Round of 16 to women’s quarters at FIVB U17 World Championships
The round of 16 developed from an original total field of 29 women’s teams representing each of the five FIVB Confederations that started competing Wednesday at Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco Bay. Sunday’s schedule will have the two semifinals, bronze medal and gold medal matches to determine the first FIVB U17 World Champions in the double-gender event.
Following their round of 16 victories on Saturday morning, advancing to the quarterfinals are two teams from the United States and one each from Bolivia, Greece, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland and Turkey.
The first two quarterfinals at 3 p.m. local will have Netherlands’ Nika Daalderop/Susanne Kos will challenge Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Linda Gramberga and Turkey’s Duygu Nur Dogan/Pelin Ilgin playing against Greece’s Maria Klepkou/Paraskevi Kourtidou.
In the last two quarterfinal matches at 4 p.m., Poland’s Martyna Kloda/Monika Warczyglowa will be challenged by USA’s Morgan Martin/Kathryn Plummer and USA’s Haley Hallgren/Joy Dennis meeting Bolivia’s Fernanda Maida/Melanie Vargas.
ROUND OF 16 RESULTS
Saturday morning saw more heated action between young athletes playing way beyond their tender ages.
In the first half of the round of 16 matches, Turkey’s Dogan/Ilgin upset Puerto Rico’s Robilee Frederick/Natalie Cruz, 21-17, 9-21 and 15-9 in 48 minutes, Greece’s Klepkou/Kourtidou eliminated France’s Coralie Viale/Ines Ben Jaddi, 25-23, 21-14 in 42 minutes, ; USA’s Hallgren/Dennis stopped England’s Anaya Evans/Yasmin Kaashoek, 21-10, 21-13 in 36 minutes and Bolivia’s Maida/Vargas stunned Czech Republic’s Natalie Honzovicova/Tereza Pluharova, 21-15, 21-19 in 36 minutes.
In the final four round of 16 matches, Netherlands’ Daalderop/Kos defeated Serbia’s Irena Drobnjak/Tijana Basic, 21-7, 21-16 in 34 minutes, Latvia’s Graudina/Gramberga held on to defeat Italy’s Reka Orsi Toth/Silvia D’Este, 21-17, 23-25 and 15-9 in 58 minutes, Poland’s Martyna Kloda/Monika Warczyglowa came from behind to eliminate Mexico’s home-country favorites Isis Camacho/Olga Parra, 17-21, 21-16 and 15-8 in 48 minutes and USA’s Martin/Plummer won on center court over Mexico’s Ana Aldape/Rocio Ramirez, 21-15, 21-12 in 30 minutes.
Following their thrilling three-set victory over Italy, Latvia’s Graudina and Gramberga both had plenty to say.
Speaking first though physically exhausted, Graudina joyfully stated, “It was a really close match and by the end I was really tired and I just didn’t want Italy to take this match. Now we already achieved our goal to reach at least ninth place, but of course it would be amazing to reach the top 5, but now we are playing against the Netherlands and we need to prepare a lot because we are very similar teams. Thankfully we have Aigars (Birzulis-coach of Latvia’s bronze medal winners in London in 2012), he is the best coach. He is always knows what to do when we are in trouble.”
Gramberga was equally relived when the match finally ended and they had won. Gramberga said, “Its unbelivable we won. We won the first set and then on second we lost so we had to start everything again. Now I’m so happy for me and my team. Tina is amazing and she always helps me. Now we want to go as far as possible. For that I’m gonna work harder on my service and try not to make mistakes. Also the mentality plays an important role, but we try not to overthink what to do and just enjoy the moment. This has been an amazing experience.”
The losers from the round of 16 will depart Mexico with lasting memories and official ninth place finishes in the inaugural FIVB U17 World Championships.