FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

MVP Pankov was the best of the best

Pavel Pankov was one of four Russians who made the All-Star Team at the FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship

Tijuana, Mexico, July 7, 2013 – The MVP award of the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship could not have gone to better hands than those of Russian Pavel Pankov, clearly the best player of the competition.

An accomplished setter with the finesse of a virtuoso, Pankov also demonstrated terrific powerful serves and the ability to attack when the occasion arose.

“He is the leader of our team,” said his coach Alexander Karikov. “He learned how to play volleyball since he was a little kid of 4 years old because everyone in his family plays the game.”

“His father played, his mother was an Olympic gold medalists and his sister is the setter of the women’s national team,” Karikov added. “He is very smart young man with an overall ability for the game.”

Karikov is not alone when the time comes to appreciate the qualities of Pankov as a player and as a consummated setter, as China’s Ju Genyin also praised the Russian player.

“He was the best setter of the tournament,” Ju said. “He has a lot of skills and it is very difficult to anticipate the location of his setting.”

Pankov served 31 aces during the competition and had the top three highest totals of aces in a match with 8, 7 and 6 against Iran, China and Russia.
“It was very difficult for us to play against those strong and accurate serves,” Ju added. “He can hit with tremendous power.”

Karikov and Ju also had words of praise for his opposite Victor Poletaev, who also made the All-Team of the event and finished among the top scorers with 126 points, including 14 blocks and 13 aces.

“He leaps very high and can hit above the opponents’ block and also has the ability to move the hand when he is spiking,” Ju said. “For those two reasons he is very difficult to stop.”

“He reaches 3.75 meters using his vertical jump,” added Karikov. “He competed in high jump in athletics and that’s why he has developed that skill so much. To my thinking and point of view, Poletaev is the best spiker in the world in this category.”

The other members of the All-Star team were Argentina’s Matías Sánchez as setter, Brazil’s Rogerio Filho as libero, China’s Tang Chuanhang and Zhang Zhejia as outside hitter and middle blocker, Russia’s Maxim Troynin and Dmitry Volkov as middle blocker and outside hitter.

The awards to the players and the top three teams –Russia, China and Poland- were presented by Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, First Executive Vice President of FIVB and Dr. Rafael Lloreda Currea, FIVB Executive Vice President and President of the Control Committee.

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