PUNE, India (Aug. 1, 2009) – A balanced Belarus offense edged host India 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11 on Saturday during the second day of FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship Pool A at Pune, India.
Both teams are now 1-1 in Pool A and remain alive for spot in the top eight second round. India concludes Pool A on Aug. 2 against the United States (2-0) at 18:00, while Belarus plays Tunisia at 14:00. The top two teams from each first-round pool advances to second round 1-8 classification matches to be held Aug. 4-6. The bottom two teams in each first-round pool falls to the second round 9-16 classification matches.
Andrei Mikhnevich led six Belarus players in double-figure scoring with 17 points in the victory, while Pavel Audochanka added 15 points. Artur Udrys tacked on 14 points.
Jacob Manidurai Naveen Raja paced India with a match-high 18 points, while Singh Gurinder added 11 points. Mandeep Singh chipped in 10 points in the loss.
Belarus held a 16-12 block advantage and out-scored India 65-44 on attack. India remained close in the match by benefiting from Belarus’ 44 errors while it had only 23 miscues.
The opening set remained close throughout. After India took a 9-7 lead, Belarus came back to take the lead at 12-11. The lead then switched hands four times until Belarus picked up a 16-15 advantage. Belarus stretched its lead to 21-18 and finished the set at 25-21. Mikhnevich led Belarus’ attack with six points in the opening set, while Manidurai paced India with five points.
Belarus bolted to a 6-3 lead in the second set and increased its margin to 10-6. However, India awakened its offense to tie the set at 10-all. Belarus gained a two-point edge at 15-13, but India quickly erased the lead by tying the set at 15-all. After Belarus went into the second technical timeout up 16-15, India scored four unanswered points that included an ace from R Vaishnav as the host took a 19-16 lead. Belarus answered with two straight points to bring the deficit to one, 19-18. Belarus tied the set at 22-all with an ace from Audochanka. India responded with two quick kills and Belarus misfired on an attack to yield a 25-22 India victory. Singh Navjit tallied four points in the set for India, which only had two errors in the set. Mikhnevich totaled six points in the set for Belarus.
After India nabbed a 6-4 advantage early in the third set, Belarus roared back with three unanswered points capped by a block formed by three players at 7-6. However, India scored the next two points to go into the technical timeout up 8-7 and added to its cushion at 10-8. India led 12-9 in the set, but Belarus came to tie the set at 14-all with a 5-2 scoring run. Belarus reached the second technical timeout leading 16-15 and extended the margin to 18-16 with a block. Trailing 19-17, India rallied to take a 21-20 lead. Belarus regained the lead and earned its first set point at 24-23 with a kill from Audochanka and a block from Udrys. Andrei Radziuk claimed the final point for Belarus at 25-23 with a block. Overall, Belarus had six blocks in the third set.
India claimed a 3-0 lead to begin the fourth set and increased the margin to 9-4 out of the technical timeout. Jacob Manidurai Naveen Raja nailed an ace and it was followed by India kill to give it a 12-5 lead. India continued to put pressure on Belarus as it reached the second technical timeout up 16-8. Belarus charged back with seven of the next nine points to close the gap to 18-15. India stopped the bleeding with two straight points to take a 20-15 lead, but Belarus came back with three unanswered points to close the deficit to two at 20-18. India regained its four-point margin at 22-18 after a Belarus attack went long. Singh Balwinder pocketed an ace to give India a 24-19 lead en route to a 25-20 victory. India picked up 13 of its points in the set on Belarus errors, along with four blocks.
Busel turned in a block to give Belarus a quick 2-0 start to the fifth set. Yaunheni Misiyuk added another block and India’s next attack went long lifting Belarus to a 5-1 advantage. Udrys stuffed an India attack for Belarus’ third block of the set at 7-2. Belarus reached match point at 14-8. India saved three match points before winning 15-11.