Team USA Thoroughly Outclassed by Russia on Day 2 of Girls’ U18 Worlds

  0 Liam Smith | August 19th, 2017 | African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball


  • August 18th-28th
  • Rosario and Santa Fé, Argentina
  • Schedule
  • Teams
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Quarterfinals
  • Semifinals
  • Finals and Bronze Medal
  • Event page

The second day of action at the Girls’ U18 World Champioship was filled with action. While favorites, and current champions, Italy downed Serbia in three straight sets, last tournament’s silver medalists Team USA got stomped by Russia in a very one sided game.  Here are the pools at the end of day 2, followed by recaps of all the games.

Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Slovenia 1 0 3 3 0 MAX 76 58 1.310
2  Argentina 1 0 3 3 1 3.000 100 81 1.235
3  Germany 1 1 2 4 5 0.800 184 202 0.911
4  Cuba 0 1 1 2 3 0.667 102 103 0.990
5  South Korea 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 58 76 0.763

Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Russia 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 150 101 1.485
2  Belarus 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 151 109 1.385
3  United States 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 56 75 0.747
4  Brazil 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 56 76 0.737
5  Mexico 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 98 150 0.653

Pool C

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Italy 1 0 3 3 0 MAX 75 51 1.471
2  Poland 1 0 3 3 0 MAX 77 55 1.400
3  Serbia 1 1 3 3 3 1.000 128 122 1.049
4  Colombia 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 55 77 0.714
5  Thailand 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 47 77 0.610

Pool D

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Japan 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 151 112 1.348
2  Turkey 2 0 6 6 1 6.000 168 111 1.514
3  Dominican Republic 0 2 0 1 6 0.167 123 168 0.732
4  Peru 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 65 76 0.855
5  China 0 1 0 0 3 0.000 35 75 0.467


FIVB Recaps

Serbia x Thailand

In the first game of the second day, Serbia’ downed Thailand in a very one sided 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-6) win that featured an abysmal 25-6 third set. Sara Caric led the way for Serbia with 14 points, helped by Miljana Glusac, with 11, and captain Jovana Mirosavljevic, with 10. Thailand had none of the girls in double figures, with Piyarat Buddawong atop of the list with 8 tallies. After a close first set, Serbia advanced to a 19-14 lead on the board and rapidly secured the first set 25-16. Thailand found the right formula afterwards, with multiple digs and counterattacks off the tall Serbian block, but precisely the work at the net was what gave the European side a nerve-racking 27-25. It was over then as Serbia came back stronger than ever, with a demolishing 25-6 to bring the day to a close.

Here are the after match reactions:

Jovo Cakovic, Serbia coach: “The first match is always a very difficult one and Thailand made us play long points with a good defence, but we are a better team and we beat them. It’s difficult for girls this age to play consistently, but they played against a rival who we never had faced, it was the first non-European team we ever played against so it was positive for us.”

Jovana Mirosavljevic, Serbia captain: “We feel really special! We love Argentina and their public so far. We won 3-0 our first match even without our best volleyball today, but we hope to do better tomorrow against Italy. We know them, we know that they have a taller roster; it will be a different kind of game but hopefully we will win.”

Jarun Niemtuptim, Thailand coach: “We lost a second set which we could have won and the girls lost their confidence after that. The result of the last set was because of that. However, our tactics were a positive aspect – we could see them work properly on that second set. This means we have to improve the confidence of the team, as the tactics and planning are OK so far.”

Argentina x Germany

Hosts Argentina delighted their hometown crowd with 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 25-27 and 25-14) victory over Germany. Angeles Ligorria lead all Argentinian scorers with 14 points, while being helped by Sofia Meinardi and Dominique Corsair, who totaled 11 points apiece for the local team. On the German side, Luisa Theresa Keller tallied 15 to finish as best match scorer, followed by Lina Alsmeier who registered 13. Lea Ambrosius and Emma Cyris closed with 12 each. Service was key for the host team that aced 13 times against only 2 by Germany. Germany gave up 36 points to their opponents.

Argentina showed a very powerful game since the beginning of the match. The team coached by Estasnislao Vachino came out swinging and quickly closed the first two sets. Germany showed some better play, using effective service to rally a third set win. But when the fourth set came, they lacked energy to hang with the Argentinians, who quickly finished the match.

Here are the post game reactions:

Estanislao Vachino Head Coach of Argentina: “We knew the spectators were going to be with us, but is always difficult to play in front of so many people when you’re not used to it. It was also the beginning of the World Championship at home for the very first time in history against a difficult rival with so much potential as Germany. We did all we planned and now we have to enjoy a bit and start the recuperation for tomorrow”.

Pilar Cina, Captain of Argentina: “For us the World Championship was always a dream and we were really expecting it. You know, the previous days we were so excited and trying to focus on our rival, that is one of the most difficult of the Pool, that’s why we’re so happy for winning the game”.

Jens Tietböhl Head Coach of Germany: “Congratulations for Argentina, they did a very good match and we enjoy a really nice atmosphere. On the second and the third sets we played, but committed too many mistakes on reception and service. I hope tomorrow we can correct those things”.

Emma Cyris, Captain of Germany: “They played very good and even we didn’t think it was going to be an easy match, they had good service and we committed mistakes in reception. I think it wasn’t a good match for us, but tomorrow we will try to play our best volleyball”.

Russia x USA

Russia claimed their second victory of the tournament after soundly beating The United States 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-19). Oxana Yakushina built on her debut with another team high of 17 points. She was aided by Polina Shemanova, who finished with 10 points for the Russian team that dominated in services 10-1, five of them by Victoria Pushina and three by Yakushina. On the American side Logan Eggleston was their most productive player, with 13 points scored. USA gave up 27 points, but improved their performance in the last set. Russia led the blocking game 9-5 with four points in one hour and 12 minutes of game.

The Russians are 2-0 in Pool B, while the Americans are 0-1 after making their debut on Saturday, but have still three pending matches.

Here are the post match reactions, which includes statements from delegation member and famous Russian volleyball star, Ekaterina Gamova.

Ekaterina Gamova, Russian delegation member: “Our team has showed a good performance, they have done their best and I think they will improve game by game. It is a brand new experience. My first time traveling with them and I hope I can contribute with these girls.”

Oxana Yakushina, Opposite player of Russia: ‘I think we played very good in block and service and that helped us to get the victory. I’m so happy for being the top scorer of the match, it’s a really big pleasure. I’ll try to maintain the level and be even better next time.”

Madison Horin, Captain of USA: “I think we played out of focus, we had many passing mistakes and other things we couldn’t control. We need to take care of it better than we did today. I think it was a tough game, but we’re use to play high level volleyball: we played against Brazil, Japan and Italy prior to the competition and we can play against Russia, but today we committed too many mistakes. I’m sure we can comeback and be better than today.”

Jim Stone Head, Coach of USA: “For most of our players this is the first international experience so I think we were okay, but we made pretty critical errors. We were paired at the starts of the sets, but then we committed passing and service errors that allowed Russia to get ahead. Our inexperienced players need to get mentally stronger, but they made good plays anyway. Now we have to work hard, trying to maintain the good things. Hopefully this team will build experience as the matches go by and keep getting better as the tournament moves on.”

China x Turkey

Fueled by Ebrar Karakurt and Yaprak Erkek, Turkey handed China a sound 3-0 (25-22, 25-8, 25-5) defeat on the second day of play. Karakurt collected 16 points and wing-spiker Erkek nailed 12, while middle-blocker Merve Atlier blocked 6 times out of her total of 10 tallies. On China, the most active scorer was Che Wenhan with 9 points.

The action began in a point-by-point basis, with Turkey ahead due to a good entrance of setter Saliha Sahin and both Karakurt and Erkek already active. After the 25-22, the Europeans rushed to 8-1 and 13-2 on the second set, while China could only watch speechless as the 25-8 took shape. The Turkish hurricane continued on the next chapter as they stomped China 12-1 and 18-2 en-route to a final 25-5.

Here are the post match reactions:

Sahin Catma, Turkey coach: “Of course, we are so happy to have won the game. Today we did very well on the basics of volleyball – serve and reception. As I said yesterday, we respect all teams and we should be respected as well. This means we will prepare our next games with the same idea and hope for the best. We are not only the starting six, we are a whole team and every player from the bench is capable of help; we play like that and one can see that on the court.”

Yaprak Erkek, Turkey player: “We did a great job on the court today – we were able to show we are a strong squad. Playing like a team was the key for us at this win. We were excited at the beginning, but as the game went on we relaxed and ended up very well.”

Derya Cebecioglu, Turkey player: “It was an important game for us, we came out to win and we did it. We are aware anyway that this is just the beginning of the tournament; we need to keep working and now we will prepare to face Japan, trying to show once again who we are.”

Xu Jiande, China coach: “We couldn’t put together a strong team this year, we have many missing players and it’s difficult to play like that against a powerful opponent like Turkey. We need to play lots of matches to gain confidence and play better. Today we were overwhelmed in every aspect of the game.”

Chen Fanglin, China captain: “We did it quite well in the first set, but we had lots of trouble in our reception in the second and third. We felt the pressure and didn’t show the will to win.”

Belarus x Mexico

Belarus built upon the first day defeat of Brazil by beating Mexico 3-0 (25-19, 25-20 and 25-14). Vera Kastsiuchyk was their best scorer with a total of 12 points, including 5 aces. Belarus outscored Mexico 9-1 on aces, and 8-4 on blocks. Hanna Hryshkevich scored 11 for the team that has become the sweet surprise of the competition after outplaying Brazil in their debut. Mexico showed good individual weapons like Grécia Castro, who tallied 15 points and was in fact the top scorer of the match.

Here are the post game reactions:

Natallia Melianiuk, Head Coach of Belarus: “It was a difficult match against a hard rival, but we did it very good. Our team always wants to win every match and we want to get the first place in the pool.”

Vera Kastsiuchyk, Player of Belarus: “I’m very happy because of my personal performance and that’s the way I can help the team, so I’m glad and hope to maintain the level. We want the first place of the Pool B.”

Grécia Castro López, Player of Mexico: “We showed good moments of play during the first two sets, but we showed excess of confidence, we failed on reception and the team fell down. We need to correct our reception, be patient and be united for the following games’.

Ricardo de Jesus Naranjo, Head Coach of Mexico: “The first two sets had a lot of parity and we even made a gap, but we couldn’t maintain it. The inexperience and lack of confidence doesn’t let us maintain the level we need. In the third I think we couldn’t play as in the previous ones and we lost the initiative. Anyway, we played better than yesterday and we hope we can keep improving despite the results”.

Japan x Dominican Republic

Using their usual defensive volleyball, Japan earned their second win of the competition, a solid 3-0 (25-20, 25-8, 25-19) over Dominican Republic, led by the 12-point game of Haruna Soga. Natalia Martinez was the main contributor to the Dominican scoring force, completing 9 points.

It was a clash of two different volleyball styles from the very beginning, as Dominican Republic showed their power while Japan countered with digs and fast plays. The latter prevailed 25-20 in the opener and enhanced their dominance over the Caribbean side next, serving and ceaselessly defending to 9-3 and secured a 25-8 in the blink of an eye. Even though Dominican Republic attempted a reaction, Japan remained focused as Soga steered the team to the 25-19.

Here are the post game reactions:

Daichi Saegusa, Japan coach: “We are feeling better and better. We were very strong in reception today and we were able to play very comfortably because of that. We had some very good scoring streaks as well and another interesting thing for us was the output of the reserve players – there’s no starting six, these girls are all able to perform the same way and the team keeps the same identity.”

Shuri Kurata, Japan captain: “I’m very happy for this victory, but I think we haven’t reached our full potential as a team. I believe we can keep increasing our level, so we will try to be even better tomorrow.”

Madeline Guillen, Dominican Republic player: “Japan play very fast and defence is not among our strong points, so this game was very difficult for us and things didn’t go the way we wanted. We must receive better and also we have to dig more to improve.”

Alexandre Ceccato, Dominican Republic coach: “We didn’t play well. Japan did it quite better than us; they served very well and defended a lot so my congratulations to them. We didn’t know how to play against them and they didn’t let us play. Now we have a decisive game, it’s a do or die situation against Peru in which we have to win, and then to look for another victory against China.”

Germany x Cuba

Germany and Cuba played the first tie-breaker of the competition in Santa Fe, Germany coming from behind in the fourth set to defeat Cuba 3-2 (25-22, 16-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-10). Elizabeth Vicet Campos was the best scorer of the match that lasted almost two hours with 24 points. However, those were not enough for a Cuban team that failed some key plays in the fourth set and surrendered 31 points by the end of the match. Lina Alsmeier scored 21 for Germany.

Here are the post game reactions:

Lina Alsmeier, Player of Germany: “We had a little down in the second and third set, but we came up and our game was very good. We have faith and we also had fun, I think that’s important. Yesterday we couldn’t play our game against Argentina, but today we did it so I’m so happy.”

Martin Watne Fryndes, Assistant Coach of Germany: “We’re happy because we get the victory against a difficult rival as Cuba, that plays really simple, but very well also. As soon as we could sort out their system, we played efficiently on our transition and were able to keep them under pressure. The key today was our serve, we were able to keep them out of their plans, so we could make our play in block and defense. It was an important victory for us because we want to advance to the round of sixteen.”

Elizabeth Vicet Campos, Captain of Cuba: “We played a very good game, but we failed too many times, specially from the service line. We lost the initiative on serve and also we failed to close the set in the fourth period. We committed mistakes after the point number 20, we need to play with more faith in ourselves. Our team has a lot of unity and we know we will improve because we want to qualify to the next stage.”

Tomas Fernandez Arte, Head Coach of Cuba: “We were very nervous. This was the first game for many of our players and they felt the pressure of getting the victory. We committed too many mistakes in the fundamentals in which we’re best: block, service and attack. The nervousness betrayed us, but we have a lot of potential and we want to get into playoffs.”

Italy x Serbia

Tournament favorites Italy prevailed over Serbia in a very one sided 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-18) win. Elena Pietrini was the most prolific scorer of the game with 18 points, while Terry Enweonwu capped 16 for the winning side. Adding attacks and counterattacks, Italy scored three times more than Serbia (45-15), which had in Sara Caric the top scorer with 10 tallies. After the first TTO of the game, Italy had a 5-0 run to take off 13-6 and then carved the way to a final 25-15. An amazing defensive effort by Serbia’s Perovic proved they were going for the comeback, but Italy didn’t ease up on the gas – Enweonwu and Pietrini kept smashing and turned a 16-12 into a 25-18. The plot repeated at the final episode, even with more excellence of the Italian spikers, to seal the deal with another 25-18.

Here are the post game reactions:

Marco Mencarelli, Italy coach: “My team has lots of high points, but today we didn’t play as good as we can. Serbia didn’t put as much pressure with their serve as we thought they would, and that made our game more fluent. This tournament has really good teams, but at this age, the teams sometimes play fantastic matches and sometimes they do it not so good, it’s normal.”

Elena Pietrini, Italy player: “We gave everything we had to give to win; we were truly a team in the most difficult moments of the game and that union gave us strength. Marco (Head Coach) helped us when we were not playing well. We played well, but this is a long tournament and we have to go step by step.”

Jovo Cakovic, Serbia coach: “Italy is one of the favourites here, they’re a very good team and they’re just better than us in every position. We must look for a victory on next matches and I’m confident we can make it into the next round. Poland is our next target, we will prepare for playing against them hoping we can get the result we want.”

Sara Caric, Serbia player: “They’re a very good team, we have played against them before and we knew that. They served well; they brought a lot of challenges to us. They outplayed us in every department. Last time we played against them we made it into the fifth set, it was a different game than today; I feel like we showed less willpower. We made many mistakes we never make and it messed us up a bit.”

Poland x Thailand

Poland had to use all of their resources to defeat Thailand 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-11). Polish captain Oliwia Baluk carried the flag for her side with 18 caps, becoming also the game’s top scorer. Aonanong Saisri from Thailand was right behind with 12 kills, while three players completed 11 points – Poland’s Zuzanna Gorecka and Thailand’s Oanchisa Lonok and Piyarat Buddawong.

Poland overpowered Thailand and broke their defensive resistance towards a 25-21 score, but the Asian team improved on counterattack for a wide lead next (19-13), enough to contain the Polish reaction and secure the set 25-23. Poland still struggled against the demoralising Thai defence afterwards, but eventually found the reward to their patience in the next two sets – by 25-17 first and by 25-xx to finally grasp the win.

Here are the post match reactions:

Rafal Gasior, Poland coach: “We never thought the match to be easy, so we expected this kind of performance from Thailand. They play a style of volleyball which we are not used to play against; they move a lot and for European teams is hard to deal with that. We can learn a lot from Asian volleyball, especially in defence; Japan showed us that they can play in superb level without tall players. The most important thing today was that we could alternate our players and all of them played at a good level.”

Oliwia Baluk, Poland captain: “It was a more complicated game than the one we played yesterday; it was the first time we played against such a small team and we could do it nice, it’s important. Our coach told us not to jump very high and to put more emphasis in the direction of our hands so we could avoid their precise spikes; that was our main purpose today.”

Jarun Niemtuptim, Thailand coach: “Today we did well even with the loss. The physical condition of my girls was better and they could bring to light their talent to play against a strong team like Poland. At the second set we had our opportunity and we took it, we showed confidence but at the same time we can improve even more on that area. We know we have skills and tactics, we just need more international matches like this one today.”

Slovenia x Argentina

Hosts Argentina maintained the winning rhythm and grabbed their second victory after four breathtaking sets in front of their home crowd. The squad coached by Estasnislao Vachino won by scores of 25-21, 25-20, 21-25 and 25-18 with Sofia Menardi, Angeles Ligorria and Dominique Corsario as best weapons. For Slovenia Alja Jerala and Tali Lekse finished with 12 apiece, followed by Nika Cigale who scored 11.

Jose Casar’s team made some adjustments that kept the European girls alive when the match seemed to be solved quickly by the hosts. In the fourth Argentina reached the first technical time-out with a 5 points advantage leading the set 8-5. Bianca Farriol worked hard with some blocks to control the game behind the net while Menardi converted to trail the set by seven units. Slovenia missed some key passing plays and despite having a very good blocking game, gave up 31 points in unforced errors.

Here are the post match reactions:

Ángeles Ligorria Player of Argentina: “Playing at home is a wonderful feeling. I think in the third set we lost the concentration and it sometimes happens to us, we need to correct that, but the most important is we could revert it and get the victory. We knew this beginning was going to be difficult, but we trained a lot for this moment and now we’re enjoying.”

Estanislao Vachino, Head Coach of Argentina: “We’re not surprised of what we can do. We won a match even harder than the one against Germany, because Slovenia is very good and technical squad. It was a match that was almost closed, but we committed too many mistakes in the third and fortunately, we came back in the fourth and we ended it with a convincing performance.”

Casar Joze, Head Coach of Slovenia: “It was difficult to play against this fabulous spectators here in Santa Fe. They’re positively crazy and this is the game all your life you want to play, it’s really amazing. The girls were a bit scared, but when we started to play Argentina didn’t give as much to do. In the third we played well, we put them under pressure, but the complete game wasn’t good. We battled in defense and we had some good moments in attack, but the serve was the difference today. Hopefully we will adjust to this atmosphere and we can start playing better. Today we didn’t believe we were able to win, we need that confidence to win tomorrow.”

Alja Jerala, Player of Slovenia: “I would like to congratulate Argentina. I think we didn’t have enough concentration today and that was the result. Anyway, they’re a really good team and we didn’t expect they play in that level. Tomorrow is a new day and we will try to do our best.”


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