On Saturday in Tijuana and Mexicali, in Mexico started first Championships for Women under 23 years old. Competition started with protest by teams associated with testing new rule, with sets to 21 points. Teams didn’t agree to play in new system and all matches are playing in classic system, with 25 points, except tie-breaks.
Italy – Turkey 2-3 (31-29 25-16 24-26 22-25 15-17)
Dominican Republic – Argentina 3-0 (25-14 25-18 25-16)
Mexico – Japan 1-3 (19-25 13-25 25-20 15-25)
Japan – Italy 3-2 (21-25 18-25 25-22 25-16 15-12)
Turkey – Dominican Republic 0-3 (18-25 16-25 21-25)
Mexico – Argentina 0-3 (24-26 21-25 21-25)
United States – Kenya 3-0 (25-11 25-11 25-6)
China – Germany 3-1 (25-21 25-22 18-25 25-19)
Brazil – Cuba 3-1 (28-26 25-27 25-15 25-21)
Kenya – Germany 0-3 (9-25 15-25 10-25)
United States – Cuba 3-0 (25-20 25-19 25-21)
Brazil – China 1-3 (16-25 25-21 22-25 23-25)
Till Wednesday teams will play in Pools and from Thursday till Saturday we will see Play-Offs.
Looking into rosters the best known team is obviously Dominican Republic, with head coach of main NT Marcos Kwiek. 7 from 12 players were in NT during World Grand Prix (Opposite Jeoselina Rodriguez, Outside Hitters Yonkaira Pena and Brayelin Martinez, Middle Blockers Candida Arias and Marianne Fersola, Libero Brenda Castillo, Defender Ana Binet). This team should be in Top 4 of this tournament and they can even get a gold.
Other team with more players, who appeared in WGP is Cuba, but these girls comapring to Dominican are less experienced and still commit lots of mistakes, 8 of them played in GP (Setter Vilches, Opposite Vargas, Outside Hitters Alvarez and Matienzo, Middle Blockers Giel and Orta, Libero Borrell and Universal Lescay (MB/OH). This team shouldn’t have bigger role in this tournament, proof for this are two losses.
Main opponents for the title except Dominican Republic after first days seem to be USA, China and Japan. These 4 looked the best in first days.
Nice team seems to be also Italy, but “Azzure” lost two games after tiebreaks. Not so strong as in older competitions is Brazil, but also “Canarinhas” and Turkey can fight for medals.
Other players who can be known for wider audience are:
– Argentina (Antonela Curatola, Setter)
– Brazil (Ellen Braga, Outside Hitter)
– China (Jie Yang, Wing Spiker; Danna Shan, Libero)
– Germany (Jennifer Geerties, Outside Hitter)
– Italy (Valentina Diouf, Opposite; Letizia Camera, setter; Alessia Gennari, Outside Hitter/Libero; Raphaela Folie, Middle Blocker; Cristina Chirichella, Middle Blocker)
– Japan (Haruyo Shimamura, Middle Blocker; Saori Takahashi, Wing Spiker)
– Turkey (Gamze Alikaya, Setter; Ceren Kestirengöz, Opposite; Gözde Yilmaz, Outside Hitter/Opposite; Asli Kalac, Middle Blocker)
– USA (Monique Mead, Opposite; Gina Mancuso, Outside Hitter)