Russia books top spot in prelims of Boys' U19 Worlds
News from the FIVB
Tijuana/Mexicali, Mexico, June 30, 2013. European champions Russia achieved a much anticipated victory against Rwanda to become the first team with a locked top pool position at the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship that are running at Baja California, Mexico.
Coach Alexander Karikov (pictured) rotated players, toyed around experimenting with setter Pavel Pankov as opposite, and at the end came up with a 25-13, 25-18, 25-16 triumph attained in just 67 minutes. Already with nine points resulting from three straight-set victories, the Russians have established an insurmountable gap with only one day to play in the preliminary round. “Today I changed number 11, our setter (Pankov) to play as an opposite because I think that this will be his position in the future,” Karikov said. “I did that thinking about his future as a player”.
In the other match of Pool C, Iran crushed France in straight sets (25-20, 25-18, and 25-15) and now go after Rwanda to guarantee a second place in the standings. “Today that’s the Iranian team on the court,” head coach coach Iraj Mozaffari said. “We dedicate this victory to the fathers and mothers of our players who have not seen each other for fifteen days”.
Brazil also have nine points in Pool D from three matches but Korea, with 6 points, still have mathematical options in case of a combination of factors. The South American super power play against Algeria to complete the preliminary phase while the Koreans face the United States needing a 3-0 win combined with a 3-0 loss of Brazil, to decide the first place by the points-ratio. “I hope in the future teams from Brazil can defend like Korea did today,” commented the coach Percy Oncken after the 25-22, 25-16, 25-23 victory on Sunday. “We had to keep the pressure on services and blocks”. In the same Pool D, Egypt concluded their preliminary round with a 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 25-17) victory over the United States.
In Pool A, China collected three points from their 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) victory over Belgium and has a total of 7 points behind Poland’s 8, who next meets Belgium while the Asian vice champions go against winless Tunisia. “We performed at a normal level, nothing extraordinary, and well organized,” the Chinese captain Yu Yaochen said. “I hope we can do better”. Argentina increased their point-total to eight by winning the battle with Chile 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, and 25-21) between unbeaten teams in Pool B. The Argentineans are atop of the group with a 3-0 mark and play Turkey (5, 2-1) on Monday. “I am very convinced that we could give more,” Argentina’s coach Julian Alvarez said, “but Chile has shown big progress since their classification”.
In the last two matches of Sunday, Mexico defeated Tunisia in four sets (30-28, 25-17, 23-25, and 25-18) in Pool A while Cuba beat Japan 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, and 25-20) in Pool B.
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