Brazil won the historical Men’s U-23 World Championships! “Canarinhos” made use of their own court advantage beating Serbia after marvellous and thrilling five-sets game. The most valuable player title (MVP) fell onto Ricardo Lucarelli of Brazli while bronze medals was hanged to Russian players that overcame Bulgaria on the last match.
Brazil – Serbia 3:2 (29-27, 15-21, 21-17, 19-21, 15-13)
Brazil: Thiago Veloso 1, Ricardo Lucarelli 12, Henrique Pinto 11, Rafael Araujo 23, Eduardo Loh 5, Matheus Cunda 10, Guilherme (L) and Alan Souza 5, Fernando Kreling 1, Ary De Souza 2, Alexandre Rego
Serbia: Nikola Jovovic 1, Uros Kovacevic 14, Vuk Milutinovic 7, Aleksandar Atanasijevic 25, Filip Stoilovic 11, Srecko Lisinac 6, Milorad Kapur (L) and Lazar Koprivica, Dusan Petkovic 4, Boris Martinovic
The match started evenly, but Brazil gave away too many error points early on and head coach Roberley Leonaldo called a timeout at 10-7 down. After Brazil reduced the errors the set was closer and they earned a set point at 20-19 but were denied by an Aleksandar Atanasijevic spike. Serbia went on to defend six set points in total before attacks from Rafael Araujo and captain Lucarelli gave Brazil the first set 29-27.
The second set followed a similar pattern at the start with Brazil’s blocks unable to contain Serbia’s attacks and the timeout came at 11-7 down. Serbia continued the same way after the stoppage with wing spikers Filip Stoilovic, Dusan Petkovic and Uros Kovacevic all supplying points as Serbia took the set 21-15 to level the match.
Brazil started the third set better than the previous two with attacking points from Henrique Pinto Otavio and Rafael putting them into an early three-point advantage which they maintained to lead 12-9 at the technical timeout. Rafael also earned some crucial points towards the end of the set, specifically a big block to put Brazil 18-15 ahead, and from there they took the set 21-17 for a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was even up to the technical break with Rafael, Matheus Cunda and Otavio all getting points for Brazil while Atanasijevic and Kovacevic kept Serbia just ahead. Serbia went on a small run of points after the timeout that gave them the advantage and, despite some determined Brazil blocking from Otavio and Lucarelli towards the end, more Atanasijevic attacks gave Serbia the set 21-19 to level the match for the second time.
Setter Thiago Veloso turned the tie-break in Brazil’s favour early on with a clever touch point and then some difficult serving that put his team a couple of points ahead. From there Lucarelli’s spikes and some good blocking from Otavio and Lucas Loh kept Brazil ahead, and it was left to Rafael to spike the winning point for a 15-13 tie-break.
Bronze Medal Match
Russia – Bulgaria 3:1 (22-24, 22-20, 27-25, 21-15)
Russia: Dimitry Kovalev 10, Ivan Komarov 13, Ivan Demakov 12, Gogdan Glivenko 22, Leonid Shchadilov 10, Alexander Safonov, Aleksei Kabeshov (L) and Maxim Kulikov 5, Oleg Krykun 1, Egor Legunov
Bulgaria: Dobromir Dimotrov 2, Nikolay Penchev 7, Ventislav Ragin 11, Jani Jeliazkov 17, Zlatan Yordanov 15, Krasimir Georgiev 5, Anton Vasiliev (L) and Georgi Seganov 3, Branimir Grozdanov, Plamen Dragiev, Petar Karakashev
After dominating most of the set and giving themselves set points at 20-15, Bulgaria almost managed to lose it as Russia went on a run of six points on captain Dmitry Kovalev’s tricky serves to move 21-20 in front. A Jani Jeliazkov spike stopped the charge and and then Bulgaria’s defence did the rest with middle blocker Ventsislav Ragin leading them to a 24-22 win.
Russia gained control of the second set right from the start, forcing Bulgaria head coach Dragan Ivanov into an early timeout to re-focus his players. Some Russia errors helped even up the match, but Bulgaria had difficulty containing the attacking and blocking of Russia opposite Bogdan Glivenko, who was not only key to a total of seven blocking points for the set, but also scored some important spikes as Russia took the set 22-20 to level the match.
Russia’s blocking continued to cause problems for Bulgaria in a long third set, with all players contributing points. Russia had a three-point lead at the technical timeout, but Bulgaria pulled it back with some strong serving from Jeliazkov and captain Nikolay Penchev that helped them to a series of set points before another Kovalev block and an Ivan Komarov spike gave Russia the set 27-25 and a 2-1 lead.
Russia were just ahead from early in the fourth set and maintained that lead until the final part of the set when Russia moved away to take the medal with a 21-15 win. Given their outstanding blocking display, it was appropriate that their final three points all came off net blocks.
Venezuela – Iran 0:3 (14-21, 21-23, 17-21)
Top Scorers: Kevin Pineura 13, Jhoser Contreras 6, Emerson Rodriguez 5; Reza Ghara 16, Mojtaba Mirzajanpour 9, Saman Faezi 6
Argentina – Tunisia 3:0 (21-19, 21-15, 21-15)
Top Scorers: Ezequiel Palacios 15, Pablo Koukartsev 10, Agustin Ramonda 10; Omar Agrebi 9, Mohamed Ben Abdallah 7, Mohamed Ayech 6
- Dominican Republic
All star team:
MVP: Ricardo Lucarelli (Brazil)
Setter: Dimitry Kovalev (Russia)
Opposite: Aleksandar Atanasijevic (Serbia)
Middle-Blockers: Ventislav Regin (Bulgaria) & Matheus Cunda (Brazil)
Receivers: Uros Kovacevic (Serbia) & Filip Stoilovic (Serbia)
Libero: Guilherme Kachel (Brazil)
- Pablo Kukartsev (Argentina) – 109
- Aleksandar Atanasijevic (Serbia) – 107
- Kervin Pinerua (Venezuela) – 105
- Rafael Araujo (Brazil) – 104