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Women’s pools, eliminations Friday at FIVB U17 World Championships

Greece's Maria Klepkou passes the Mikasa Thursday to teammate Paraskevi Kourtidou during the third round of women's pool play at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships in Acapulco, Mexico.
Acapulco, Mexico, July 17, 2014 — It’s three matches down and one to go in women’s pool play and then the start of the single-elimination rounds Friday of the inaugural FIVB U17 Beach Volleyball World Championships being held through Sunday in Acapulco, Mexico.

As temperatures continued to hover around 88 degrees F with 72 percent humidity, dazzling sunshine, the women again played with the talent and poise overall of players much older than their tender ages. With all the athletes under 17 years old, unbeaten in the first three of four matches in their respective pools are women’s teams from the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Puerto Rico and the United States.

A total of 29 women’s representing qualifiers from each of the five FIVB Confederations, are competing at Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco Bay alongside of the sparkling Pacific Ocean as they strive to determine the first FIVB U17 World Champions on Sunday.

Playing in the sand steps of FIVB World Tour stars who graced Playa Tamarindos three times previously for FIVB Open events, the FIVB U17 World Championships had women’s teams split into six pools for four round-robin matches within their respective pools. The top four teams from each pool, 24 teams, will then advance to the knockout, single-elimination rounds of the tournament on Friday to eventually lead to the first FIVB U17 titles.

Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Linda Gramberga completed their pool play on Thursday with an unblemished 4-0 record. Undefeated with 3-0 records after the first two days of pool play are Czech Republic’s Natalie Honzovicova/Tereza Pluharova, Italy’s Reka Orsi Toth/Silvia D’Este and Puerto Rico’s Robilee Frederick/Natalie Cruz and USA’s Morgan Martin/Kathryn Plummer.

Capturing the essence of the feeling of the teams competing in the FIVB U17 World Championship, Puerto Rico’s Robilee Frederick commented, “We have been playing together for a very short time, just since December actually. And we just started preparing for this event on June. We had to work really hard, training up to three times a day. But I’m glad everything has gone so well.”

“The weather was a bit of a problem. We are not used to these kind of temperatures in Puerto Rico and we usually train early in the mornings or later in the evenings to avoid high temperatures. As a matter of fact, by the last minutes of the match I was starting to feel sick because of it and just wanted to finish it fast, by winning of course. I didn’t want my hard work to be wasted.

Five women’s teams representing Mexico in the championships enjoyed the continuing enthusiastic home country fans throughout the sweltering day, compiling a combined record of 7-9.
Entering Friday’s final pool play match and the start of single eliminations, leading Mexico’s five women’s teams in pool play are Daniela Torres, Mexico City/Alejandra Tapia, Estado de Mexico with a 3-1 record. Citlali Padilla/Lucia Aguilera, both from Zacatecas, are 1-1 while Rocio Ramirez/Ana Aldape, both of Tamaulipas are 1-2 and Acapulco’s own Martha Luna/Daniela Garcia will entry Friday’s action with a 1-2 record.
Because their pool has four teams and the others have five each, Isis Camacho, Guasane/Olga Parra, Culican received a bye and did not play on Wednesday and had a 1-1 record on Thursday.

In addition to Mexico, other countries with two teams each in the women’s field are Australia, Russia and the United States. Through Thursday second day, the teams from Australia are 1-4, Russia’s teams are 2-3 while the USA’s tandems are 5-1.

As part of the initiatives of FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and his leadership team, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball international calendar also includes a record four age-group FIVB World Championships along with the 2014 Nanjing (China) Youth Olympic Games (Aug. 17-27). The FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships are debuting this year while the FIVB U23 World Championships (Myslowice, Poland, June 10-15) debuted in 2013. This year will mark the 14th annual FIVB U21World Championships (Larnaka, Cyprus, July 23-27) and the 13th annual FIVB U19 World Championships (Porto, Portugal, July 29-Aug. 3).

The 2014 FIVB age groups world championships got started in Poland with Poland’s Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol winning the men’s gold medal for the home country and Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Nicole Laird winning the women’s gold medal in the FIVB U23 World Championships.


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