Chinese team wins first U-23 World Championships. Beating both Japan and Dominican Republic in three sets, China gets a title, even without star player Ting Zhu. Setter Di Yao becomes MVP.

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Places 5th-8th:
Turkey – Germany 3-0 (25-13 25-13 25-19)
Brazil – Italy 0-3 (13-25 24-26 22-25)

7th Place:
Germany – Brazil 1-3 (20-25 17-25 25-20 15-25)

Germany: Denis Imoudu, Jennifer Geerties (15), Leonie Schwertmann (5), Rebecca Schaperklaus (15), Katharina Schwabe (10), Wiebke Silge (11), Anna Pogany (L) and Irina Kemmsies (2), Carina Aulenbrock (2), Alisha Ossowski, Saskia Radzuweit
Brazil: Juliana Carrijo (2), Ellen Braga (18), Mara Leao (8), Glauciele Silva (13), Gabriela Souza (10), Francynne Jacintho (10), Daniela Guimaraes (L) and Priscila Heldes (1), Sonaly Cidrao (1)

5th Place:
Turkey – Italy 3-0 (25-17 25-20 25-22)

Turkey: Gamze Alikaya (2), Seyma Ercan (13), Ozge Nur Yurtdagulen (9), Gozde Yilmaz (15), Ezgi Guc (11), Dicle Nur Babat (5), Hatice Orge (L) and Asli Kalac (5)
Italy: Letizia Camera, Laura Partenio (11), Cristina Chirichella (5), Anna Nicoletti (11), Alessia Gennari (5), Raphaela Folie (2), Chiara Scarabelli (L) and Veronica Bisconti, Laura Saccomani, Sara Alberti (5)

Dominican Republic – United States 3-0 (25-21 25-21 27-25)
China – Japan 3-0 (27-25 26-24 25-13)

3rd Place:
United States – Japan 1-3 (16-25 25-20 11-25 19-25)

USA: Lauren Cook (2), Gina Mancuso (13), Erica Wilson (11), Sha’Dare McNeal (9), Ariel Turner (11), Hayley Hodson (4), Bojana Todorovic (L) and Tiata Scambray, Monique Mead (4), Jordyn Poulter
Japan: Kanami Tashiro (3), Yurie Nabeya (16), Fumika Moriya (4), Suzuka Hashimoto (7), Saori Takahashi (16), Nozomi Ito (6), Miku Torigoe (L) and Natsumi Fujita, Sarina Koga (13), Asuka Nomura (4), Miku Benoki, Haruyo Shimamura (2)

Yurie Nabeya and Suzuka Hashimoto helped Japan to take an 8-6 lead.  Japan increased the distance to 12-7 with their usual fast pace, but Ariel Turner and Hayley Hodson combined for spike and ace to cut the gap. Then it was time for Fumika Moriya and Saori Takahashi to restore the comfortable margin and the 16-10 score at the second TTO.  The first set concluded at 25-16 with the right side spike by Sarina Koga.
The big spike by left-hander Monique Mead sent USA in front 8-7. The Americans widened the difference to 13-10 behind a couple of blocks by Jordyn Poulter and Sha’Dare McNeal and led 16-11 at the second TTO. They continued to increase the margin to 19-14 and captured the second set 25-20.
Japan stormed into an 8-2 advantage in the third set with Takahashi’s spikes leading the way. The Asian side arrived into the second TTO in front 16-18 and continued on the same path with their outstanding defence. Asuka Nomura scored the last four points of Japan with one block against Gina Mancuso followed by her own three spikes and a 25-11 score.
In the fourth set, Sarina Koga provided five points with her attacks for an 8-4 Japanese lead. The Asian squad was working with all cylinders as they moved on to a 16-7 score at the second stop. Then Mancuso sparked an American comeback to narrow the distance to 24-19 before Takahashi finished things with a terrific spike for 25-19. 


Dominican Republic – China 0-3 (21-25 20-25 24-26)

Dominican Republic: Camil Dominguez (2), Brayelin Martinez (14), Marianne Fersola (6), Jeoselina Rodriguez (13), Yonkaira Pena (7), Candida Arias (7), Brenda Catillo (L) and Celenia Toribio, Gaila Gonzalez, Ana Binet, Erasma Moreno
China: Di Yao (2), Yanhan Liu (17), Zhou Yang (9), Qi Wang (8), Xinwei Gu (8), Xiaoya Zhang (17), Danna Shan (L) and Ting Qiao, Lin Wang

China led 8-6 with Liu Yanhan landing three big spikes to compensate several attacking errors by the Chinese side. The Dominicans stayed close at 13-11 behind the attacks of Yonkaira Peña and Brayelin Martinez. The spike of Yanhan combined with an opponent error gave China a 16-11 advantage. The Asian team increased the gap to a comfortable 18-12 with Zhang Xiaoya contributing spike and block. The Dominicans closed in to 23-21 but Gu Xinwei scored twice for the 25-21 score.
Zhang Xioya broke a 4-4 tied score with her spike and then Yanhan continued with spike and ace for an 8-4 Chinese advantage. The Dominicans closed to 14-13 behind the attack of Martinez and one ace by Camil Domnguez but Zhang answered from the other side with two big kills for a 16-13 score. China won the second set 25-20 despite some impressive spikes by the towering Martinez.
Yang Zhou blocked Martinez to break a 6-6 tie and Gu Xinwei continued with her spike for the 8-6 margin at the first stop. Jeoselyna Rodriguez landed two spikes to tie the score at 8-all. Yang blocked Martinez for 10-8. Then Rodriguez and Liu traded big hits. The Dominicans equalized at 11-11 with the fast attack by Candida Arias. Rodriguez gave the Dominicans their first advantage at 15-14 and Peña serve one ace for 16-14. Wang Qi scored twice to even the score. The fantastic duel continued to 20-20 with both teams firing big shots.  Wang scored and Zhang blocked Rodriguez for 22-20. Yao Di blocked Rodriguez for match-point at 24-21 but the Dominicans came back to tie at 24-all. Liu attacked and Yang Zhou blocked Martinez to close at 26-24.


Best Players according to rankings:
Best Scorer: Gina Mancuso (United States)
Best Spiker: Brayelin Martinez (Dominican Republic)
Best Blocker: Mara Leao (Brazil) – from Top 4: Zhou Yang (China)
Best Server: Jeoselina Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
Best Digger: Brenda Castillo (Dominican Republic)
Best Receiver: Hatice Orge (Turkey) – from Top 4: Bojana Todorovic (United States)
Best Setter: Di Yao (China)

Individual Awards (Most Valuable and Best Line-up):


Most Valuable Player: Di Yao (China)
Setter: Di Yao (China)
Opposite: Jeoselina Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
Outside Hitters: Brayelin Martinez (Dominican Republic), Sarina Koga (Japan)
Middle Blockers: Zhou Yang (China), Xiaoya Zhang (China)
Libero: Brenda Castillo (Dominican Republic)

Final Standings:

1. China
2. Dominican Republic
3. Japan
4. United States
5. Turkey
6. Italy
7. Brazil
8. Germany
9. Cuba
10. Argentina
11. Mexico
12. Kenya