FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Brazil fly into final four with Bulgaria win

Lucas Eduardo Loh contributed attacking points throughout the victory

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 9, 2013 - Brazil confirmed their place in the final four at the Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-0 (21-19, 21-14, 21-19) victory against Bulgaria on day four of competition at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Defeat leaves Bulgaria having to beat Argentina in their final pool match on Friday to secure a place in the semi-finals, after Argentina had earlier kept their chances alive with victory against Egypt.

Again starting without captain Lucarelli, Brazil carried a narrow advantage throughout the opening set, with all the principal attacking options scoring despite some strong blocking from Bulgaria's Ragin Ventsislav. Alongside the attacking points, Brazil opposite Rafael Araujo picked up four blocking points as his team took the set 21-19.

Brazil maintained their pattern in the second set with wing spikers Lucas Eduardo Loh and Ary de Souza, in combination with Rafael, scoring the majority of Brazil's attacking points. Bulgaria captain Nikolay Penchev offered resistence, but it wasn't enough to stop Brazil taking the set 21-14. 

The third set was close with both teams scoring points off their attack. Middle blocker Krasimir Georgiev and wing spiker Jani Jeliazkov were among the points for Bulgaria, while Lucas, Ary and Rafael all increased their totals for Brazil.

Brazil's block defence contributed 10 points for the match, compared to three for Bulgaria, so it was appropriate that a blocking point gave Brazil the final set 21-19 and the match 3-0.

Rafael top scored for Brazil with 16 points, six of which were blocks, while Ventsislav, Georgiev and Jeliazkov all scored seven for Bulgaria.

After Thursday's rest day, it's the final round of pool matches with Brazil up against Tunisia while Bulgaria have their crucial 'semi-final play-off' against Argentina.

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