World No. 1 China and Japan to battle for gold at Women’s U20 World Champs
Brno, Czech Republic, June 29, 2013 – It is an All-Asian affair: World No. 1 China and Japan will battle for gold in Sunday’s final clash of the 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. While China made short work of their contenders from Brazil (3-0) in Saturday’s first semi-final, Japan needed more patience to overcome titleholder Italy (3-1).
China super star Ting Zhu (21 points for China) and Japan’s Aya Horie (16 points) led their team on their way to the gold medal match. Brazil and Italy tried hard to resist but could not cope with the power and precision their opponents displayed.
In the classification match for the fifth rank at Women’s U20 World Champs, World No. 4 Turkey will take on Russia. Powerhouse Russia beat Serbia quite easily 3-1 while Turkey edged the Dominican Republic in a thrilling five-setter.
Chinese Taipei (3-0 win over host Czech Republic) and Bulgaria (3-0 versus Peru) were the lucky winners in the race for the ninth place.
China v Brazil 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-22)
World No. 1 China beat Brazil in a three-set (25-16, 25-16, 25-22) game and thus entered the final of the 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Champs at Kajot Arena in Brno, Czech Republic.
Ting Zhu from China scored 21 points and was the top scorer while the Brazilian star player Gabriela Guimaraes obtained 18 points mainly from her powerful spikes.
At 12-17 in the first set, Brazil coach Luizomar De Moura called his athletes off court to have a serious talk. Fangxu Yang and Xintong Chen had scored four service winners for China. The timeout did not help as the Asians continued their run with razor-sharp spikes and exemplary block-defence work. De Moura took off Gabriela and exchanged setters but it was already too late. China wrapped up the first set in style, 25-16. China had committed zero mistakes in the first period.
The serve was still one of China’s main weapon early in the second set as the world No. 1 literally blew away the Brazilian passers. Brazil’s setter Giovana tried her best to set up a fast game but could hardly use her middles for quick combinations. On the other side, China’s top scorer Ting Zhu led her team to a comfortable five-point lead at the second technical timeout. Two successful blocks from Fangxu Yang and Fengjiao Wang made it even worse for Brazil. China pulled clear, 25-16 again.
Compared to the two previous sets, there was not much to separate the two teams in the third set. Both squads showed spectacular defense kills combined with perfect-trained offensive variations. However, Brazil lost momentum in the crucial phase of set No. 3. Ning Wang scored for a 23-22 China lead before outside hitter Fengjiao Wang blocked Brazilian opposite Sara Silva twice to bounce China in heaven.
Japan v Italy 3-1 (25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17)
Japan continued their triumphal march to the final stage of the 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Champs with a well-deserved 25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17 semi-final success over titleholder Italy.
Aya Horie from Japan topped all the scorers with a contribution of 16 points while Sara Bonifacio earned 12 points for her team.
The game kicked off with a point-by-point pattern and reached a 15-15 tie. However, Japan’s well-known tip-over spikes looked unstoppable and led to a 17-15 cushion for Japan. The Italians relied on powerful and fast spikes in the middle but could not prevent Japan’s from their run to a 25-19 set win. Japan had zero block and zero serve winners in their records after the first set, but committed only six errors compared to 10 on Italy’s side. Italy’s middles Sara Bonifacio and captain Cristina Chirichella were the main scorers for Italy with a total of seven points.
Obviously excited by the first set success, the young Japanese demonstrated all-rounded performance, particularly with solid defence work and well-balanced offense, to achieve a 16-13 lead. Italy coach Davide Mazzanti sent in Alessia Fiesoli for Miriam Fatime Sylla and “Azzurre” took more risk from the service line, but the Asians were clearly in the correct rhythm and a combined effort by Aya Horie and Ayaka Hosokawa closed the second set for Japan 25-15.
Even though Italy bounced back bravely in the third set with improved block work and solid passing, Japan continued their dominance in the very beginning of the fourth set with an early 5-1 lead. Italy reduced the gap to two points at 7-9, but the Japanese performed one of the biggest demonstration at 2013 Women’s U20 World Champs with everything they could – solid blocking, aggressive spikes and unbeatable floor defense – whatever best skills you could imagine in volleyball court. The spectators sent their most enthusiastic applause to the Asian players who entered Sunday’s final after such an amazing semi-final show.
Classification round 5-8
Russia v Serbia 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 29-27)
Russia opened day eight at 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship with a hard-earned 19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 29-27 win over Serbia. In an All-European duel for the places five to eight, Russia kept the upper hand in a highly contested battle on Saturday morning. Bianka Busa topped the scorers with 23 points for Serbia while Irina Voronkova and Kseniia Ilchenko contributed 20 points each for Russia.
Entering the court without libera Ekaterina Voronova who suffered back pain, the Russians had to adapt their line-up with a different passing system and the middle blockers helping in defence. However, after a difficult first set (19-25), the team of coach Svetlana Safronova had found their rhythm with powerful spikes and strong block-defence work. On the other side, the young Serbian athletes committed too many mistakes, making it impossible to cope with the dominant play of their contenders. Russia saved two set balls in the fourth set before they ended the clash 29-27 in their favour.
Russia coach Svetlana Safronova: I am very happy with the result and our performance today. We served well and showed extraordinary fighting spirit. That was the main reason for our win.
Turkey v Dominican Republic 3-2 (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13)
Turkey edged the Dominican Republic 3-2 (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13) in Saturday’s second duel for the places 5-8. Ceyda Aktas saved Turkey with 25 points while Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez was the best scorer for the Caribbean and topped all other players on the court with an extraordinary 28-point output.
It was a roller-coaster match with both team experiencing many ups and downs. The crucial moment of the match came in the middle of the fifth set. The Dominican Republic led 9-6 before a four-point run of the persistent Turks turned the tables in Turkey’s favour. Nevertheless, the Caribbean offensive play was important as they kept the gap narrow with some blistering back row winners from Martinez and eventually drew level at 13-13. Yet, it was not good enough. Ceyda’s serve skills and an astonishing Ezgi Dilik block proved valuable for Turkey in the end to make them escape the thrilling fifth set, offering the 2011 FIVB girls’ world champions the chance to battle with Russia for the fifth rank on Sunday afternoon.
Turkey coach Edman Gökhan: I have a lot of respect for what the Dominicans showed today. It was a tough battle until the end of the match.
Classification round 9-12
Chinese Taipei v Czech Republic 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21)
Chinese Taipei beat host Czech Republic in straight sets to advance to the classification match for the ninth place at 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. In front of 1,300 fans, the Asians won 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Chinese Taipei’s Wan Ling Tseng was the game’s top scorers with 12 points, while Michaela Mlejnkova earned nine points for the Czech.
Chinese Taipei started the opening set stronger and found themselves leading quickly with captain Wei-Hua Wu and Wan Ling Tseng thundering their spikes through the Czech defence. The home team did its best to resist, but could not cope with the fast combinations at the net. The plot of the match did not change much in the second and third set. The Asians carried their momentum from the beginning and gained the advantage with solid offensive work at the net and some awesome defense actions. After 80 minutes, Tzu Ying Lee finished the match with a quick attack through the middle.
Bulgaria v Peru 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-21)
The last match played in Vodova hall on Saturday decided about the teams that will compete for the ninth final position on Sunday. Even though Bulgaria apparently dominated the match versus Peru (27-25, 25-27, 25-21), the South Americans had some chances to go for a longer match.
Apart from the second set, when Bulgaria made an undisputed solo run, Peru tried to do their best in the first and third set. Nevertheless, the Bulgarian wing spiker Gergana Dimitrova used all her killer instinct to score in any difficult situation, while the players from Peru were not able to close the break points. Mira Todorova (best scorer with 17 points) and Silvana Chausheva (14) made a real difference for Dimo Tonev’s team, which blocked and served much better than the Peruvians.
Classification round 13-16
Egypt v Algeria 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-17)
In the African classic, Egypt secured their 13th or 14th place at FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship with a straight-set victory versus Algeria (25-14, 25-21, 25-17).
The first set was an easy deal for world No. 12 Egypt, facing an Algerian team that was committing ten errors in total. Algeria came back strongly in the second set, showing a good attitude in attack. However, Egypt immediately reacted to take the lead again and win the set thanks to a strong block and two aces. Algeria did not repeat their strong performance in the last part of the match: with Egypt captain Aya Elshamy on fire (and becoming the game best scorer with 15 points); Egypt ended the match in their favour, scoring 12 blocks compared to three from Algeria.
Colombia v Mexico 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16)
Colombia beat Mexico 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16) to conquer the chance to play against Egypt for the 13th final position in the standings of Women’s U20 World Championship on Sunday.
Mexico started on a high rhythm, winning the first set 25-20. Mexican coach Estanislao Vachino left again some key players on the bench as he did on Friday against Peru. From the second set onward, Colombia played with more attention and power. Led by their top player, ‘spiking mom’ Danna Escobar, Colombia easily edged Mexico 3-1. Danna Escobar marked 23 points on the score sheet with an 18/30 record in positive attack.
Colombia coach Mauro Marasciulo: I am very satisfied with the match even if two of the three best players of Mexico did not play. That helped us a lot. It was good for us to know the team of Mexico from the Pan-American Games. We knew how to play against them.
Classification round 17-20
Thailand v Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 27-25)
In the fourth match of round robin play for the places 17-20, Thailand booked their first win. The Asians outclassed Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 27-25) on Saturday afternoon.
Thailand coach Nataph Srisamutnak: It was quite a hard match for my team today. I am very satisfied with our performance because all the players played very well.
USA v Nigeria 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25-15)
Nigeria and USA opened the Saturday schedule at Vodova with USA easily putting aside Nigeria in a one-way match (25-8, 25-12, 25-15). USA coach Rodney Wilde decided to rotate his typical starting six, changing setters with Nicole Edelman in place of Kelsey Humphreys as of the second set and then, except from Merete Lutz, having all his athletes on the court.
On the other side of the net, Nigeria coach Sergey Ovechkin tried to motivate his team, but it was not even a great day for their top player Mercy Promise. USA balanced their offense with three players with double digits.
Today we played our best match of this event so far and I am satisfied, said Nigeria coach Sergey Ovechkin.
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On Saturday and Sunday, the Czech Volleyball Federation welcomes more than thousands of minivolley players from all around the country to compete at the spectacular minivolley festival in Brno’s Sokol sports complex. Featuring different age categories, the future volleyball stars enjoy a unique event. Following the colourful competition, the young players benefit from the platform of the Women’s U20 World Championship where the kids will cheer for their local heroines.
2013 Women’s Under 20 World Championship Performances
Top Scoring Performances
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Top Blocking Performances by Team
Top Serving Performances
Top Serving Performances by Team
Highest Scorers by day
Highest Set Score
Highest Scoring Matches