Team USA Beats Rivals Brazil 3-2 in Day 4 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


You can never be too careful as not to jinx anyone. Only a few minutes ago, when writing my recaps for Team USA’s horrendous game against Japan at The World University Games, I asked our readers when was the last time an American volleyball team had an 8 point set in international competitions. I even mentioned that only a deep dig in Wikipedia would be able to offer an answer for that question. But such is life, and ditto, Team USA’s U18 girls dropped EXACTLY eight points in their third set in a match against Brazil. It is even crazier to think that such absurd performance came in a five set win! What just exactly is going in Argentina?

Below, complete pools and recaps from a crazy day of volleyball in day 4 of Girls’ U18 World Champioships.

Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Argentina 3 0 9 9 2 4.500 271 211 1.284
2  Slovenia 2 2 7 9 6 1.500 322 307 1.049
3  Germany 2 1 4 7 7 1.000 286 289 0.990
5  South Korea 1 2 3 3 7 0.429 201 219 0.918
4  Cuba 0 3 1 3 9 0.333 221 275 0.804


Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Russia 3 0 9 9 0 MAX 225 158 1.424
2  Belarus 3 1 9 9 4 2.250 304 262 1.160
3  Brazil 1 2 4 5 6 0.833 235 221 1.063
4  United States 1 2 2 4 8 0.500 227 275 0.825
5  Mexico 0 3 0 0 9 0.000 150 225 0.667

Pool C

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Poland 3 1 10 11 4 2.750 352 311 1.132
2  Italy 3 0 8 9 2 4.500 261 211 1.237
3  Serbia 1 2 3 3 6 0.500 200 201 0.995
4  Colombia 1 2 3 3 6 0.500 192 206 0.932
5  Thailand 0 3 0 1 9 0.111 174 250 0.696

Pool D

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Turkey 3 0 9 9 2 4.500 269 207 1.300
2  Japan 3 1 9 10 3 3.333 322 253 1.273
3  Peru 1 2 3 4 7 0.571 250 245 1.020
4  Dominican Republic 1 2 3 4 7 0.571 214 256 0.836
5  China 0 3 0 1 9 0.111 153 247 0.619

FIVB Recaps

USA x Brazil

Team USA won their first match in FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship after a long five sets battle against Brazil in Pool B. The American team, coached by Jim Stone, triumphed by scores of 26-24, 19-25, 8-25, 25-19 and 15-11. Taylor Landfair finished as top scorer of the match that lasted one hour and 56 hours by tantalizing 22 points. She was followed by Logan Eggleston, who tallied 16 and Mica Allison, who closed with 11. Brazil had Julia Isabelle Bergman, as well as Tainara Lemes Santos, Daniela Seibt and Beatriz Pereira as best weapons. Bergman and Lemes Santos scored 18 points each, while Seibt and Pereira scored 10 apiece.

USA fought hard in the first set with order on the court and showed a better blocking performance at the time, but the team coached by Mauricio Thomas had a great reaction in the next two. Brazilians had an astonishing third sed by letting the Americans only with eight points in 20 minutes. However it was going to be a long and tight match. Brazil led in blocks 19-11 and also in services 13-7 with three aces by Bergman and Kenya Malachias, but the Americans resilience and attitude made them recover from an adverse 17 points deficit. Both teams have a 1-2 record.

Here are the post match reactions:

Taylor Landfair, Player of USA: “I feel all my team helps me when I’m messed up and it’s really important to me to score more points. I think we just need to go on with the winning mind set and not a losing one, we have to stay positive and with lot of energy because we have worked really hard. We need to play with a lot of intensity, work together and have fun.”

Jim Stone, Head Coach of USA: “We challenged our players to be mentally stronger and see if they could came back from a bad third set and play strong the fourth. I’m really proud of them because when you have a third set like the one we had, it’s sometimes difficult to come back, but they did a wonderful job today. We’re still a very young team, in some moments we lost our focus, the reception wasn’t good, but then we passed better, the attack was higher and we could win. We hope to keep improving and be a little more consistent.”

Mauricio Thomas, Head Coach of Brazil: “At the end, we had too many mistakes and we didn’t got benefit of the chances available, I think that’s why we lost today. However, the tournament is not yet decided and we have to keep working because we can still do good things. Our team is under construction yet.”

Tainara Lemes Santos, Player of Brazil: “I think we lowered our level. We should have be consistent until the end, specially when we got recovered of the first set. We let them play and we didn’t have enough courage, but we need to think about the next game now.”

Russia x Belarus

Russia stopped Belarus’s good march in the battle of undefeated teams. The Russian team, that had a rest day on Sunday, won in straight sets by 25-18,25-20 and 25-19. Oxana Yakushina registered 13 points while Polina Shemanova tallied 12. On the Belorussian side Hanna Hryshkevich scored 11 as the only player with double digits scoring. Russia outplayed their opponent with a dominant service strategy.

The team coached by Alexander Karikov also led the blocking column (10-3) while Belarus gave up 22 points against 18 by Russia in 1 hour and 16 minutes of game time. The Belorussians opened the second set with a 5-2 advantage, but the Russian turned the score over 8-6 at the first technical time-out. Before the first 16 points of each set the battle was tight, but it was more difficult for Natallia Melianuk’s pupils to close every episode. Belarus’s record is now 3-1, while Russia’s is 3-0.

Here are the post match reactions:

Alexander Karikov, Head Coach of Russia: “We planned to play good in service and block, and we did it very well to get the victory. Tomorrow we will play against Brazil, a very strong and serious team that is also one of the best of South America. Now we will prepare for that and then the final results of the day will let us now to whom we’re going to face on the other stage. Of course we want to go to the another pool on the first place, so we have to get focused.”

Valeriya Shevchuk, Player of Russia: “Today we had a difficult match because we have faced Belarus many times and they’re always very tied and hard games. We will prepare to do our best in our next game because we would like to qualify on the first place to the next stage. In every game we do our best so we hope we can show a good game every time we’re on the court.”

Natallia Melianuk, Head Coach of Belarus: “We prepared a lot for this match, but maybe our team was tired and we couldn’t play our best. Now we have to think on the following game. We don’t know which team we are going to face on the next pool, but for sure we will be ready for that.”

Tatsiana Kholad, Player of Belarus: “Every time we play against Russia is really hard. Now we have two days to rest and to get prepared for our next challenge, so we hope to be ready for that.”

Turkey x Japan

Turkey had to work full time to overcome the challenge presented by Japan and win 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 30-28) with a superb performance of Ebrar Karakurt, who scored an amazing 32 points and also did well on the defensive department. Teammates Yaprak Erkek and Derya Cebecioglu trailed her with 15 and 13 caps respectively, while the two players that stood out for Japan were Yuki Nishikawa (23) and Haruna Soga (21).

Against a captivating Japanese defensive discipline, Turkey couldn’t break free until the final track of the first set, with a couple of blocks for a 25-20, but the second one was the exact same and Turkey barely made it 25-23 with an amazing back-row spike from Karakurt. Japan reduced by 25-21 with a flawless game and kept fighting on the fourth episode – a nail-biting drama full of suspense in which Turkey had to wait until a 30-28 to celebrate via Cebecioglu.

Here are the post match reactions:

Ebrar Karakurt, Turkey player: “We all expected a hard match like this. We know that Japan is a strong opponent, we were afraid of their defense system; therefore we took this game as a truly important one. Regardless of my score sheet, I always try to do my best for the team and luckily we did it well. I was very excited, it was a great match.”

Sahin Catma, Turkey coach: “Both teams played really well during the whole game. Japan is a very fierce team and when you are facing them you shouldn’t only care about the attack, you need to take care of the service and defense. When you receive well, you can do the other things well too. We served better than them and answered in a good way to their high-speed game.”

Tsukasa Nakagawa, Japan player: “We know that we can win points with our technical skills. But when we make mistakes, like today, we are in trouble. We need to improve that aspect for the next matches. We always need to stay calm and keep focused on our game to win.”

Daichi Saegusa, Japan coach: “The girls played great. We made some mistakes in the last moments, mainly with the service and that’s why we couldn’t get the victory. We are confident that we can advance to the next round if we keep this level.”

Peru x China

Third time was the charm for Peru as they prevailed over China 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18) and clinched a vital result to stay in contest in Rosario, with a 16-point performance from Thaisa McLeod. Behind left-handed McLeod, Ariagna Linares collected 13 points and Kiara Montes did as well with 11 successful spikes. The same total had China’s main scorer Jiao Dian, while Liu Yu followed just one point behind.

Despite the qualities presented by Peru throughout the game, it wasn’t such an easy task for them as China recovered from losing the first set led by Jiao Dian. However, the South Americans got some boost from the noisy crowd and swiftly won the third chapter with McLeod and Linares providing the points. Middle-blocker Claudia Palza came out as starter on the fourth set and completed the ideal structure for Peru to win the match with the 25-18.

Here are the post match reactions:

Marco Queiroga, Peru coach: “We are happy to have won our first game in the World Championship, it was important for the qualification. We want to be among the first eight teams of the competition; we know it’s a hard task, but winning gives you more consistency and builds up the team. We needed to serve well in order to complicate their quick offensive system.”

Thaisa McLeod, Peru player: “After the two losses, it was clear for us that we didn’t give enough of ourselves, so today we came out with that goal, to give everything, our heart and soul. We had a stronger bond today; we received and defended a lot more as well. We know every match is difficult for us, so we cannot relax at any point.”

Xu Jiande, China coach: “Our players need a lot more training. We gave advantages in every aspect of the game; we need to be more aggressive and stronger physically. This is a new and young team that needs a lot of work to play in a good level.”

Germany x Slovenia

Germany clinched their second win in a five-setter by beating Slovenia 19-25, 25-15, 25-12,18-25 and 15-10 in Pool A. Emma Cryis scored 19 points as top scorer, followed by Luisa Theresa Keller, with 17. Lina Alsmeier also contributed to the German cause with 12 units, while Josepha Bock closed with 10. Slovenia had also four players with double digits. Tali Lekse, Nika Cigale, Brina Bracko and Alja Jerala tallied 11 apiece. Services were tied between both squads with eight aces apiece, while the Germans worked better with their block (11-8).

The match was a great physical challenge for both squads. The Germans who were off on Sunday and solved it after 1 hour and 52 minutes. A total of 13 sets has been played by Germany since the beginning of the tournament, with only one defeat against hosts, Argentina.

Here are the post match reactions:

Jens Tietböhl, Head Coach of Germany: “It was an up and down match, but our fifth set was very important, we played calm and very good. In the end, our service was better and we really wanted to win, we fought hard and the energy was really good. Tomorrow we want to do a good game, we want to play our best to be in the best place in the group that we can be.”

Luisa Keller, Player of Germany: “It was a very difficult match because Slovenia has a really good service so we had to play very well, that was the key to win this match and get that last set. We’re very happy. Our next step is the game against Korea, we don’t want to think about the next round, only in Korea.”

Brina Bracko Player of Slovenia: “We did our best but it wasn’t enough. Germany had a day off, they were more relaxed, but that’s not an excuse. Our concentration was a bit bad today. No matter who’s our rival now, we will have to do our best because all the teams in the World Championship are very good.”

Casar Joze, Head Coach of Slovenia: “From the beginning, our energies were not there. We were tired, it was the fourth game in a row for us and we didn’t have the extra moment that we had yesterday. We fought all the time, but Germany was better today. We want to reach the quarterfinals so now we have to wait to see who we will face. Hopefully, we can do our best performance in the eight finals.”

Poland x Serbia

With a 14-point performance from wing-spiker Zuzanna Gorecka, Poland finished their Pool C agenda with a 3-0 (29-27, 25-22, 25-23) victory over Serbia which was both tight and vital for their next round panorama. Gorecka was assisted by captain Oliwia Baluk with 12 points, while middle-blocker Aleksandra Gryka unveiled four stuff blocks and a total of 9 points. For Serbia, two players shared the same total of 11 tallies – captain Jovana Mirosavljevic and Sara Caric.

Things started extremely close between these two European rivals, to the point that the first set wasn’t decided until a wide ball by Serbia and a counterattack by Gryka formed the 29-27. Serbia led by three on the next one (13-10), but Poland rebounded to 20-17 with Baluk and Gorecka and that gap remained to 25-22. When the Polish girls were headed to a comfy three-nil win, Mirosavljevic and also Caric starred a last-minute comeback, but luck smiled to Poland and the final score was 25-23.

Here are the post match reactions:

Oliwia Baluk, Poland captain: “It was a very difficult game but we played very well. We are very happy about our performance and about the fact we didn’t make so many mistakes. I think the most important feature of this team is the mentality.”

Rafal Gasior, Poland coach: “It was a hard match; Serbia is a team always difficult to play against. We don’t think in our position in the pool yet, we will wait until the end of the phase to think about that. Today we did it pretty well in attack, but I have my reserves, especially in the high balls.”

Sara Caric, Serbia player: “We won against this team on the European Championship so I really don’t know what happened today. We lost our will to fight. It’s hard for me to describe this match. We need to work again as a team for upcoming matches.”

Jovo Cakovic, Serbia coach: “Congratulations to Poland, they played better while we had problems on every set with the reception. We must forget about this match and prepare for the days to come. We hope for a victory our next matches and to make it into the Top 8; we would be very happy with that.”

Italy x Colombia

Current World Champions Italy achieved their third win in the same amount of matches as they brought down Colombia 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 26-24) with 16 points from leading scorer Elena Pietrini. Although Pietrini was the only Italian player with double digits, Terry Enweonwu donated 9 points to the cause and both Marina Lubian and Alessia Populini added 7. Middle-blocker Darlevis Mosquera was at the helm in Colombia with 13 tallies.

Colombia put up an interesting fight against the defending champions on some moments of the first set, but in the end the power of the Italian spikers created the opening 25-19. Mosquera widened her count in Colombia, but the errors also increased and the score for Italy was an identical 25-19. The reward for the South Americans came on the third set – an 11-7 on the board once again with Mosquera, but Italy leveled the score at the final track and sprinted to 26-24 with an ace from Scola.

Here are the post game reactions:

Rachele Morello, Italy player: “I think that even in the moments of difficulty, we knew how to stay together; the strength of the team won today. I’m happy with our performance as we could use some of the reserve players and they did it great; that is something to be happy about. We still need to improve some small details; we are dreaming big and are hoping that all the effort we make will bring results.”

Marco Mencarelli, Italy coach: “We played a little less aggressively because we wanted to lower the amount of mistakes regarding yesterday’s match; we achieved our goal but we made it easier for them to play, and they did it quite well too. We lost some of the tactical order we have prepared with the development of the game and that made us to loss the focus a little. However, I’m quite satisfied with the team’s performance.”

Angie Velásquez, Colombia player: “Italy is a strong team. We had our hopes but it wasn’t until the third set when we proved what we can do. We must keep looking forward and stay focused – we have our low moments and that’s when we lose. They are more experienced anyway, but if we do it well I think we can play against anyone.”

Antonio Rizola, Colombia coach: “The team was nervous today about facing the current World Champions. We know about the strength of Italy and that they are here to fight for the gold medal, while we don’t have that much experience. On the first two sets we respected them too much, then we adjusted on serve and block and we did some good things. We showed on the third set we can play and I would be happier if we had done that on the entire match.”

Korea x Cuba

Korea finally got a win in the tournament by defeating Cuba in four sets. The Asians claimed their victory in Pool A by scores of 25-16, 25-18, 22-25 and 25-9 in 1 hour and 32 minutes of game time. Jiyun Jeong topped with 21 points for Korea, while Juah Lee scored 11 and Hyemin Park 10. Elizabeth Vicet Campos also recorded more 21 points on the Cuban side, followed by Ailama Cese Montalvo with 11.

However it was not enough for a Cuban team that finished down in services against Korea (8-16). Vicet aced 5 times, while Jeng and Park did it four times apiece. Cubans also struggled with their reception and also suffered in block plays that were key to maintain their chances in order to keep hopeful for a first win. Unfortunately for them, they surrendered 34 points in errors.

Here are the post game reactions:

Jiyun Jeong, Player of Korea: “I feel I want to fly, I’m so happy. In the middle of the game we had some problems with their serve and we didn’t do it well, but we overcome it and we could show what we have prepared for this tournament. I expect we can celebrate again”.

Cho Wanki, Head Coach of Korea: “One of our players got injured on the first game, but she overcome and today we could show all of our good conditions. Now we got adjusted to the time difference and Sim Miog played really good, so I feel happy for the team. It’s really hard to play in World Championships with all this great teams, but now we have understood our rivals’ game and we could get the victory. Now we will prepare for the following games”.

Tomas Fernandez Arte, Head Coach of Cuba: “Korea didn’t let us play. We were nervous and didn’t do it well on reception and when we did, we failed on setting or attacking. We made too many mistakes and we can’t play like that. We facilitated their game, they have a fast play and it was so much for us. We hope tomorrow we can play better against Argentina and bring a good show.”

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