|Termoli, Italy, September 10, 2004 - Only two of the top-six seeded teams in the Main Draw of the men's FIVB U-18 World Championships maintained their seeds as expected here Friday in leading 16 teams from pool play to Saturday's opening elimination rounds on Rio Vivo Beach.
Top-seeded Andrea Collini and Pietro Pezzi of Italy and fourth-seeded Mario Ferrera and Luis Troncoso Martinez of Spain kept their seeds intact entering the single-elimination rounds as both teams posted three-straight pool play wins, including two victories each Friday.
Collini and Pezzi opened with a 21-12 and 21-13 win over 13th-seeded AlexanderKotlyarov and Andrey Krasnoglazov of Russia before finishing Pool A competition by defeating previously unbeaten and12th-seeded Christoph Berger and Sebastian Schweighofer of Austria 21-14 and 21-15.
Ferrera and Troncoso Martinez posted their wins Friday over 16th-seeded Marco Daalmeijer and Daan Spijkers of the Netherlands (24-22, 16-21 and 15-9) and ninth-seeded Alejandro Diaz Garcia and Juan Virgen of Mexico (21-17, 22-24 and 15-7). The Mexicans entered the Pool D match against Ferrera and Troncoso Martinez with a 2-0 mark.
Other teams advancing as the top teams from their pools were 23rd-seeded Rodrigo Bernat and Diogo Pontes of Brazil (Pool H), 15th-seeded Baptiste Geiler and Renaud Ventresque of France (Pool I), eighth-seeded Joseph Dykstra and Mark Van Zwieten of the United States (Pool K) and 18th-seeded Ingars Ivanovs and Janis Smedins and Latvia (Pool L).
Bernat and Pontes, who upset second-seeded Brazilian rivals Guilherme Ferreira and Roberto Pitta Thursday, posted Friday wins over 11th-seeded Zbigniew Bartman and Michal Kubiak of Poland (18-21, 21-14 and 17-15) and 14th-seeded Luca De Luigi and Alessandro Gennari of San Marino (21-9 and 21-9). Bartman and Kubiak, the 2004 European U-18 Champions, also downed Ferreira and Pitta Friday (21-13 and 21-14).
Geiler and Ventresque used a 21-15 and 21-18 win over third-seeded Marko Kienast and Thilo Späth of Germany to launch their Pool I finish as the French also scored a 21-8 and 21-9 win over 22nd-seeded Frane Zanic and Domagoj Zelic of Croatia. Tenth-seeded Reid Hall and Adam Podstawka, who dropped a 21-17 and 21-16 match to Geiler and Ventresque also upset Kienast and Späth, the 2004 European U-18 silver medallists, 21-12 and 22-20 Friday.
Dykstra and Van Zwieten used a 22-23, 21-19 and 15-13 comeback win over 20th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek and Grzegorz Pajak of Poland enroute to a 3-0 Pool K mark. The Polish pair won the bronze medal at the European U-18 finals last month. Dykstra and Van Zwieten ended play Friday by defeating fifth-seeded Sam Boehm and Shaun Howard of Australia 21-14 and 21-16.
Ivanovs and Smedins captured Pool L by scoring wins over sixth-seeded Gabriele Parisi and Andrea Russo of Italy (23-21 and 21-14) and 19th-seeded Arunas Kirsnys and Arvydas Miseikis of Lithuania (21-16 and 21-18) Friday.
The third annual FIVB U-18 World Championships also features women's competition as both genders will play first-round and quarter-finals matches Saturday to determine the "final four" teams. Play concludes Sunday with the semi-finals and medal matches for both genders.