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 Press Release
Brazil defeats Serbia to retain Girls Youth World Championship

Brazilian stars Rosane and Francynne attempt to block an attack from Serbia's Sara Klisura

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 12, 2009 - Brazil defended the FIVB Girls Youth World Championship it won in Macau four years ago with a solid 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 25-16) victory over Serbia in a tense final on Sunday.

Both teams had extremely tough schedules at the competition, but it was all worth it to make it to the gold medal match.

In front of a sold-out arena, Serbia and Brazil were expected to put up a great duel in their re-match after the South Americans had prevailed in a terrific five-setter in the second round.

The European silver medalists were back on the court after a stellar semifinal with Belgium, and were somehow adopted by the Thai crowd, with even the local orchestra and dancers trying to set the pace for the girls in blue.

The Serbians got off to a great start, but Brazil rapidly bounced back, especially after Isabela replaced Carolina.

The Brazilian block made the difference in the second part of the set and the Serbian spikers found it difficult to find a way through. Isabela put an end to the operations at 25-20 with a killing hit the Serbian receivers could not deal with.

The South Americans also set the tone in the second set, but the Serbians were performing below their usual standards, with silly errors affecting their overall performance and the spikers not as effective as in the semifinal.

But it was not yet time to call it quits, as Serbia fought back to level at 11. But Brazil enjoyed another mini-break immediately after that, with Isabela on fire and the girls of coach Marijana Mirosavljevic guilty of too many mistakes for a World Championship final (17-12).

It looked like the Serbians were running out of fuel after the many long matches they had gone through in the tournament. However, they finally woke up and diverted a set ball for Brazil at 24-23 but a few seconds later Jovana Stevanovic could not control her lob and the set count moved to 2-0 for the "Cariocas."

The Serbians started, paradoxically, the third set with less pressure, as they had nothing left to lose and immediately took a commanding 13-3 lead that included two aces in a row for both Ana Bjelica and Sara Klisura.

The set continued with many ups and downs, with the Brazilians trying to storm back but Serbia eventually maintained a small share of that initial margin to force a fourth set with a double block from Danica Radenkovic and Maja Savic on South American star Samara (25-23).

With back-up setter Priscila Heldes replacing captain Rosane, the Brazilians strived to rediscover their good rhythm in the opening of the fourth set and succeeded in that goal with a significant contribution coming from their star Samara (16-13 at the second technical break). The "Cariocas" kept their nerves in the deciding rallies and Samara got the party started with a great spike well over the Serbian block.

In the bronze-medal match, Belgium defeated Turkey in an exciting five setter that saw them battle back from two sets down 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-19, 28-26, 15-7) to medal for the first time ever at a Volleyball World Championship.

Having suffered a disappointing semifinal against Serbia and Brazil respectively, European champions Belgium and Turkey put up a fierce fight for the bronze medal.

The Belgians still had a chance to make history after their dazzling gold at the European Championships, as their country had never medaled before in any World Championships, junior or senior in both genders.

The Turks badly wanted revenge after their defeat in straight sets to Belgium in the second round, and they immediately started off in great fashion, systematically blocking Belgian captain and the tournament's Best Scorer Lise van Hecke.

The score stayed leveled until 17-17, when Turkey served and blocked strongly for a great 25-20 win.

The "Young Sultans" appeared much more motivated for this match, whereas the girls of coach Julien van de Vyver were struggling in reception as they did in their semifinal against Serbia. The final section of the set was full of tension: Belgium missed two set balls at 24-22, Selin served an ace for Turkey and after a couple of passive blocks against their captain, the Belgians committed a fault at the net.

The Turks had a kind of black-out in the opening of the third set: van Hecke & Co. sped up the tempo in the middle of the set with a series of good blocks and much more consistency in attack with Sarah Dovogja and Juliette Thevenin.

Belgium silvered the second set-ball after a stellar save from libero van Nimmen, while captain van Hecke closed it out with a powerful diagonal spike (25-19).

Belgium restarted its hunt with the right pace in the fourth set but with a sudden flurry of errors Turkey was rapidly back in the match and for the first time enjoyed a significant lead at 15-11 with a couple of winning serves from No. 13 Sibel and a mighty double block on van Hecke.

The final destiny of the match was not yet defined, as Belgium found a way to fight back and tie it at 19, but the last rallies were definitely dazzling: Turkey did not control its nerves and missed a couple of match balls, van Hecke punished the Turks and among the crazy excitement of the Thai fans, Belgium went for the tie-break.

The Turks suffered from their shock defeat in set four and in the tiebreak were no longer able to perform at their best. The fifth set was quickly over, to the deep sadness of the Turks, who had definitely missed their chance in the fourth set

Final standings:

1. Brazil

2. Serbia

3. Belgium

4. Turkey

5. Japan

6. Peru

7. Thailand

8. Italy


Best Players Awards:

MVP: Samara Rodrigues (BRA)

Best scorer: Lise van Hecke (BEL)

Best spiker: Mari Horikawa (JPN)

Best blocker: Ana Beatriz Silva Correa (BRA)

Best server: Sara Klisura (SRB)

Best setter: Danica Radenkovic (SRB)

Best libero: Aree Promjanyar (THA)




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