FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Brazil and Russia to battle for the U21 World Championship title

Russia overpowered Brazil by 3-2 in the pool, but a final match is another story...

Ankara, Turkey, August 31, 2013 – Brazil v Russia has been set up as the grand finale of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship.  The two volleyball powerhouses will lock horns in a classic battle for gold at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara on Sunday evening.


In Saturday’s semifinals, both Brazil and Russia came across old acquaintances that they had already beaten in straight sets in Pool D matches.  This time, their opponents, Italy and France respectively, did better in being competitive, but only managed to win one set each to settle for participation in the bronze medal match.


The South Americans won their tough semifinal match against Italy by 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-23), while Russia’s victory over France was even more dramatic - 3-1 (27-25, 24-26, 25-18, 27-25).  On the path to success, both winning sides had to rely heavily on their superior blocking performance.


”We respect all the possible opponents that might come into tomorrow’s final match, but we only respect them until the beginning of the match.  Then, we need to fight for the gold,” Brazil’s coach Leonardo Carvalho stated before the second semifinal.


His Russian counterpart Mikhail Nikolaev commented later: ”Tomorrow we are going to play with Brazil. They are a very important opponent. We will prepare and try to do our best to win.”


Two straight-set victories determined the participants in Sunday’s clash for the fifth place.  After missing out on the medal matches, the home side Turkey and their neighbours from Iran are doing their best to finish as close to the top as possible.  The Iranians managed to beat Argentina by 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 28-26), while the Turks cruised to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-20) victory over India.  Argentina and India will have to settle the seventh place between each other.


The ninth place is at stake in Sunday’s encounter between Serbia and Japan.  The two sides won the classification 9-12 playoffs in Izmir on Saturday evening.  Serbia claimed a 3-1 (26-24, 25-22, 19-25, 26-24) victory over USA, while Japan persevered to come out victorious from a five-set thriller against Canada - 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 26-28, 17-15).  The North American duel will determine whether the eleventh place should belong to USA or Canada.


The battle in classification 13-16 seems to be the fiercest as it boasted more than four hours of drama in two five-setter sagas on Saturday afternoon.  First, Egypt overpowered China by 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13, 19-17) and, then, Tunisia emerged victorious against Mexico by 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 21-19) to set up a North African duel for the 13th place on Sunday.


The championship is already over for the teams that battled for the distribution of the 17th to the 20th positions in the final ranking.  Estonia won the round robin tournament by claiming their third victory, this time over Venezuela by 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-15).  Morocco beat Rwanda by 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-21) to claim the 18th place, leaving the South American side in the 19th and the African representatives in the 20th positions.





Brazil v Italy 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-23)


Brazil are the first team to earn a spot in Sunday’s final of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Ankara. The South Americans won their tough semifinal match against Italy by 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-23) to secure their place on the podium.


Brazil seemed to have a tight grip on the first set, but, after 18-15, Italy won three rallies in a row to level the score.  Another three-point series after 22-22 finished the set off in Italy’s favour.  Alan Souza showed his scoring skills in the relatively one-sided second set with a 7-point contribution to the eventual 25-18 Brazil’s way.  Italy’s Gabriele Nelli displayed his prolific scoring with 8 points in the third set, but Brazil still dominated, thanks to their blocking performance and the many opponent errors to close the set at 25-19.  Set four was closely contested, developing with a slight advantage for Italy.  However, in the conclusive moments Brazil once again showed their superiority to turn things around.  It all ended at 25-23 with a brilliant spike by Leandro Santos through the middle, but it was the setter Thiago Veloso who also fell into his team-mates arms for the perfect pass and who did not even try to stop his joyful tears upon the victorious ending of the match.


Alan Souza tallied up 18 points for Brazil to become the best scorer of this game, followed by team-mates Douglas Souza and Henrique Batagim and Italy’s Luigi Randazzo with 16 points each.


“This was a real international volleyball derby,” Brazil’s coach Leonardo Carvalho exclaimed.  ”It was important to have emotional balance in this match, because the emotional balance can make the difference.”


“We played until the last whistle of the match. Now, we need to recover our mental energy and prepare for tomorrow’s match. We want to go back to Italy with a medal,” stated Italy’s captain Edoardo Picco.


Russia v France 3-1 (27-25, 24-26, 25-18, 27-25)


Russia earned their spot in the last battle for the planetary throne at the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Ankara with a dramatic 3-1 (27-25, 24-26, 25-18, 27-25) semifinal victory over France.


Russia took an early four-point lead before the first technical time-out, but France gradually recovered to tie at 17-17 and even take the lead over the following several rallies.  Still it was Russia to reach set point first at 24-23.  France also had an opportunity to win the set at 25-24, but three points in row sealed a 27-25 win for Mikhail Nikolaev’s team.  The ending of the second set was no less dramatic.  At 24-19, France looked like the sure winner, but Russia scored five consecutive points to tie at 24 each.  But this did not suffice as Stephane Faure’s players managed to claim the next two rallies and the set by 26-24.  Five aces helped Russia dominate in set three to close it at a convincing 25-18.  The fourth set offered another heart-breaking finish.  The Russians could already see themselves in the final as they led by 24-21, but France fought back to stay alive through these three, and then one more, set points before two kill blocks in a row for 27-25 sent Russia partying.


France’s Julien Winkelmuller scored 19 points to top Russia’s Ilyas Kurkaev by one point for the best scorer of the match position.  Russia’s 15 kill blocks and 6 aces, in comparison to 10 and 3 for France, set the foundation for their victorious performance.


France was good at reception and defence,” Russia’s coach Mikhail Nikolaev said. ”Therefore, it was difficult to play against them. They were good at taking the hard receptions. I want to thank my players very much.”


“We knew that it was going to be a hard match,” France’s coach Stephane Faure added. ”They play very hard and strong. Therefore we knew that we need to be better in serving first and do everything well on the court. We managed to do it at times and at times they prevented us from doing what we wanted to do. They played with a very good strategy against us and they were also good in serving and blocking.”



Classification 5-8


Iran v Argentina 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 28-26)


Iran shut out Argentina in the first classification 5-8 match in Ankara. On Saturday afternoon at Baskent Volleyball Hall, the Asian team was once again cheered on by their faithful fans on the stands and seemed more motivated than their opponents to hammer out a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 28-26) win and stay in contention for the fifth place.


The first set was very closely contested through the second technical time-out, but then Iran took a solid lead and captain Javad Hosseinabadi put the ball on the floor for the final 25-21.  Argentina could not hold on to their solid early lead in the second set and Iran took advantage of the opponents’ many mistakes to catch up at 17-17 and moved on to win by 25-23 with Seyerdarash Taghavi spiking for the last point. In a tight third set Iran reached set point at 24-22, but Argentina managed to survive four of those before substitute Sahand Allah Verdian capitalised on the fifth one with an ace for the winning point at 28-26.


Iran’s Javad Hosseinabadi and Argentina’s Pablo Koukartsev scored 16 points each to become the most prolific players of the match.


India v Turkey 0-3 (18-25, 23-25, 20-25)


Turkey will battle with Iran on Sunday afternoon for the fifth place in Ankara. The home side earned their place in this match with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-20) victory over India.


Led by Gokhan Gokgoz, who set an example by scoring 7 points in the first set, Turkey controlled the situation on the court and won by 25-18.  India improved their performance and took the lead in the second.  It was Kumar Sohan’s turn to score 7 points in one set, but this did not suffice.  On the other side of the net, Metin Toy topped that with 9.  Turkey’s better blocking in the conclusive moments and that back-row spike by captain Baturalp Burak Gungor for the last point gave them the edge for the final 25-23.  The local heroes stepped up their blocking efforts even further to control the scoreboard in set three through the eventual 25-20 with Gokgoz successfully blocking and spiking for the last two points.


Metin Toy with 15 points for Turkey, Kumar Sohan with 14 points for India and Gokhan Gokgoz for Turkey were the three best scorers of the match.



Classification 9-12


USA v Serbia 1-3 (24-26, 22-25, 25-19, 24-26)


Serbia regained their starting rhythm on time to claim a 3-1 (26-24, 25-22, 19-25, 26-24) victory over a struggling USA team in Izmir.


Serbia's attacker Drazen Luburic led his team scorers with 17 points, followed by Milan Katic who scored 14 points. As usual, USA's opposite attacker Benjamin Patch led his team with 26 points to become the best scorer of the match.


USA managed a comfortable margin in the first set until Serbia came from behind to win the first set by 26-24.  Serbia claimed the second set easier with the aid of Drazen Luburic and Milan Katic. USA came back to win the third set with their opposite spiker Benjamin Patch at his best performance.  The US team was highly motivated to stay in contention using their consistency in blocking and backline defence, while the Serbian goal was to avoid the tie-breaker.  The score stayed in equilibrium until Serbia won narrowly by 26-24 to claim the match by 3-1.


Japan v Canada 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 26-28, 17-15)


Japan rebounded after losing the first set to pull off a 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 26-28, 17-15) victory over Canada.


Japan's outside hitter Yuki Ishikawa led his team scorers with 24 points, followed by Naoya Takano who scored crucial 17 points. On the Canadian side, Ryley Barnes contributed 15 points to his team as the best scorer.


The fighting spirit and the use of their well-known quick attacks through positions 2 and 3 were the key factors for the victory of the Japanese team who stayed at their optimum performance till the end.  Canada started the match with the proper line-up and discipline to go manage a wide win in the first set by 25-18. Japan rebounded aggressively in the second and the third sets with their attackers doing a fantastic job to turn the score around. The fourth set was the most exciting one as Japan was leading most of the time before Canada fought bravely to return in the last few points and pick up the set by 28-26.  In the tie-breaker Japan persevered to win it by 17-15 and celebrate victorious.



Classification 13-16


Egypt v China 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13, 19-17)


Egypt claimed their tournament's second victory against China in a gruelling five-setter that ended in 121 minutes with the final result of 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13, 19-17).  The two teams already met once in Pool A of the competition and produced another 3-2 result.


Egypt’s opposite spiker Islam Abdelkader led the match scorers with impressive 27 points followed by team-mate and middle blocker Mohamed Masoud who contributed 22 points. On the Chinese side, opposite Zhimin Leng led the scorers with 19 points. Two of the key factors for the victory were the 19 successful blocking attempts for the Egyptian team and arranging the quick attacks to disturb the Chinese blockers from positions 2 and 3.


The first set was very competitive. After a 24-24 tie, China did better in scoring the crucial points to win by 31-29.  Egypt improved their blocking and took the lead in the second set. China came back at the end to provide for a more dramatic ending as Egypt won narrowly by 25-23. China emerged again in the third set with Zhimin Leng lead the team to a 25-17. The fourth set was completely one-sided and the Egyptians won it by a wide margin - 25-13.  Again, the tie-breaker was very competitive. After 14-12, Egypt lost three match points before they could finish it off at 19-17.


Tunisia v Mexico 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 21-19)


Tunisia came back twice from one set behind to clinch a thrilling 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 21-19) victory over Mexico in two hours of exciting volleyball in Izmir and to set up a classic North African clash with Egypt for the 13th place in the final ranking.


Substitute opposite Montasar Ben Brahem led the Tunisian scorers with 21 points, followed by outside hitter Malek Chekir who scored 14. Mexico’s Roberto Rincon contributed 27 points for his team to become the game’s best scorer.


Mexico started the match with a disciplined line-up and a well-organized defence so they led form the start until Tunisia flared up at the end trying to save the set, but Mexico clinched it by 25-23.  Tunisia came back in the second set with improved reception and succeeded to win the set by 25-23.  Once again, Mexico used their big gum Roberto Rincon to send his strong hits to the Tunisian side to win the third set by 25-22.  With a modified squad, Tunisia came back aggressively to win the fourth set by the widest point difference - 25-15, and extend the match to a tie-breaker set. After several switches in the lead in the thrilling crucial set, Tunisia clinched it by 21-19 to win the match by 3-2.



Classification 17-20


Estonia v Venezuela 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-15)


Estonia cruised past Venezuela in straight sets – 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-15) in the third and last day of the classification tournament for the 17th to 20th positions at the U21 World Championship in Izmir and finished the tournament 17th in the final ranking and unbeaten in this round robin.


The outstanding performance of Estonia's outside hitter Robert Taht was the key factor. He scored 19 points to top the scorers’ chart of the match. He was followed by team-mate Renee Teppan with 13 points. On the Venezuelan side, Roberth Abreu and Jose Martinez led the scorers with 10 points each.  Beside their dominance in attacking, the Estonians also led widely in blocking, collecting 15 stuff blocks against 3.  Venezuela looked competitive in the first set and in parts of the second, but when they lost their motivation in the third set Estonia took a wide lead and achieved the straight-set win.


Estonian captain Ronald Jarv after the match: “Now the tournament is over for us. We are going to enjoy Izmir and the celebration may begin.”


Morocco v Rwanda 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-21)


Morocco dominated all the volleyball skills in their way to defeat Rwanda by 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-21) in the last match of the round robin classification tournament and claim the 18th place in the final ranking on better set ratio than Venezuela, while leaving Rwanda in the 20th.


Morocco took revenge for their defeat against Rwanda in the bronze medal match at the African Nations Championship in Tunisia last March when Rwanda also won in straight sets.


The Moroccan outside hitter Zouhair El Graoui led the scorers’ chart of the match with 14 points and kept his position at the top of the tournament's best scorers. Rwanda's captain Aimable Mutuyimana led his team scorers contributing 10 points.  Morocco dominated in all the skills, especially in serving.  They started the match with high spirit and succeeded to control the rhythm using their strong serves. The situation became easier after the first set when the Rwandan players started to lose their power.




Match Schedule for September 1


Finals 1-16












Ataturk Sports Hall






Ataturk Sports Hall






Ataturk Sports Hall






Ataturk Sports Hall






Baskent Volleyball Hall






Baskent Volleyball Hall






Baskent Volleyball Hall






Baskent Volleyball Hall




FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship - Performances


Top Scoring Performances

36 – Aimable Mutuyimana of Rwanda v Venezuela (August 29)

34 – Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v Estonia (August 29)

33 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Russia (August 26)

31 – Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v Egypt (August 26)

30 – Alan Souza of Brazil v USA (August 28)

28 – Alan Souza of Brazil v Iran (August 30)

28 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

28 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil (August 23)

27 – Roberto Rincon of Mexico v Tunisia (August 31)

27 – Islam Abdelkader of Egypt v China (August 31)

26 – Benjamin Patch of USA v Serbia (August 31)

26 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Italy (August 26)

26 – Yan Tingwei of China v Egypt (August 23)

25 – Willner Rivas of Venezuela v Rwanda (August 29)

25 – Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v China (August 28)

24 – Yuki Ishikawa of Japan v Canada (August 31)

24 – Yuki Ishikawa of Japan v Tunisia (August 30)

24 – Jose Martinez of Venezuela v Rwanda (August 29)


Top Blocking Performances

7 – Qin Zhen of China v Turkey (August 25)

6 – Pavel Pankov of Russia v France (August 31)

6 – Kevin Soo of Estonia v Venezuela (August 31)

6 – Edoardo Picco of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

6 – Diamantini Enrico of Italy v Venezuela (August 24)

6 – Walid Mehdi of Morocco v India (August 24)

6 – Takuya Takahashi of Japan v Estonia (August 23)

6 – Elyes Garfi of Tunisia v Rwanda (August 23)


Top Blocking Performances by Team

27 – Italy v Serbia (August 28)

19 – Mexico v Tunisia (August 31)

19 – Egypt v China (August 31)

18 – China v Turkey (August 25)

17 – USA v Serbia (August 31)

17 – Italy v Venezuela (August 24)

16 – Canada v Japan (August 31)

16 – China v Egypt (August 31)

16 – Italy v Argentina (August 30)

16 – Brazil v Venezuela (August 26)

16 – Brazil v France (August 25)

15 – Russia v France (August 31)

15 – Estonia v Venezuela (August 31)

15 – Turkey v China (August 25)

15 – India v Egypt (August 25)

15 – Russia v Brazil (August 23)

15 – Brazil v Russia (August 23)


Top Serving Performances

6 – Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil (August 23)

5 – Jason Les Mccarthy of Canada v Mexico (August 30)

5 – Jose Martinez of Estonia v Morocco (August 29)

5 – Taavet Leppik of Estonia v Morocco (August 29)

5 – Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Serbia (August 28)

5 – Eduardo Carlos of Brazil v Italy (August 22)

5 – Hosseinabadi Javad of Iran v Estonia (August 22)


Top Serving Performances by Team

12 – Russia v Brazil (August 23)

12 – Canada v Tunisia (August 22)

11 – Russia v Italy (August 26)

10 – Egypt v China (August 31)

10 – USA v Rwanda (August 22)

10 – Iran v Estonia (August 22)


Highest Scorer by Day

Day 1: Zouhair El Graoui of Morocco v China 21 (August 22)

Day 2: Victor Poletaev of Russia v Brazil 28 (August 23)

Day 3: D'Costa Anup of India v Morocco 22 (August 24)

Day 4: Uros Kovacevic of Serbia v Ganada 23 (August 25)

Day 5: Luigi Randazzo of Italy v Russia 33 (August 26)

Day 6: Alan Souza of Brazil v USA 30 (August 28)

Day 7: Aimable Mutuyimana of Rwanda v Venezuela 36 (August 29)

Day 8: Alan Souza of Brazil v Iran 28 (August 30)

Day 9: Islam Abdelkader of Egypt v China, Roberto Rincon of Mexico v Tunisia 27 (August 31)


Highest Set Score

Pool A: Morocco v Egypt , 32-30

Pool B: Japan V Mexico , Japan v Estonia , Mexico v Estonia , Iran v Japan 29-27

Pool C: Tunisia v Canada , Rwanda v USA 29-27

Pool D: Brazil v Italy, 35-33

Round of 16: Serbia v Italy 30-28

Quarterfinals: France v Turkey 27-25

Classification 1-4: Russia v France 27-25

Classification 5-16: China v Egypt 31-29

Classification 17-20: Morocco v Estonia 30-28


Highest Scoring Matches

Day 1: Japan v Mexico 3-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-17, 25-16) – 187 points

Day 2: Estonia v Japan 3-2 (27-29, 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 15-8) – 221 points

Day 3: Mexico v Estonia 3-1 (25-22, 25-19,17-25, 29-27) – 189 points

Day 4: France v Brazil 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 17-25, 24-26, 16-14) – 213 points

Day 5: Italy v Russia 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 30-28, 11-25, 15-12) – 221 points

Day 6: Italy v Serbia 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 28-30, 15-5) – 214 points

Day 7: Estonia v Morocco 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 28-30, 26-24, 15-12) – 229 points

Day 8: Italy v Argentina 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11) – 204 points

Day 9: Egypt v China 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13, 19-17) – 224 points





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