Serbia and Russia claim first win at U21 World Champs, Turkey on a roll
News from the FIVB
Ankara/Izmir, Turkey, August 23, 2013. On Friday Serbia and Russia debuted at the 2013 FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship by edging USA and Brazil respectively as 2012 European champions Italy suffered their second straight-set defeat, this time to their neighbors of France. The hosts of Turkey followed up on their straight win over India on the first day by seeing off Morocco in three sets too while Estonia claimed their first victory in the competition as they powered past Japan 3:1. On Saturday all six European teams will continue their campaign with Serbia playing Tunisia, Estonia taking on Mexico, Italy going for their first win as they play Venezuela, Turkey facing Egypt while Russia and France will cross their ways in Izmir.
In Pool A hosts Turkey succeeded in pulling off a second straight-set victory to the delight of the home fans in Ankara. In the last match on Friday’s schedule at Baskent Volleyball Hall, the local heroes shut out a whole-hearted Moroccan side by 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, and 25-22). With 14 points made up of 1 ace, 3 blocks and 10 hits, Turkey’s captain Baturalp Burak Güngör became the best scorer of the match. Zouhair El Graoui produced 13 points for the team of Morocco. Umit Hizal, head coach of Turkey, said: “It was a tough match. I did not expect that this match would be that hard. My players fought really well and, as a result of their good performance, they won. They did not give up from the beginning through the end. They did everything to win. I am very proud of them”.
The teams of Estonia and Japan became responsible for the first five-set match of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey. The European team achieved their first victory at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara as they overpowered their Asian opponents by 3-2 (27-29, 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, and 15-8) in Friday’s first Pool B game that lasted well beyond the 2-hour mark. Renee Teppan contributed 17 points to Estonia’s victory to become the best scorer of the match. Takuya Takahashi was Japan’s top scorer with 14 points, including 6 blocks. Urmas Tali, head coach of Estonia, commented: “The Japanese team were lucky in the first set and we lost it. We had a difficult start of the second set, but we managed to win it. We played well in the last set and I am very happy for winning this match. My team played better than yesterday where we lost to Iran”.
France’s outstanding blocks made the difference on their way to a straight-set win (25-19, 25-16, and 25-23) over 2012 European champions Italy. France improved their win/loss ratio to 2-0, while Italy dropped depressively to 0-2 after the competition’s second day. Opposite Julien Winkelmuller was the man of the match for the “Bleus” registering 15 points followed by Thibault Rossard who scored 11 points for his side. Italy’s opposite Luigi Randazzo contributed 13 points for the losers as best scorer from his side. Italy head coach Marco Bonitta said: “We didn’t play well today. My players were very nervous. Now we need to clean up our mind because we have two matches ahead. We should focus on them. Against the French block, I think our team did not find a way through though I do not know how to explain this situation”.
World No. 2 and tournament’s heavy favorite Serbia took over USA in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, and 25-17) in Pool C. Serbia started their tournament campaign with a win/loss ratio of 1-0 as this was their first match, while USA dropped to 1-1. Outside hitter Uros Kovacevic (pictured) was Serbia’s best scorer with 17 points including 2 ace services, while USA Benjamin Patch topped the charts for his side with 16 points including 2 successful blocks and 1 ace. Serbia mentor Sinisa Reljic said after the game: “It’s always good to start the Championship with a win. We didn’t play well but we won. Other teams in pool C played yesterday, this was our first game. I think it’s an advantage to watch them beforehand. Also to play early in the first day could be another advantage. USA played better than yesterday. I hope game by game we will play better than we did tonight. Tomorrow we will play against Canada. They are a strong team. I won’t be easy but we will do our best”.
Russia registered an epic 3-2 victory (25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, and 16-14) over South American rivals Brazil in Pool D in Izmir. Russia’s opposite spiker Victor Poletaev led the match scorers with impressive 28 points while Brazil’s opposite Alan Souza contributed 21 for his side. Russian middle-blockers played a crucial role in the victory especially in the first and third set having a dominance of 15 stuff blocks throughout the match. Russia also scored 12 aces making over the best serving performance against 7 for the Brazilian side.
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