Poland, Cuba Survive Five-Setters to Start U21 Second Round

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 27th, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News

FIVB U21 Championships

  •         June 23-July 2, 2017
  •         Brno, Czech Republic
  •         Schedule/Results


Pool E

Poland 3, China 2 (25-13, 18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-8)

Cuba 3, Iran 2 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 13-25, 15-8)


Poland dropped its first set of the U21 Championships, but remained undefeated at 4-0 with a five-set victory over China. Cuba, meanwhile, started the second stage of the tournament with a 3-2 victory over Iran. Both teams excelled on the block in the victories.


Poland 3, China 2

Thirty-four errors nearly brought Poland its first loss of the U21 Championships, but the team overcame the miscues by winning the rest of the statistical categories against China. The Polish outblocked their foe 13-7, outserved them 10-4 and managed 61 kills (to just 44).

“It is good that we won, but the way we were playing was not satisfactory,” Polish captain Jakub Kochanowski said. ”In the second and the third sets China served very well and we could not receive well. I am happy that after that the game changed.”

After cruising to a 25-13 Set 1 win, Poland found themselves trailing 2-1 soon after as the Chinese turned up their attack and serve. Poland regained its form midway through Set 4 en route to a 25-18 win. Four blocks helped keep the Polish side unbeaten in the tournament in a 15-8 Set 5 victory.

“Today’s match was very hard for us,” Chinese coach Ju Genyin said. “We did not manage the end of the game well.”

Bartosz Kwolek tallied a match-high 24 points to lead Poland, including five aces and 18 kills. Tomasz Fornal (18), Norbert Huber (13) and Damian Domagala (10) followed. Fornal chipped in 15 kills, while Huber managed a team-leading four blocks.

Yuantai Yu, Jingyi Wang and Liying Zhou paced the Chinese attack with double-digit point tallies. Yu notched 12 points, all on kills, while Zhou added 11 kills. Wang contributed seven kills, two blocks and two aces.


Cuba 3, Iran 2

Seventeen blocks set the tone for Cuba as it outlasted Iran in five sets on Tuesday. The Cubans outblocked Iran 17-10, but trailed in kills (59-45) and aces (6-4) due to a lopsided fourth set.

“I think we had a really good game and we fought hard to win the match, which was difficult against Iran,” Cuban captain Adrian Eduardo Goide said.

Cuba limited its miscues and owned the net with the block in the first two sets. Iran rebounded to take Set 3 behind three aces by Shayan Shahsavand. Iran’s block was a decisive factor in a Set 4 drubbing. Cuba did not let the victory slip away, following Osneil Lazaro Melgarejo’s lead in a 15-8 finale win.

“Cuba is playing a different style of volleyball from ours,” Iranian coach Behrouz Ataei said. “They do not play tactical volleyball. We can play with each other at 50% to 50%, but unfortunately we lost today.”

Melgarejo led all scorers with 20 points, tallying 15 kills and five blocks. Miguel Angel Lopez Castro added 16 points, with 14 kills and two aces. Jose Israel Masso Alvarez put up five blocks and Marlon Yanga Herrera chipped in four stuffs.

Four Iranian players posted double-digit scoring tallies. Rasoul Aghchehli and Esmaeil Mosaferdashiboroun led the way with 18 points apiece, each turning in 15 kills. Aghchehli added three blocks, while Mosaferdashiboroun chipped in two blocks and an ace. Tayed Einisamarein (15) and Shahsavand (10) followed. Einisamarein downed 12 kills and three blocks, while Shahsavand added four aces.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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