Russia x Iran Will Face Off in the Finals of FIVB’s Boys’ U19 Worlds

  0 Liam Smith | August 26th, 2017 | African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Coaching Changes, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team


Russia cruised into the final after a straight-set win over Japan on Saturday, setting up a title clash in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship with Iran. Below, you will find updated brackets and FIVB recaps from all of today’s actions,  including Team USA’s loss to Puerto Rico in the fight for 13th place.

Championship Bracket

Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
  Japan  3
  Puerto Rico  0
  Japan  3
  Czech Republic  0
  Argentina  1
  Czech Republic  3
  Japan  0
  Russia  3
  France  3
  United States  0
  France  2
  Russia  3
  Russia  3
  China  1
  Iran  3
  Turkey  0
  Iran  3
  Brazil  0
  Brazil  3
  Bahrain  0
  Iran  3
  South Korea  0 3rd place match
  Italy  0
  South Korea  3
  South Korea  3   Japan
  Egypt  1   South Korea
  Egypt  3
  Cuba  2

Russia x Japan

Pavel Tetyukhin’s 21 points helped Russia overcome Japan 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 30-28) in the first semifinal match of the of the tournament. Tetyukhin drilled 17 attacks and deflected four attacks by Japan, while Kento Miyaura made 18 points for Japan. The Russians showed their strength and led Japan in attacks 54-41, in blocks 11-7 and in aces 4-2; but they also played the Asian-style of defense on the Japanese as they overshadowed them in digs 33-23 and in reception 40-24.

Tetyukhin had a scoring spree that led Russia to grab a 2-0 set lead. Russia did not have any trouble closing the first set at 25-17, but their rivals showed some resistance in the second set that resulted to a tight 25-23 score. In the third set, Japan refused to go down without a fight and challenged Russia down to the wire, but the European squad still prevailed as their net defense sealed the result.

Here are the post match reactions:

Russia captain Konstantin Abaev: We are happy to win today. Japan are a good team with good defense and a good opposite spiker – maybe the best in the whole tournament. We had a good game today because we had good service and block. It’s not a surprise for my team to win like this. We know our capabilities and we know we can play in the final.

Russia coach Andrey Nozdrin: This was a very hard match – nerve-racking and dangerous. In the second set, we had a little problem with their quick attack, but by the end of the third set we won because of our opposite blocking. This is almost the end of the tournament and all teams are now very tired. I cannot say that we are heading into the final 100 per cent, but all I know is that all teams are very tired. To play in this kind of tournament the teams must have very good physical preparation.

Japan coach Hiroshi Honda: Russia’s service was very strong and we didn’t have very good reception. They were great in service and block. We could not match their game today. We still have a chance to win the bronze medal and we will go for it.

Japan captain Kento Miyaura: Our service was very weak today. We are not happy with it. We must now change our mindset for tomorrow’s game for us to have a chance of getting the bronze medal.

Iran x Korea

Porya Yali recorded 21 solid attacks to help Iran advance to the final of tournament, following their 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) win over Korea in the second semifinal match. Apart from Yali’s great scoring performance, Amir Toukhteh and Amir Khah made an exceptional performance in defense, as the two players combined for eight of Iran’s 11 blocks. Im Donghyeok and Lim Sungjin scored 13 points apiece for Korea.

Iran edged Korea with a slim two-point margin from an attack and block in the first set. Iran took another victory in the second set with an increased intensity on their serve and block. Korea led in the third set but the resilient Iranian block forced them to commit turnovers. Iran snatched the lead and completed their straight-set win over their Asian rivals.

Here are the post match reactions:

Iran coach Reza Farjad: We had some very good team play today. Two years ago, we took the bronze medal against Russia and we needed to improve that. Now we are against Russia in the final. This game is very important for us to play good volleyball. The energy and tactics must be divided into all the players. Just like today everyone in the team helped to win. The tournament final will be different from the other games. I want my team to show good volleyball. We must focus on playing well and the results will come. I think our two teams are equal. There is a chance for both teams to win. It is a matter of which team has more motivation to win. I think this will be the key. Russia are very strong, so we must not allow them to have any energy in the game.

Iran captain Amirhossein Esfandiar: Today was important for us because now we are guaranteed of a medal. We will only think about the gold medal tomorrow. Korea are a good team, which play at a very high level. I want to thank our coaching staff for preparing us and for getting everything done in this match. Russia are a very strong team and have a very good setter. Two years ago, he was in Argentina. (Konstantin) Abaev has a very good reputation in both the youth and junior age groups. He is a leader on the Russian team. It will not be an easy match tomorrow, but we will make an effort to go for the gold medal.

Korea coach Park Wongil: We played really bad and Iran played great. They had great reception. They are a great team and they showed that they are better than us. Our service was not sufficient and that is one major reason why we lost. Improving our service is a main point for tomorrow against Japan. If we can do better tomorrow then we can execute our plays.

Korea captain Choi Ikje: Iran team played great today. We hope we can improve against Japan tomorrow. Our last match against them was at the Asian Championship final. We were really exhausted so we lost 3-0. They have a good team so we have to prepare on our reception. Both teams are not tall but both are very skilled. Reception and digging will be the key for us in the next match.

5th – 8th Play-offs

5th–8th semifinals 5th place match
  Czech Republic  1
  France  3
  Brazil  0   Czech Republic
  Egypt  3   Brazil

France x Czech Republic

Pierre Derouillon and Remi Bassereau guided France to a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21) triumph over the Czech Republic. Derouillon scored four of France’s nine aces to add to his total output of 20 points. Bassereau also contributed big numbers for France with 20 points, while Czech Republic top scorers Marek Sotola and Lukas Vasina only produced 15 and 14 points, respectively.

After their first set loss, France recovered and executed their offence better. France obtained most of their points from the attack and service lines where they tallied 56 attacks and nine aces. The French defense also stood out as they bested their rivals with excellent digs and reception that helped them close the match in the fourth set.

Here are the post match reactions:

France coach Belmadi Slimane: It was difficult to get the team motivated because they were a little bit upset with themselves after our loss (to Russia) in the quarterfinals. I reminded them that it is important to find a good spirit for this game to get a good ranking. It is one of France’s objectives in this competition. The placing we get in this competition must be good, as not many French teams are able to finish in the top five. It is a challenge, even though it may not be the challenge that we wanted in fighting for first place, but it is still something we must work hard for.

France captain Lucas Soldner: I am pleased with how our players responded today after our loss in the quarterfinals. We played as a team. We did a good job even though we weren’t in good shape mentally and physically.

Czech Republic coach Jiri Zach: To get up today and play was very hard, especially for the players. It was hard to focus on this match after the quarterfinals. We are still very disappointed and we played very bad. It is very hard to motivate the players right now. It is very easy to say, but very hard to do. We must still try our best to finish in seventh place. We must be proud that we are in this position and the players must be proud of themselves as well.

Czech Republic captain Ondrej Piskacek: We didn’t play that well today. Now we need to try to completely forget about what has happened in the past two days. It is tough but we must concentrate only on our last match and focus on trying to be in seventh position.

Egypt x Brazil

Youssef Awad (Elsafy) had an outstanding performance for Egypt in their 3-0 (33-31, 25-15, 25-19) win against Brazil. Egypt dominated on offence with Elsafy tallying 25 points built on 20 attacks, three blocks and two aces; and Abdelrahman Eissa and Moyassar Abouraian adding 16 and 14 points, respectively. Victor Cardoso was the lone double-digit scorer from Brazil with 15 points.

Both teams started on equal footing, with the opening set getting extended until Egypt ended it at 33-31. Egypt kept their strong pace and edged Brazil especially in the service category, where they fired a total of seven aces that disrupted the Brazilian defense in the second set. Elsafy led an attack spree that made it difficult for the Brazilians to recover in the third set.

Here are the post match reactions:

Egypt coach Nehad Shehata: I told my players that if we win against Brazil today, it will be the first time in history that an Egyptian team beat a Brazilian team. So this match is like our gate to history for us. My boys played very well today. They listened to my instructions and they played very sharp especially in service and blocking. I am happy that my team is growing up and they are becoming a strong team. I will not be easy tomorrow against France, but we will work for that and try to get fifth position. We will study the French team and we will work hard for it. I hope we can win.

Egypt captain George Bakhit: We are very happy today because we beat Brazil – one of the best teams in the world. Today was a better day for us because we won 3-0. We are like the dark horses of the tournament. I thank my team for today’s win. They played well today. We hope to finish the tournament in fifth place.

Brazil coach Leonardo Carvalho: It’s always difficult to play after losing a quarterfinal. We want to congratulate Egypt. They played an excellent match. They played with great fighting spirit. Their No. 1 (Elsafy) player played an amazing match. We could not find a solution on our block and defense with his attacks. I am very ashamed because we played without the will to win. I know it is difficult to play a match the day after you lose the quarterfinals, but these young boys need to learn that they have to give it 100 per cent every time they are on the court. The Egyptians deserved to win because they put in a lot of effort with excellent teamwork. I believe that if we play in this spirit tomorrow, we will lose again 3-0. We have to find that force or power to play. When you don’t have that, then you will lose to any opponent.

Brazil captain João Franck: We didn’t play well today. Egypt played a great match. We must keep fighting and we must completely change our mindset. Our opponents tomorrow are strong. We must improve and we must also focus on winning the next game.

9th – 12th Play-offs

9th–16th quarterfinals 9th–12th semifinals 9th place match
  Puerto Rico  1
  Argentina  3
  Argentina  2
  China  3
  United States  1
  China  3
  Turkey  3
  Bahrain  0
  Turkey  2 11th place match
  Italy  3
  Italy  3   Argentina
  Cuba  0   Turkey
13th–16th semifinals 13th place match
  Puerto Rico  3
  United States  1
  Puerto Rico
15th place match
  Bahrain  3   United States
  Cuba  0   Cuba

Turkey x Italy

Italy endured a tough challenge from Turkey to win in the decider (28-26, 16-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-8). Lorenzo Cortesia led Italy with 20 points from 14 attacks, five blocks and a service ace. Matheus Motzo, who came off the bench, added another 14 points for the Italian side. Turkey captain Adis Lagumdzija led all scorers on the board with 34 points.

Both sides looked to utilize their most powerful hitters on the floor. Italy anchored its offence with Diego Cantagalli or Motzo on opposite, and Cortesia at the middle. Turkey capitalized on the strength and precision on Lagumdzija, who unleashed powerful spikes up front and from the back-line. Soon enough, the match was a matter of who could play better defense and have the proper orchestration of counter-attack. Italy proved more persistent in defense, both by the net and on the floor. The Italian side collected 17 points off blocks, and played excellent defense to be able to address Turkey’s heavy serves.

Here are the post match reactions:

Italy assistant coach Bruno Morganti: We played very well today, trying hard not to leave any attack or serve unanswered. We also found a way to play against their best player, number 17 (Turkey opposite Adis Lagumdzija). We really prepared to play against them with the service and the blocks.

Italy player Lorenzo Cortesia: It was a really a tough match, as Turkey is a physical team. Individually, their players have good skills. Their opposite spiker is really good. Today, we had good moments, and also bad moments in the match. But the important thing is we could finish the game quite well. The mentality is the most important thing. We are out of contention for the title but we have to stay focused until the end of the tournament. I think it’s good that every one in the team has kept the right mentality. I have to stay this way. I have to keep doing this.

Turkey captain Adis Lagumdzija: We have previously played against Italy three times and we lost all of them. I think tonight’s match was the best for us. Unfortunately we made too many unforced errors, just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

China x Argentina

China outlasted Argentina in the decider (25-23, 24-26, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16) Saturday. Captain Cong Tian carried the Chinese side to victory with 22 points from 18 attacks, three service aces and a block. Luciano Palonsky posted the same number of points as Argentina’s top scorer.

The close match featured teams which were nearly parallel in the capability to win. China played good floor defense to spark their offensive runs, while Argentina imposed their defense more by the net. The Asian side forged good momentum with setter Bolin Wei running a well-balanced offence. He enabled both the wing and middle attack. Argentina fought back to force a decider by shutting down their opponents’ spikes with crucial blocks. In the fifth set, China raced to a 4-1 lead, but the South American side persisted in their reception to inch closer. The Chinese side played more steadily, taking advantage of their opponents’ errors to seal the final set to their favor.

Here are the post match reactions:

China coach Haichuan Wang: Our team’s level of play is very close with that of Argentina. In the match, each team had the equal chance to win. But today, we seized that chance to win. Our players performed better and better after each set.

China captain Cong Tian: Every player in the team was quite nervous today. But today, we really wanted to fight against a strong team. We wanted to win. Each one in the team worked hard today.

Argentina coach Luis Testa: This was a match between two teams with almost the same level of play. We made a costly mistake in reception in the final set and that cost us the match.

Argentina player Nicolas Zerba: In the beginning, we couldn’t play as well as we wanted. We tried to adjust and we improved our game. It was a good game, and China played well, but in the important moments, we could not deliver the small details that matter.

13th – 16th Play-offs

Puerto Rico x USA

Puerto Rico defeated USA in four sets (25-20, 21-25, 30-28, 25-23). Captain Gabriel Garcia posted a match-high of 28 points from 26 attacks and two blocks. Pedro Molina and Randy Perez likewise posted double-digits, 13 points and 12 points respectively to power Puerto Rico’s offence past their opponents. Joel Schneidmiller led the USA side with 21 points.

Puerto Rico executed their offence with Garcia’s powerful spikes from the flank and the back-line. They proved steady in playing against their Norceca counterparts by also working hard enough on defense in order to set up for their counter-attack. USA possessed the firepower to fight back, using Schneidmiller and Jerod Nelsen at the wings, but later found difficulty in addressing their opponents’ service pressure. USA struggled in passing the ball, suffering from errors in key moments. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico took charge of their endgame and seized momentum to win the match.

Here are the post match reactions:

Puerto Rico coach Juan Albarran: My players executed the game plan well, as what we have prepared for after our team meeting. It was very important that we were able to limit our errors. This way, it increased our chances to win the match.

Puerto Rico captain Gabriel Garcia: We remain positive about our play every day so we can represent our country well. We did the same routine of preparing well to come here today and do our job. We have trained and prepared for a long time. That gave us the strength and endurance to keep playing with the right mentality.

USA coach Samuel Shweisky: I give a lot of credit to Puerto Rico. They played great. Gabriel Garcia, their opposite, is a fantastic player. His stamina throughout this tournament has been tremendous. To be in the seventh day of the tournament, and have him play like that is very impressive. I think as they are in our region or zone, there is a competitiveness for sure. I think they rose to the occasion today and we did not. It’s a disappointment for us, but they just played well today.

USA captain Joel Schneidmiller: I think our passing was our main difficulty in the match. We couldn’t get it going and when we could do so, we couldn’t do our runs with their service. That cost us the game.

Bahrain x Cuba

Bahrain outplayed Cuba in straight sets (25-23, 25-16, 25-16). Mohamed Jasim and Hasan Haider led the host team, scoring 15 points and 13 points respectively. Lazaro Brunet was the top scorer for Cuba with 13 points.

Bahrain established good composure in the match, by organizing their offence well, and scoring off a total of 32 attacks compared to Cuba’s 26 spikes. The hosts also connected with their well-timed blocks to challenge the attack of Cuba’s tall players, converting a total of 12 points from deflections. The Norceca side had the talent and skill in their roster, but they needed to step up on floor defense to respond to the competition’s service pressure. Cuba also suffered from unforced errors, which the hosts clearly took advantage of in terms of momentum.

Here are the post match reactions:

Bahrain coach Yusuf Khalifa: This is the first time we have played against Cuba. I am surprised with Cuba’s performance today. When we saw their previous matches, we knew they are a good team. But today, our players performed really well. For Cuba, they seemed to have lost their morale and concentration but our players kept their focus. We pushed harder with our strong serves.

Bahrain captain Saif Yusuf: I am very happy to win this match so we can get a better ranking after the tournament. We have one final match tomorrow, and we can only think about winning.

Cuba coach Jesus Lopez: The spirit and focus in the game was very bad. The players came here thinking that they could win but we did not succeed. Maybe our mentality was not strong enough and it’s just difficult to play like this. We tried to use our players from the bench but they are very young. Tomorrow, we have another match. We need to play with higher motivation.

17th – 20th Play-offs

Poland x Mexico

Bartosz Firszt helped Poland in their 3-0 (25-16, 29-27, 25-23) win over Mexico. Firszt led Poland with 17 points, including 15 attacks and two aces. His team-mate Artur Slugocki made 15 points, outscoring Mexico’s best scorer Diego Castaneda who tallied 13 points.

Poland started off with a winning performance in the opening set, but Mexico played better defense and attack that resulted to an extended second set. At 27-all, Poland finally managed to convert points from their two attacks to close the set in their favor. Mexico continued to challenge the European side in the third set and their 23-21 lead prompted Poland to call a timeout, which delivered a positive result, as Poland scored the final four points to secure the straight-set win.
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Here are the post match reactions:

Poland coach Maciej Zendel: The amount of mistakes today decided this victory because yesterday and today we did not commit a lot of it. Our block and attack was much better. We also had the height advantage over the Mexicans and that made it easy for us to make points.

Poland captain Szymon Jezierski: We made very small mistakes and that we are we glad that we won. This is our second win in this tournament. Unfortunately we had a bad start and lost our first five matches. We hope that in the next World Championship, Poland will perform better.

Mexico coach Gabriela Gomez: Our journey has ended in this tournament. Although we did not win this match, we showed a great performance in the second and third sets. We are happy for this experience in this tournament.

Mexico captain Raymond Stephens: We improved and we experienced a lot in this World Championship. We have to work harder in the future.

Tunisia x Chile

Tunisia took a 3-1 victory against Chile (25-16, 21-25, 25-21, 25-11). Yassine Abdelhedi emerged as top scorer for Tunisia, with a total of 22 points from 18 attacks, three blocks and a service ace. Two other players helped out with double-digit scores: Hamdi Taleb (12 points) and Ghassen Zgarni (11 points). Vicente Mardones led Chile in scoring, posting 15 points in the match.

Tunisia showed their advantage in attack, setting up their hitters from the flanks. They imposed pressure from the service line, giving their opponents difficulty in the first ball. Chile tried to set up their offence with more precision and got the benefit of well-timed blocks to improve their play in the second set. However, the African side continued to play with more cohesion in offence, as the South American side suffered from errors in crucial moments of the match.

Here are the post match reactions:

Tunisia coach Chokri Bouzidi: We needed to play with more power so we could win this match. It was the first time for us to play against Chile, but against any team, we always want to do our best. Our game plan was simple, just field in the best and tallest players and make necessary adjustments as the match happens.

Tunisia captain Atif Khadim: I am happy to win today. Chile is a good team, but today we played better than they did. We were in good spirits today as we knew what we needed to do to give our best in the match.

Chile coach Ivan Villareal: This group could be better and play at a higher level. Tunisia played well with less mistakes than our team. This is the way our players need to work, to play with less mistakes.

Chile captain Joaquin Leon: We wanted to win to get a better ranking in this tournament, but maybe we were not strong enough or confident in terms of mentality. It was a must-win for our team to finish well in the tournament, and maybe we were so nervous about this.




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