Team USA Rallies from 2-0 to Beat Tunisia on Day 4 of Boys’ U19 Worlds

  0 Liam Smith | August 21st, 2017 | African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team


Uncommitteds Joel Schneidmiller, Jonathan Bowles and Loyola’s Devin Joslyn starred in an epic match up against Tunisia. The American boys showed grit and willpower to go for the win eve after having lost the first two sets of the game, the first being a heartbreaking 28-30 war. The fourth set also went to extra points, which could have spelled disaster for Team USA, but thanks to the boys’ hard play, they were able to force the tie break, which they easily won. Surely, this will be a match these boys won’t soon forget.

Pools and recaps from day 4 of competition are below.

Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  United States 3 0 8 9 4 2.250 312 286 1.091
2  Egypt 2 1 6 7 5 1.400 294 290 1.014
3  Bahrain 2 1 5 7 6 1.167 299 258 1.159
4  Puerto Rico 1 3 3 7 11 0.636 370 424 0.873
5  Tunisia 0 3 2 5 9 0.556 326 343 0.950

Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Japan 3 0 8 9 3 3.000 285 247 1.154
2  Brazil 2 1 7 8 5 1.600 291 273 1.066
3  France 2 1 6 8 5 1.600 294 269 1.093
4  Cuba 1 3 2 4 11 0.364 299 336 0.890
5  Poland 0 3 1 4 9 0.444 256 300 0.853

Pool C

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Argentina 3 0 8 9 3 3.000 276 252 1.095
2  South Korea 2 1 7 8 4 2.000 287 253 1.134
3  Russia 2 1 6 7 3 2.333 235 181 1.298
4  Turkey 1 2 3 4 6 0.667 211 230 0.917
5  Chile 0 4 0 1 12 0.083 207 300 0.690

Pool D

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Iran 3 0 8 9 2 4.500 261 208 1.255
2  Italy 2 1 7 8 4 2.000 271 255 1.063
3  Czech Republic 2 1 6 7 4 1.750 268 241 1.112
4  China 1 2 3 4 6 0.667 220 227 0.969
5  Mexico 0 4 0 0 12 0.000 214 303 0.706

FIVB Recaps

USA x Tunisia

USA rallied from two sets down to overcome Tunisia 3-2 (28-30, 22-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-9). Joel Schneidmiller played briefly in the first two sets but top scored for USA with 16 points as a starter in the next three sets. His compatriots Devin Joslyn and Jonathan Bowles had great contribution to their victory as they charted 14 and 11 points, respectively. Yassine Abdelhedi made 14 points on a losing effort.

Tunisia survived a hard-fought first set against USA, then took the next one for a 2-0 set lead. USA looked revitalized in the third set with a different starting unit headed by Bowles and Schneidmiller, who helped accomplish the win at 25-19. Tunisia had match point but USA stole the set and forced a tie-breaker. USA started with a 5-0 lead then continued to complete the five-set victory.

Here are the post match reactions:

USA coach Sam Shweisky: To win again today feels great. We obviously went the distance in this match. Tunisia played very well and they really put a lot of pressure on us. I am really pleased to have a lot of guys in the team step up. It’s exciting to see the completeness of our team, so this was a fantastic win. We must be ready for whichever team we face in the next round. We’re scouting every opponent, but we want to put great volleyball on the court every time.

USA captain Joel Schneidmiller: To come back the way we did today shows that we have a lot of pride. We definitely brought it out. It shows a lot about our team and how resilient we are. The other games we played weren’t easy ones but we didn’t get pushed as much as we did today. This was a good test for us. This game woke us up and snapped us back into shape. They took us to five and it was a good push, and we did well down the stretch to win.

Tunisia coach Chokri Bouzidi: We didn’t play any friendlies before the tournament and those matches would have helped us to study our weaknesses during the game. My players played very well in the first and second sets, but the experience of the USA team helped them come back and win the game. They were more prepared than us. Our main goal from this participation is to prepare talented players for the senior men’s team. We still have one more game against hosts Bahrain and I think it will be the decider to qualify for the second round.

Japan x Poland

Japan’s captain Kento Miyaura tallied 18 points to command a 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-20) win over Poland. Miyaura recorded all his 18 points from the attack line. The Japanese opposite got some back-up support from Tatsunori Otsuka and Mahiro Saeki, who scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Remigiusz Kapica was the lone bright spot in Poland’s offence as he topped all scorers with 23 points.

Japan led all throughout the first set using their fast-paced plays. They took the first set with only one turnover, while Poland stumbled with eight. In the second set, Japan outstripped Poland of the lead in the final moments to gain a 2-0 set edge. Poland took the third set, but Japan’s consistency on offence and defense ensured the victory in the fourth set.

Here are the post match reactions:

Japan coach Hiroshi Honda: Our strategy and our defense are getting better. Our potential is gradually getting better too. So in our final match in this round, we must do our best to get where want to be. We want to get a good win in our last match against Brazil. I think we have reached 70 per cent of our top level and we still have to work on the other 30 per cent. I am confident that with our potential but we must be 100 per cent when we go to the knockout rounds.

Japan captain Kento Miyaura: I agree with my coach that we are already 70 per cent there. We still have more to give to reach our full potential. Our combinations in attack are still not enough. We must continue to work hard to be at our best level.

Poland coach Maciej Zendel: We played like we did in our loss yesterday. We made too many mistakes. We are capable of winning games, but when we make too many mistakes like today, we don’t give ourselves a chance to play. We still have a chance to qualify for the Round of 16. If we win tomorrow and Cuba lose against Brazil today, we will advance, but if we play like today then it will be very difficult.

Poland captain Szymon Jezierski: We still believe we can go to the next round. But we are in a very bad situation right now and we lost again. We must find something that gives us a chance to win. Nothing is working in our plays at the moment. We still believe that we can do it but we must do something in our last match in the preliminaries.

Argentina x Korea

Argentina overcame a tough ordeal, after being two sets down, to win in the decider against Korea (17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 18-16). Argentina’s Juan Barrera scored 16 points with Luciano Palonsky adding another 15 points, but it was Nicolas Zerba’s crucial points on block that changed the fate of the South American side in the fifth set. Korea’s Donghyeok Im led all scorers with a match-high of 35 points.

Korea gained good advantage by showing cohesive orchestration of their offence. They likewise displayed brilliant effort in floor defense, and persisted with good decisions in transition. Argentina tried to pick up their rhythm and stood more vigilantly by the net. They kept Korea’a main hitters in check, showing a strong blocking game. In the tie-break, Korea surged to a 10-4 lead, but Argentina regrouped with Zerba shutting out the opponents’ attacks to seal victory in the decider.

Here are the post match reactions:

Argentina coach Luis Testa: It was difficult all throughout the match. When Korea led 10-5 in the tie-break, I reminded the boys to be more patient, not to lose their focus and just play point by point.

Argentina player Nicolas Zerba: I am very happy with how the team played. The last five points in the tie-break were really important. All the players performed well in terms of mental toughness, more than the technical aspect. In the final set, we gave everything to win.

Korea coach Wongil Park: The players area little bit demoralized because of this loss. They need to overcome this in order for us to move forward and fight back in the coming matches.

Brazil x Cuba

Victor Aleksander Almeida Cardoso fueled the Brazilian drive to win over Cuba 3-1 (25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19) finishing the match with 16 points, including 13 attacks, one block and two aces. Cuba had more points on the board Jose Carlos Romero Gonzalez, Victor Ramon Andreu Flores and Rey Quesada scoring 19, 15 and 14 points, respectively. However, it was the Brazilians’ 12 blocks and 26 digs that mattered in the end game.

Both sides showed great athleticism at the start of the match, with Brazil leaning more on defense, while Cuba playing more aggressive on offence. This resulted to Brazil and Cuba splitting victories in the first two sets. The third set became a tight race, where Brazil prevailed using their great defense. The Brazilians completed the fourth set victory with excellent teamwork.

Here are the post match reactions:

Brazil captain Joao Franck: We have yet to show our maximum performance in this tournament, but we are near from our best volleyball. It is difficult to keep playing at this level for a whole match. We will try to keep our focus and try to play better at every moment of the match. We expect to reach the next level and try to play better than in the first round. We know that in the next round we will have bigger challenges. When you lose one game, the competition is finished for you. Our goal is to make it at least to the semifinals.

Brazil coach Leonardo Carvalho: We are in a very hard pool. We have now confirmed that we will make it to the next phase of the competition. I am happy especially with the way we played in the first set. We played very, very good volleyball. We are trying to look into improving our performance in each match. I think we had a tough game today, but we played better than we did in our first two matches. We will play against Japan tomorrow. In my opinion, this will be a decisive game. Their team has very good technique and excellent ball control. They are not a tall team but they have great skills. We will try to play better tomorrow, and if we have a chance, we will go for the win. We respect Japan but we want to win every match.

Cuba coach Jesus Lopez: We know we had to win if we want to advance to the next round. We lost this match and we now have to wait for the other teams in the succeeding matches. We played very bad today. I am not at all satisfied with our play. We have players who did not do well on the field. Our reception was a disaster.

Cuba captain Rey Quesada: We have to play very hard in each match because this is a World Championship. We are very disappointed but we must now forget about this loss.

Russia x Chile

Russia raced through a straight-sets match against Chile (25-17, 25-11, 25-15) to gain their second victory of the tournament. Vitalii Dikarev was the top scorer for the Russian side, posting a total of 15 points. Artem Melnikov and Ivan Kuznetcov also figured in double-digits, with 11 points and 10 points respectively. Russia established a solid game, clearly underlining their advantage in height and power. They were aggressive on attack, and even from the service line, which completely threw off the Chilean side’s defense. The European side led on all fronts, scoring off 38 attacks, 13 blocks and nine service aces.

Here are the post match reactions:

Russia coach Andrey Nozdrin: We committed big errors today which I do not like at all. We need to do something about our mistakes. We need to work more and prepare more for the next match. I hope we can play better.

Russia captain Konstantin Abaev: I thought we did not play so well today. We had so many mistakes that we could have limited. Of course we won the match, but I think we are only at 30 percent or 40 percent of the ideal level of play that we want to achieve.

Chile coach Ivan Villareal: It is the first time we played against Russia, which is a very strong team. When you have to face such a strong team like them, you must put in the best work you can. Unfortunately, we were not able to do that. The boys were nervous and played under pressure with too many mistakes. We just want to focus on becoming better in the next match.

Iran x China

Iran unleashed a powerful brand of offence to gain a straight-sets win against China (25-23, 25-18, 25-21). Three of Iran’s players posted double-digit scores in the match. Morteza Sharifi and Porya Yali scored 14 points each, while captain Amirhossein Esfandiar posted another 10 points.

Iran found their rhythm early on in the match, putting in equal effort and intensity in both offence and defense. They ran quick plays punctuated by powerful attacks, but also performed brilliantly in defense. China showed that they could also put to good use their speed in offence, but the Iranian maximized their power from the service line. Iran scored off a total of nine service aces. Iran also showed their dominance in block, converting with 11 blocks compared to China’s six deflections.

Here are the post match reactions:

Iran coach Reza Vakili Farjad: China played differently today, they played even better compared to their earlier matches. The quality of the match was at such a high level. This situation was very important for us and I am happy to win. China had too much motivation for this match. They did not play bad, we just played better than they did.

Iran player Morteza Sharifi: I am very happy for today’s victory. I was not able to perform so well in the earlier matches. I think I played better, but what I really want is to play better and better each match.

China coach Haichuan Wang: It’s such a pity to lose this match. We know we played well, but Iran was the better team today.

China captain Cong Tian: Iran was stronger than our team, and so we lost this match today. We just want to do better in our next match.

Italy x Mexico

Italy secured a straight-sets victory against Mexico (25-15, 25-19, 25-17). Davide Gardini led all scorers with 11 points, followed by Diego Cantagalli adding another 10 points for Italy’s second victory in the competition. Axel Manuel Tellez Rodriguez was the top scorer for Mexico with 10 points.

Italy led on all fronts with 35 attacks, 11 blocks, four service aces, and limited their error count to 16. The European side forged their domination in the match with Gardini and Cantagalli manning a strong front line. Mexico tried to put up a gallant stance, trying to sustain rallies against their opponent. Italy coach Mario Barbiero utilized his bench players, who ably delivered the points to seal their straight-sets win.

Here are the post match reactions:

Italy coach Mario Barbiero: I am very happy for the win as this match is very important for our standings. Iran and Czech Republic can be very strong contenders and we want to prepare for the coming matches.

Italy player Davide Gardini: Mexico is a good team, but every time we are in the World Championship, each match is so difficult. We have to be focused on what we need to do. I think we played very well and we earned three good points today. I want to play better in the next match, and of course, I hope the entire team can play better. I think I need to be more aggressive with my attacks. Anything that I can do better with, I will to do so.

Mexico coach Gabriela Isela: We played against Italy in the previous World Championship and they have not changed their style of play. They are a strong team.

Mexico captain Raymond Gerald Stephens: We want to practice more. In the next matches, we want to be more focused as a team and we want to play smart.

Bahrain x Puerto Rico

RifSayed Mohamed Alabbar led hosts Bahrain to a 3-2 (23-25, 25-7, 25-10, 24-26, 15-10) win over Puerto Rico with a team-high 20 points, which he built from 12 attacks, five blocks and three aces; while his counterpart Gabriel Garcia scored 21 for Puerto Rico. Bahrain outscored Puerto Rico in blocks 19-12 and in aces 8-0.

Bahrain and Puerto Rico played equally matched in the first set, but the latter’s edge in net defense significantly influenced the 25-23 win. Bahrain had fine-tuned their attack and defense patterns, which immobilized Puerto Rico in the next two sets. Puerto Rico eluded Bahrain’s late run in the fourth set, but Bahrain regrouped to seal the five-set triumph.

Here are the post match reactions:

Bahrain coach Yusuf Khalifa: We are very pleased to win this game. We have worked hard for this and it is great to see how this has brought great results for our team. We will play Tunisia next and we expect them to play their best. We want to win this game because we want to keep our momentum heading into the next round and we also need this to improve our ranking.

Bahrain captain Saif Yusuf: We want to earn as many points as we can in pool play and this win certainly helped us with that. In the Round of 16, we will try to put pressure on our opponents and get the best from ourselves.

Puerto Rico coach Juan Albarran: After the first set, we did not have good reception. Our block and attack were not good as well. We got into a slump of very bad things at that point in the game.

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