Manama, Bahrain, July 20, 2019 – Italy stormed to the top of Pool D after defeating Brazil in straight sets (25-22, 25-15, 25-18) in a much-anticipated match-up at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.
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Saturday’s victory gave Italy the full nine points to propel them to the top eight teams of the competition. China (from Pool A) and Russia (Pool C) have achieved the same feat of winning all three matches in the first round.
Italy started off lagging behind Brazil at 8-3, but slowly built their way back into the match as they utilised strong serves. The European side also lined up their blocks effectively, forcing their opponents to err in attacks.
Later in Pool D, Poland picked up their first victory in the competition after defeating Canada, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-18, 26-24). Poland coach Michał Bakiewicz commented that the win was due to the team’s collective effort, with nearly every player getting on the scoreboard. Opposite Remigiusz Kapica took the most points, scoring 18 for the win.
Meanwhile, Argentina claimed the top spot in Pool B, after winning 3-1 (20-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-22) against Korea. Argentine captain Luciano Palonsky led the team with 23 points but Im Donghyeok scored a match-high 27 points in Korea’s loss.
Cuba went into their second tie-break in the competition, winning 3-2 (26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 20-25, 15-9) against Egypt. Jose Carlos Romero led all scorers in the field, making 18 points for the Norceca side.
Matches resume on Monday at Bahrain’s Isa Sport City.