Press release

Semis confirmed as Serbia and Poland complete quartet at 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship

Serbia celebrate their semifinal spot after their solid 3-1 win versus Poland

Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2011 – The semifinal line up at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship Turkey 2011 was decided on Thursday after a second-round final day full of calculators and arithmetic. Unbeaten China will take on Poland in one top four semifinal on Saturday with host Turkey playing Serbia in the other.

FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship

With the top two teams in the two second-round pools E and F heading to the semifinals for positions 1-4, and teams in third and fourth participating in semifinals 5-8, the battle for the semifinal spots came down to the wire. 

Host Turkey and China were already confirmed as top four semifinalists, having ensured that they could finish no worse than second in their respective pools on Wednesday, so it was left to a battle between defending champions Brazil, world No. 9 Serbia and Poland for the two spots in Pool F. 

Poland lost to Serbia, leaving Brazil needing a win against Japan in the last match of the day. However, Brazil couldn’t bear examination as they lost 1-3 in a roller-coaster match full of emotions and tears, thus offering the last semifinal spot to Poland. Brazil's loss means they will face Argentina in the battle for the 5-8 positions as Germany will meet Japan.

USA, Slovakia, Italy as well as Mexico finished in top positions in Pool G and H, thus advancing them to the course of positions 9-12. USA take on Mexico and Italy combat Slovakia in Saturday’s playoffs. 

On the other hand Thailand and Egypt in Pool G as well as Puerto Rico and Algeria in Pool H finished third and fourth in their corresponding pools to play for the 13 to 16 brackets. Thailand will line up against Algeria and Egypt face Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Second Round Pool Final Standings

Places 1-8

Pool E: China 9, Turkey 6, Germany 3, Argentina 0

Pool F: Serbia 8, Poland 4, Brazil 3, Japan 3

Places 9-16

Pool G: USA 9, Slovakia 5, Thailand 4, Egypt 0

Pool H: Italy 9, Mexico 6, Puerto Rico 3, Algeria 0

Pool E

China stay perfect with Turkey scalp
China vs. Turkey 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-17)

In front of 3,600 thrilled spectators at Baskent Sports Hall in Ankara, China continued their unbeaten run at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship 2011 on Thursday evening with a 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-17) win over host Turkey in the second round. Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals but with their victory, China ensured they finished Pool E with a 3-0 win-loss record while Turkey dropped to 2-1. China’s Ting Zhu and Damla Cakiroglu of Turkey led the way with 14 and 18 points respectively. Turkey coach Sahin Catma: “Congratulations to China. It was like an early final match today. I believe in my team and I’m sure we’ll play China again in Sunday’s gold medal match.”
China coach Mang Shen: “We learned a lot in tonight’s match. The match will help us to improve our level for the semifinal. We made the decision at the end of the third set.”  

Germany roll past Argentina
Argentina vs. Germany 0-3 (21-25, 16-25, 16-25)

The Germans bounced back from two losses to outclass Argentina in straight sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-16) on today’s last second-round Pool E play. Germany mustered a fine all-around game and seemed to have an answer for everything the South Americans tried. Jens Tietböhl’s team was especially strong on attack and serve, while Argentina struggled with poor passing. Captain Jennifer Geerties and Susanne Besa led Germany with 15 points each. Maria Sol Calvete compiled seven points for Argentina. Germany captain Jennifer Geerties: “We managed to control the match from start to finish. We served very well. Now we are looking forward to the deciding matches for ranks 5-8.”
Germany coach Jens Tietböhl: “We are happy. After some medical problems, my players played very well today. It was not easy to block the Argentinian spikers as they have a good technique.”

Pool F

Serbians down Poland to clinch semifinal spot
Serbia v Poland 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21)

Serbia confirmed their place in the top four semifinals of the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship Turkey 2011 with a spectacular 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21) win over Poland. Serbia's second-round record stands at perfect 3-0 putting them out of reach of their contenders in Pool F while world No. 29 Poland dropped to 1-2 knowing they still sit in a two-way race with Brazil for the second top two semifinal spot. Serbia’s captain Bianka Busa top-scored with 24 points while Ewelina Janicka topped Poland’s scoring with 16 in a match which saw Poland falling short of their expectations. On the other hand, Serbia carried conviction with powerful arguments at the net.
Serbia coach Milan Grsic: “I’m proud of my team. It was not an easy situation for both teams today with a match featuring a lot of suspense and emotions.”
Poland coach Andrzej Pec: “Congratulations to Serbia. Recovery was short after yesterday’s epic match versus Brazil. Therefore we missed some physical power to overcome the strong Serbian squad.”

Japan dash Brazil’s hopes for semis
Brazil v Japan 1-3 (23-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-25)

Japan shattered defending champions Brazil’s hopes for the semifinals by beating world No. 1 in comfortable fashion 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 15-25, 25-15) in Pool F’s last match at 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship in Ankara, Turkey. As a consequence, Poland is the last team to book its final four ticket with four points, while Brazil stay third in Pool F with one point less. Kasumi Nakaya led Japan with 14 points, while Brazil’s Gabriela and Rosamaria scored 18 points each.
Japan coach Ichiro Hanzawa: “To beat Brazil is a dream for Japanese players. We feel so happy. Today we managed to improve our service reception system. Especially libero Saya Kaneda played a great game.” 
Brazil coach Mauricio Thomas:  â€œWe don’t have enough experience to deal with this kind of fast game. Japan played very well in defense, and had precise serves forcing us playing high balls on position four. Anyway, my players will go on working. Their big goal is the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.” 

Pool G

USA maintain momentum with Egypt win 
USA v Egypt 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 30-28)

USA overcame the Egyptian resistance in the third set in their way towards third straight victory in a row in Pool G in Ankara Arena. USA won 25-16, 25-15, 30-28 but after they saved 4 set points in the third set to improve their win-loss record to 3-0 while Egypt dropped to 0-3. With this results USA went to the finals to fight for 9-12 places leaving Egypt to play the next round only for 13-16 positions. Jordan Burgess led USA scorers in the match with impressive 19 points while Mai Moustafa led Egyptian scorers with 10. 
"I’m impressed by the Egyptian defense and the libero with their roles in every point," the America coach James Stone commented. “Their libero was a very important part of the play and she fought for every point. Their blockings were very good and they were aggressive in attack especially in the last set and this gives a value to our victory.”

Slovakia rebounded to outlast the fighting Thailand 
Slovakia v Thailand 3-2 (18-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 17-15)

An inspired Slovakia rebounded back twice from one set behind to win a thriller five setter 3-2 (18-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 17-15) over the highly spirited Thailand at FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship Pool G match in Ankara Arena, Turkey, on Thursday. The vision of the Slovakia setter and Captain Barbora Kosekova and precise spiking of the opposite Nikola Pistelakova and the outside hitter Miroslava Rehakova found gaps in the Thailand defense as the match progressed. This victory improved Slovakia's win-loss record in the second round of the tournament to 2-1 to fight for the 9 to 12 positions, while Thailand suffered fall in record to 1-2 and with third place in Pool G will able to fight only for last 13-16 places of the championship. 
"It was a tight tiebreak win,” said Slovakia coach Eva Kosekova happily after the match. "Both teams made very clear mistakes where the opponent could have turned it to their advantage.”

Pool H

Italy see off Mexico to top Pool H
Italy v Mexico 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-18)

Italy kept their clean sheet at the second round Pool H after they clinched a straight sets win over Mexico 25-18, 26-24, 25-18 at Ankara Arena. The 12th world ranked Italy improved their win- loss ratio in the second round to 3-0 to top pool and play for the 9 to 12 places in the finals. Italy take on Slovakia, the second of pool G, in the Saturday’s playoffs. The tenth ranked Mexico dropped to 2-1 to finish second of the pool H and meet USA the leaders of Pool G.
“I’m glad to see my team playing like this in an international tournament,'' said Italy coach Pieragnoli. “Mexico is really a good team specially number 6 Samantha Bricio and number 8 Alejandra Isiordia, they played very well. Our attacks, passes and defence were very good. I’m glad to see my team playing like this in an international tournament.'' He added.

Puerto Rico overpower Algeria by Santana’s gun 
Puerto Rico v Algeria 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-21)

After suffering two narrow defeats against Mexico and Italy in Pool H, World No. 21 Puerto Rico rebounded with an impressive straight-sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-21) win against world No.17 Algeria in Ankara Arena, Turkey, on Thursday. Puerto Rico improved their win- loss record in Pool H to 1-2 to finish third and take on Egypt in the play off 13 to 16 positions. Algeria dropped to 0-3 to finish at the bottom of the pool and meet Thailand in the same frame next Saturday. Puerto Rico big gun Daly Santana was the key player in the victory not only as the match scorer with 19 points which constitutes 25 % of her team, but also with her leadership and the motivation she gave to her teammate throughout the match. The most successful player in Algeria's team was Sara Belhocine who scored 9 points. 
Puerto Rico coach Eric Gonzales was happy with his team progress. "We came to World Championship to improve ourselves and we did. For me our team has been improving day by day, match by match. Our service is better now and our attack is better too.”

Match schedule for Saturday, August 20

Positions 1-4
Serbia (9) v Turkey (5) at 16.30
China (13) v Poland (29) at 19.00

Positions 5-8
Germany (7) v Japan (4) at 11.30
Brazil (1) v Argentina (19) at 14.00 

Positions 9-12
USA (2) v Mexico (10) at 16.30
Italy (12) v Slovakia (28) at 19.00 

Positions 13-16
Thailand (14) v Algeria (17) at 11.30
Puerto Rico (21) v Egypt (10) at 14.00

Tournament Top Scorers

1. Gabriela (Brazil) 111 
2. Busa Bianka (Serbia) 97 
3. Cikiriz Natasa (Serbia) 95
4. Rosamaria (Brazil) 80
5. Perinelli Elena (Italy) 79

Highest Set Score

33-31 (USA v THA in Pool G) played on August 17

Highest Scoring Match

220 points (BRA v SRB in Pool F) played on August 16

Longest Match

141 minutes (BRA v SRB in Pool F) played on August 16

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