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Men in closing elimination rounds at FIVB U17 World Championships

Teamwork has brought Mexico's Miguel Sarabia, left, teammate Miguel Verduzco used teamwork to advance along with the two other Mexican teams to the men's round of 16 Friday at the inaugural FIVB U17 World Championships being held in Acapulco, Mexico
Acapulco, Mexico, July 18, 2014 — Friday’s men’s action, for teams under 17 years old, saw the first elimination round net the eight teams to advance to Saturday’s second ‘knockout’ round at the inaugural double-gender FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships being held through Sunday in Acapulco, Mexico.

Winners in Friday’s first round of eliminations were two teams from host country Mexico and one each from Canada, France, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey and the United States. They winners now advance while the losing teams leave Acapulco with great memories of being part of a world championship event and official 17th-place finishes.

The original men’s field of 25 teams representing each of the five FIVB Confederations has been reduced to 16 for Saturday’s round of 16 and quarterfinals to set the stage for Sunday’s semifinals, bronze medal and gold medal matches. Being held at Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco Bay alongside of the glistening Pacific Ocean this history-making event will determine the first FIVB U17 World Champions in each gender on Sunday.

Competing in the sand-steps of FIVB World Tour stars who graced Playa Tamarindos three times previously for FIVB World Tour Open events, the FIVB U17 World Championships began men’s teams split into five pools for three round-robin matches within their respective pools. The top teams advanced to the knockout, single-elimination rounds of the tournament on the road to earning the first men’s FIVB U17 title.

Filled with intense competition from the first whistle to the last spike, the winners of the first round elimination matches early Friday evening were Canada’s Jordan Pereira/Taryq Sani, France’s Marc Darrieux/Timothee Platre, Mexico’s Miguel Verduzco/Miguel Sarabia, both from Tijuana, Mexico’s Carlos Hernandez/Wilfrido Martinez , both from Coatzacoalcos, Puerto Rico’s Ricardo Muratti/Gustavo Bultrago, Russia’s Alexey Trokhan/Vasilii Ivanov, Turkey’s Mehmet Yildiz/Tomas Onder and USA’s Aidan Brown/Lucas Lossone.

Mexico’s three men’s teams have all advanced to the round of 16 and Sarabia was happy to share his feelings on his team’s match and the tournament being held in his home country.

Sarabia said, “The Portuguese team played really well. I’m really excited about the competition, it’s our first time at an international event and we’ve all had the opportunity to watch and learn from the different styles of game from the competitors. Now we’re going against Italy and I know it’s going to be tough.

“Overall, it is been unbelievable to have this FIVB U17 World Championships in our country. With all three of our men’s team’s advancing our great Mexican fans should enjoy the weekend in Acapulco even more. I know all of us players will.”

With the other seven matches decided in two sets, the lone three-setter saw USA’s Brown/Lossone hold on to defeat Australia’s Adam Kitto/Bryce Poland, 21-16, 15-21 and 15-9 in 46 minutes, the longest men’s match of the round.

The first round winners will now meet the eight teams who were the top pool finishers and had byes until the round of 16 matches with the winners advancing to quarterfinals early Saturday evening.

The round of 16 matchups will have Mexico’s Jose Cardenas/Raymond Stephens, both of Colima meeting Canada’s Pereira/Sani; Mexico’s Hernandez/Martinez plays against Canada’s Sharone Evans/Parvir Jhajj; Italy’s Manuel Alfieri/Paolo Di Silvestre will challenge Mexico’s Verduzco/Sarabia, both from Tijuana and Netherland’s Mees Blom/Nikita Artamonov battling against Puerto Rico’s Muratti/Bultrago.

The other four quarterfinals will see Poland’s Adam Lenc/Maciej Lewicki facing Turkey’s Yildiz/Onder; USA’s Brown/Lossone up against Spain’s Oscar Jimenez/Alejandro Huerta; Russia’s Trokhan/Ivanov competing against Switzerland’s Florian Breer/Yves Haussener and France’s Darrieux/Platre meeting USA’s Bantle/Mullahey.

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