Russia Edges Brazil in Five Sets; Both Advance to U21 Semifinals

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 29th, 2017 | Canadian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball

FIVB U21 Championships


Pool F

Canada 3, Argentina 2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11)

Russia 3, Brazil 2 (25-20, 21-25, 30-28, 19-25, 17-15)


Russia and Brazil are on to the U21 Championship semifinals, but first the teams battled in an epic five-set affair, which went to the Russians. Canada topped Argentina in five sets as well, but that only sealed the team third place in the pool.


Canada 3, Argentina 2

A strong blocking front lifted Canada to a five-set comeback win over Argentina. The Canadians stuffed 14 balls, including five each by Tariq Sani and Deanan Gyimah, in the victory.

Argentina bested the Canadians offensively en route to wins in the first two stanzas. Canada made some substitutions and stabilized its block before taking three straight sets and stealing away the win. Sani managed six points in the 15-11 fifth-set win.

“After losing the previous two matches, we are happy for finally winning again,” Canadian coach Gino Brousseau said. “I am very happy with our players, because they never give up.”

Canada committed 31 errors in the match, but overcame them by outblocking the Argentinians 14-8 and tallying six more kills (67-61). Argentina served up five aces, while allowing just three.

“It was a very long match between two teams on a similar level,” Argentinian coach Alejandro Grossi said. “The difference was that we were better in the endings of two sets, and Canada – of three.”

Sani led all scorers with 25 points, adding 20 kills to his five blocks. Eric Loeppky registered 22 points, with 19 kills and two stuffs. Gyimah rounded out his 17 point tally with 11 kills. Matthew Passalent followed with 11 points, all on kills.

Juan Horacio Bucciarelli grabbed 20 points, including 16 kills and three aces, for Argentina. Jan Martinez Franchi (13), Sergio Soria (12) and Felipe Benavidez (12) also added double-digit point tallies. The trio added kill totals of 12, 10 and 11 respectively.


Russia 3, Brazil 2

Brazil outscored Russia 113 to 112 in a hotly contested five-setter between the Pool F leaders, but the Russians earned the victory.

Russia outblocked Brazil 15-10 and had help from 36 Brazilian miscues (to 31 of its own) in the win. Brazil came out on top offensively (68 kills to 59) and from the service line (four aces to two).

Russia took the first set behind a strong effort by Alexei Kononov. Brazilian Davy Silva Moraes led the charge in a 25-21 Set 2 win, which evened the score. Kononov was again the star in the third set, scoring seven points as Russia edged Brazil 30-28. Lucas Adriano Araujo Barreto took the spotlight in the fourth set, delivering seven points in a 25-19 win to extend the match. After trailing by three in the decisive fifth set, Russia had two shots at the match at 14-12, but it took a few extra points before Aleksandr Melnikov blocked the final ball in a 17-15 victory.

“Brazil are a strong team with quick outside spikers,” Russian captain Konstantin Abaev said. “We had a lot of problems, but I am satisfied that we managed to win.”

Kononov led the Russian attack with 23 points, including 16 kills and a match-high seven blocks. Kirill Klets added 14 points, including 13 kills, while Anton Semyshev chipped in 12 points, with nine kills, two blocks and an ace.

Moraes led all scorers with 25 points, including 23 kills, while Henrique Dantas Nobrega Honorato (13), Barreto (12) and Pablo Natan Ventura (11) followed. Honorato downed 11 kills and added two aces, while Barreto registered seven kills and five stuffs.

“It was a hard match against a strong opponent,” Brazilian captain Matheus Goncalves Silva said. “We are really tired, but tomorrow is a new day. We will save energy to be ready for the semifinals.”

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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 after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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