that. We have to wait for our rival on the eight finals now, I expect we can play respecting our strategy.”

Jim Stone, Head Coach – USA: “I’m glad because sometimes when you won such a long set like the fourth was, you can go down in the following, but it didn’t happen. We played very well on the last set, so I’m pleased with the comeback. Mexico is a very good team, their defense was amazing and they did some excellent plays today. We have so much respect for their staff and team, it was a good game for us to win and a hard match for them to lose. Eighth finals will be a big challenge for us and hopefully, we can compete as best as possible to give one more step.”

Natalie Minjarez, Mexico: “We were all together for this match, we didn’t give up and we fight every ball until the end. I think we had to be more aggressive at the end to finally get the victory, but we have grown a lot. It was an amazing experience, we were united and even we couldn’t win, we are satisfied with the way we played today.”

Ricardo  Naranjo, Head Coach – Mexico: “We’re sad because we were too close, and that small difference means everything in a tournament like this and at this level. We couldn’t solve the game in one play and we lost the qualification to be among the best 16 teams in the world. We have our heart in peace, but our head burning since the girls grew as sport-women and players and that’s part of being in a World Championship.”

Below, complete pools and recaps from the day’s action.

Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Argentina 4 0 11 12 4 3.000 377 317 1.189
2  Slovenia 2 2 7 9 6 1.500 322 307 1.049
3  Germany 2 2 5 9 10 0.900 395 393 1.005
4  South Korea 2 2 5 6 9 0.667 305 328 0.930
5  Cuba 0 4 2 5 12 0.417 327 381 0.858

Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Russia 4 0 11 12 2 6.000 333 260 1.281
2  Belarus 3 1 9 9 4 2.250 304 262 1.160
3  United States 2 2 4 7 10 0.700 338 383 0.883
4  Brazil 1 3 5 7 9 0.778 337 329 1.024
5  Mexico 0 4 1 2 12 0.167 258 336 0.768

Pool C

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Italy 4 0 11 12 2 6.000 336 250 1.344
2  Poland 3 1 10 11 4 2.750 352 311 1.132
3  Serbia 2 2 6 6 7 0.857 287 286 1.003
4  Colombia 1 3 3 4 9 0.444 277 293 0.945
5  Thailand 0 4 0 1 12 0.083 213 325 0.655

Pool D

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Turkey 4 0 12 12 2 6.000 344 263 1.308
2  Japan 3 1 9 10 3 3.333 322 253 1.273
3  Dominican Republic 2 2 6 7 7 1.000 289 301 0.960
4  Peru 1 3 3 4 10 0.400 306 320 0.956
5  China 0 4 0 1 12 0.083 198 322 0.615

FIVB Recaps

Dominican Republic x China

In order to decide their place in the upcoming Round of 16, Dominican Republic smoothly defeated China 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-21) and finished on Pool D on the third slot with a 2-2 campaign, while the Asians will play for the 17th place of the competition. Madeline Guillen, Yanlis Feliz and Natalia Martinez formed a power trio of scorers for Dominican Republic, with 15, 13 and 10 points respectively. Middle-blocker Geraldine Gonzalez added 9 for the Dominican Republic and all of them were above China’s best scorer – Che Wenhan with 7 points.

After a 5-point tie, Dominican Republic won seven straight points and that was it for China in the first set, as the Caribbean side grew stronger with Martinez and Feliz opening the way for a 25-13. The Dominican counterattack machine kept working as the gap widened even more in the second set (25-11), leading to a third one in which China improved, but still couldn’t place on range and Dominican Republic secured the win by 25-21.

Here are the post match reactions:

Alexandre Ceccato, Dominican Republic coach: “China still need development and I think we could take advantage of that. We had two great first sets and had more mistakes on the third, but the analysis of the game is still a very good one. We are very happy about getting the third place of the pool, but we know our next rival will be a very difficult one. However, we know we will try to put a fight.”

Yaneirys Rodríguez, Dominican Republic player: “The whole team played well today, our performance was very good. We only went down a little bit on the third set, maybe we were over confident, but fortunately we could win it on time. We faced some great teams so far, like Turkey, and now we’ll see what happens on the next round. We know it will be a challenge.”

Xu Jiande, China coach: “We tried to play better than yesterday, but the players are not strong enough yet. In this level, you need to spike stronger to win, and we couldn’t do it in any moment of the tournament.”

Turkey x Peru

Turkey added another win to extend their momentum in Rosario and net Pool D first place – a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) victory over Peru that allowed them to maintain their undefeated status and their perfect numbers as well. The talented duo of Ebrar Karakurt and Yaprak Erkek topped the charts of the game, with 14 and 11 points. Peru’s Kiara Montes finished also with 11 points, as the only player with double figures in the fourth-placed team of the pool.

Once again, Karakurt and Erkek fulfilled the task for Turkey and, although Peru reacted on the final moments with a brave Kiara Montes, a long shot gave shape to a European 25-20. Peru recovered at the birth of the next set, but Karakurt and Atlier reappeared to change the course of the game 16-12 and then rush to 25-17. Changing a handful of players, Turkey remained in control and Erkek grabbed the wheel to complete the 25-19.

Here are the post match reactions:

Sahin Catma, Turkey coach: “This tournament is not only the first part – for us, it starts right now. Now we are waiting to know who we will face in the next round; it doesn’t matter which team we will be facing as we consider all of them important. If we want to go a step further, we need to keep our volleyball at a high level.”

Ilkin Aydin, Turkey captain: “It was an important game, we wanted to finish the first round in the first position; we played really well and did a good job during the match. I want to congratulate my team as this game was a good experience for us. In terms of defense and attack we are a good team, so we combine these two aspects to conform a good team. Now we dream on winning the championship.”

Kiara Montes, Peru player: “Against Japan and Dominican Republic we gave away the match. With Dominican Republic it was like we didn’t want to win; we had the game in our hands and gave it to them. We improved against China, but today we entered with our heads down; the first set showed us we had a chance to win but things weren’t the way we wanted.”

Marco Queiroga, Peru coach: “We are still lacking on finishing the points at some moments. We can go much further than where we are now, considering we played well against an exceptional team as Japan, we were the dominating side against Dominican Republic but with those problems to close the points, we won against China and today we showed a lot of respect for Turkey as they did towards us. All these speaks well of Peruvian volleyball. We still don’t have enough experience, but this has to be a way of getting ready for the hard match we will have tomorrow.”

Russia x Brazil

Russia concluded the first phase of the tournament on top of Pool B, after a victory over Brazil in another five setter. Rusia won by scores of 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25 and 15-9 in 2 hours and 18 minutes of game time, with Victoria Pushina as top scorer with 19 points, followed by Oxana Yakushina who scored 18. Aleksandra Borisova and Irina Soboleva tallied 10 apiece also for Russia, while Brazil’s Tainara Santos closed as best match scorer by totaling 21 points. Beatriz Pereira also registered double digits, with 16 units. Along with Pereira and Santos, Julia Bergmann, Daniela Seibt and Lanna Gomes scored 11 apiece.

Russia prevailed in services 7-5. Both teams had an almost even fight in blocks with 11 by Russia against 10 by Brazil that gave up 31 points by error. The Russians surrendered 27, but closed as number one in their Pool with four wins, 11 points, a 6.000 set ratio and a 1.280 point ratio.

Here are the post match reactions:

Alexander Karikov Head Coach of Russia: “We knew before the match that we was secured in the first place of the Pool and we wanted to let the players that are not usually in the initial line up to have practice. We took this game as a preparation for tomorrow’s match. We wanted to analyze in which conditions are our players for the rest of the competition.”

Victoria Pushina, Player of Russia: “We’re very happy with winning this game because Brazil was an excellent rival and it was so difficult to play against them. It was our first game of five sets, but I think its because we couldn’t show our best level. We will now prepare for tomorrow’s game where we would try to do our best and play better again.”

Beatriz Santana, Player of Brazil: “I think we did a very good match. Also Russia played well, but I’m happy because we really fight until the end. Sadly we couldn’t win, but we did good things today. We expect we can win tomorrow against Argentina for us and all our people.”

Mauricio Thomas, Head Coach of Brazil: “Russia is the best team in the world today and we wanted to face them to see if it was possible and my girls show they’re capable and that they can do a lot of good things. I’m happy because we fight even we didn’t get the triumph, we played better in reception and we played as equals. I think we’re on a good way to keep fighting. Argentina was first on its group playing very well, with a great evolution and playing at home, so it’s going to be a war.”

Korea x Germany

Korea recovered from a 0-2 temporary score against Germany and came back in the third to claim the victory in five sets (21-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-13) in Pool B. Minji Choi and Miyun Jong scored 17 points apiece for the Koreans that widely distributed their attack in the sets 3 and 4. Hyemin Park finished with 12 while Juan Lee and Miog Sim tallied 10, each. Lina Alsmeier, of Germany, closed as match scoring leader with 26 points. Emma Cyris finished with 18, followed by Luisa Keller with 17 and Josepha Bock with 12.

In the last set, Germany had a big advantage but could not keep order when trying to close key plays. Both teams were even in mistaken points. Korea gave up 28 and Germany 27. Also in blocks and services actions were balanced. Germany converted 9 blocking points against 8 by Korea and aced 16 times, one more than the Asians representatives. This was the third match decided in tie-breaker of day 5 in the venue of Santa Fe after the ones played between The United States and Mexico and Russia and Brazil on Tuesday’s morning session. The duel lasted 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Here are the post match reactions:

Wanki Cho, Head Coach of Korea: “Germany played very well on the first and second set, so it was hard to us to play. At third our conditions went high and I’m really glad we maintained the level in the rest of the game. For tomorrow’s game we will have to play well in service and reception, they have tall players so our defense needs to be good too.”

Juah Lee, Player of Korea: “I got my ankle injured during a game and the doctor took care of me so I can be back on the court as soon as possible. I feel really happy to be back and for this victory. We will have to play well tomorrow.”

Jens Tietböhl, Head Coach of Germany: “We played a good game today, maybe we have some problems with the easy balls, but we’re happy with the way we did it. Now we need to prepare for tomorrow’s game, this is a very hard tournament. We don’t have much time, we need to analyze our opponent and mostly, concentrate on our game.”

Lina Alsmeier, Player of Germany: “I think we lost out aggressiveness throughout the game. On the third set we played a little bit down and maybe we thought the match was easy to win, and then Korea was very well. They fought and play really fast, we couldn’t close it. Now we will have a a really hard match on the eight finals.”

Serbia x Colombia

Serbia had to work hard to defeat spirited Colombia and achieve Pool C third place, but in the end they prevailed 3-1 (25-18, 12-25, 25-20, 25-22) with solid performances from Sara Caric and Barbara Batinic. Main scorer Caric once again led the charts, this time with 21 points, while Batinic came up as a starter for the first time and lived up to it with 16 tallies. Colombia relied on teamwork to compete and had great moments on the blocking department, with a 15-6 advantage. Individually, Ana Olaya and Emelys Martinez were paired with 11 points each and Manuela Ibarguen nailed 10.

Colombia didn’t panic against Serbia and fought as an equal until a European 16-15 on the first set, but after the second TTO Caric and Batinic teamed up to break free 25-18. However, Serbia began failing and three consecutive errors gave Colombia a 19-10 lead that turned into a massive 25-12 after a spike by Ibarguen. With the 1-1 tie, Serbia regrouped and got back ahead 25-20, to close it after a while despite the permanent resistance from Colombia, 25-22.

Here are the post match reactions:

Jovo Cakovic, Serbia coach: “I want to congratulate my team and Barbara (Batinic), who played for the first time as a receiver and did it well. In the second set we made 11 unforced errors, and you can’t win playing like that. Now we need to get ready to face Japan; they are a very strong team, but we can play better than we already have.”

Barbara Batinic, Serbia player: “It was my first match as a receiver; at first it was hard to get used, but I did practice a lot, so I’m happy with what I did. It was our last match in the group, it was important and I want to congratulate my team for the victory. Tomorrow we will face Japan in the most important match so far; if we win, we will have accomplished our objective, which was finishing among the first 8 teams.”

Manuela Ibarguen, Colombia player: “We gave our best at this very difficult match. We found a very high level at the competition and that already made us play a bit better, but there’s still a long way to go. Now we will have to face a great team as Turkey, but we know we will play with all we have.”

Antonio Rizola, Colombia coach: “We have worked well considering the team still needs to play more. We played a great second set, but we have failed a couple of times in decisive moments because we don’t have that experience yet. However, what we have done so far in the World Championship is already much better than what we expected. We were projecting to be fifth-placed on the pool and we are already above four teams in the final standings.”

Italy x Thailand

In need of a victory to finish on Pool A in first place, Italy was unstoppable to defeat Thailand 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-17) led by a 12-point match from middle-blocker Marina Lubian. Supporting Lubian was Italian captain Alessia Populini with only one point less, while Elena Pietrini, Valeria Battista and Fatime Kone trailed with 9, 8 and 7 tallies, respectively. All of them had higher numbers than the Thai players.

Italy bolted a 2-0 global lead in no time, with Lubian spiking and blocking the way. Thailand tried to use their defensive recipe, but they could only watch speechless how Italy moved to 25-10 and 25-12. The Asian counterattack got better in the third set, but the defending champions kept drilling and created the gap at 18-13, to wrap it up a while later by 25-17.

Here are the post match reactions:

Marina Lubian, Italy player: “We obviously hoped to play well in this first round, I’m happy because we could win these matches playing in a very good level. We still have a lot to give, we always think we can do it better than the last time; as our coach says, a winning team always grows through the tournament, so according to that, this is not our best version yet.”

Marco Mencarelli, Italy coach: “We started building the path to the second round; maybe taking profit of the rival that we faced today which allowed us to train some tactical aspects. I could also test some players from the bench, so in every aspect it was a positive match for us. For sure we are a resourceful team, we chose to play in a way that paid off for us in all games; we could solve every difficulty we had.”

Jarun Niemtuptim, Thailand coach: “We had a plan to have a chance, even knowing that it was hard we tried our best. We didn’t have any more pressure than the other games, so the girls could play better. We know China very well, and face them in the Asian Championships; we need to serve and attack well to beat them.”

Pannapa Chanphuk, Thailand captain: “We know that it would be hard playing against Italy and I feel we played well anyway. Now, tomorrow’s match against China will be a flashback to the Asian Championships; it’s not an easy game but it’s not hard as well.”

Cuba x Argentina

Argentina defeated Cuba in five sets to finish the first round of tournament undefeated and on top of Pool A by scores of 23-25, 16-25, 25-20, 27-25 and 15-11. Sofia Meinardi topped with 19 points for the host team while Candela Salinas scored 13 and Guadalupe Martin 12. Dominique Corsaro also was in the double digit club of the night with 10 tallies. Elizabeth Vicet topped for Cuba with 21 units. Ailama Cese tallied 18 while Odaimis Leliebre scored 13 and Yamisleidis Viltres 12.

The team coached by Estanislao Vachino came back thanks to good service (13-7 on aces). Cuban best weapon was the blocking game in the first two sets that practically controlled the locals in front of the net. The pupils of Tomas Fernandez led the column 18-13 with Viltres as their best converter with seven units. Argentina gave up 26 points, but capitalized 43 from Cuban mistakes that made a huge difference. The local squad will face Brazil as their next rival in second phase of the tournament. As a matter of fact, all the matches played on day 5 in Santa Fe were solved in five sets.

Here are the post match reactions:

Victoria Mayer, Player of Argentina: “I’m really happy because we’re growing every day. Today the first two sets we played down, but we knew how to comeback and we got the victory. About Brazil, we didn’t think about it yet, but we know it will be hard from now on. We have to play point by point and focus on our game.”

Estanislao Vachino Head Coach of Argentina: “Cuba is always Cuba, they have a lot of physical and blocking potential. I think we entered relaxed because we knew we were already qualified and maybe thinking about tomorrow’s game, that made it difficult for us. Hopefully, we reacted in the third; winning is always good and it’s useful for our heads especially. Brazil will be a hard rival, but it will be very nice and the girls are so excited, so we expect an amazing game with people helping us to give one more step.”

Tomas Fernandez Arte, Head Coach of Cuba: “Today we have a nice headache because the girls played good and it was big for our development. When you lost 3-0 is not good, but playing five sets against a great team as Argentina, is important. We wish them good luck now, they’re squad really organized that plays very good. We committed many mistakes in serve and block and we depend on that. We will try to end in the best possible position now.”

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