|Porto Santo, Portugal, September 16, 2004 - Only one of the six top-seeded teams were able to protect their seed for the elimination rounds as women's pool play concluded here Thursday at the fourth FIVB World Championships for players under 21 years old.
Third-seeded Sara Goller and Ilka Semmler of Germany captured Pool C after posting a 21-17 and 21-15 win over 10th-seeded Arjanne Stevens and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands as both teams entered their Thursday match with unbeaten marks.
Goller and Semmler's Thursday win also continued their successes at FIVB junior events. Semmler was third with Ruth Flemig at the 2002 U-18 event in Greece. Goller was fifth last season in the U-21 event in France with Anja Günther. Semmler won the European U-20 Championships at the end of July with Flemig.
Other teams winning their pools with 3-0 records were 12th-seeded Céline Gemise Fareau/Morgane Faure of France (Pool A), 23rd-seeded Maria Antonelli/Nina Vieira of Brazil (Pool B), 17th-seeded Anna Bialobrzeska/Joanna Kuchczynska of Poland (Pool E) and 19th-seeded Marion Castelli/Eva Hamzaoui of France.
Ninth-seeded Maria Bratkova and Anna Morozova of Russia captured Pool D despite losing 21-19, 10-21 and 15-5 Thursday to the fourth-seeded Schmocker twins (Sarah and Tanya) of Switzerland. The Russians, the Swiss and 21stt-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Maria Kleefisch of Germany all finished with 2-1 Pool D marks, but Bratkova and Morozova won the first tie-breaker with a better set ratio (2.5). The Germans were second due to their better point ratio (1.196) over the Schmockers (0.958).
Joining Holtwick and Kleefisch in advancing to the elimination bracket as second-place teams in their pools were 13th-seeded Belinda Huff/Olivia Orchard of Australia (Pool A), second-seeded Taiana Lima/Carolina Solberg Salgado of Brazil (Pool B), Stevens/Van Iersel (Pool C), eighth-seeded Silvia De Biasi/Alberta Zamuner of Italy (Pool E) and seventh-seeded Sarka Nakladalova/Veronika Opravilova of the Czech Republic (Pool F).
The last four spots for the Round of 16 that starts Friday morning were filled by the four teams with the best third-place finishes in their pool. Host Portugal earned one of the spots along with teams from Latvia, the Netherlands and the Schmockers.
Other teams advancing as third-place pool finishers were top-seeded Mariana Couto/Juliana Moreira of host Portugal, 22nd-seeded Leonie Penninga/Roos Van der Hoeven of the Netherlands and 18th-seeded Tatjana Lamonova/Alexandra Tihovska of Latvia.
The mixed gender event runs through Saturday for the women when the semi-final and medal matches will be played. The 24-team men's Main Draw started Thursday and ends Sunday. The FIVB U-21 World Championships follows last week's the FIVB U-18 Worlds for men and women in Termoli, Italy, where Poland and Lithuania won the women's and men's titles, respectively.