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Dominican Republic, Brazil, Italy and Japan advance to semifinals at Women’s U20

 
Caguas, Gurabo, Juncos and Maunabo, Puerto Rico, September 17, 2015 - FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Puerto Rico has been reduced to only four teams which will decide the three available medals. Brazil and Italy from one end of the draw and Dominican Republic together with Japan from the other have qualified for the semifinals, stage to be held this Friday.

In Gurabo, Italy was the first team to move forward, with a very convincing 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-15) over Russia. Although Paola Egonu and Anna Lazareva were tied with 14 points for each team, Italy made the difference at a global level, outblocking Russia by 13-5 and also feeding from the 23 points gave away by Russia in errors. This way, first round winners Russia heavily dropped on the second round, losing all three games.

Next, Brazil had to face a tough squad of Serbia to also grab a semifinal berth, finishing as Pool E leaders. The South American powerhouse conquered the match 3-1 (25-14, 27-25, 27-29, 25-20), resisting the way Serbia reacted after the first set. The Brazilian duo of Lorenne Geraldo and Drussyla Costa paved the way for Brazil, each scoring 16 points.

At semifinals, Brazil will now face Japan, as the Asians completed a fabulous reconstruction at Pool F in Juncos. The shocking loss against Dominican Republic, instead of deflating Japan, acted as the spark for the energy boost needed to defeat Peru first and then to also rout Bulgaria 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 28-26). Nanami Hirose led the way with 18 points.

Nevertheless, Japan had to wait until the next game to completely celebrate their semifinal ticket. It became true when Dominican Republic - the only unbeaten team of the competition, triumphed over Peru 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 28-26) and seized Pool F top spot. A 27-point game by Dominican star Brayelin Martínez was the major highlight of their sixth win in Puerto Rico, a result that sent Peru out of the elite four.

Meanwhile, playing for lower positions, Chinese Taipei overcame Cuba 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-16) and Czech Republic delivered a loss to Mexico 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-20, 25-15), leaving both winners still on track for the ninth place. They will join China and Turkey, which faced each other on Thursday, with the latter winning 3-1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-23) in Caguas. At that same venue, Puerto Rico greatly enjoyed their first win at home soil, over Egypt 3-2 (25-16, 25-10, 18-25, 23-25, 18-16).

Top Scorer by Day

23 - Gergana Dimitrova of Bulgaria v Puerto Rico on September 11
19 - Brayelin Martinez of Dominican Republic v Czech Republic on September 12
19 - Nanami Hirose of Japan v Chinese Taipei of September 12
24 - Yagmur Kilic of Turkey v Czech Republic on September 13
27 - Karla Santos of Puerto Rico v Turkey on September 15
29 - Lorenne Geraldo of Brazil v Russia on September 16
27 - Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic v Peru on September 17

Top Scoring Performances
29 - Lorenne Geraldo of Brazil v Russia on September 16
27 - Karla Santos of Puerto Rico v Turkey on September 15
27 - Diaris Perez of Cuba v Mexico on September 16
27 - Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic v Peru on September 17
26 - Yagmur Kilic of Turkey v Egypt on September 16
25 - Nanami Hirose of Japan v Peru on September 16

Top Serving Performances
7 - Angelina Sperskaite of Russia v Brazil on September 16
7 - Maria Aguilera of Mexico v Cuba on September 16
6 - Paola Egonu of Italy v Serbia on September 16
6 - Diaris Perez of Cuba v Mexico on September 16
5 - Several players

Top Team Serving Performances
15 - Cuba v Mexico on September 16
15 - Czech Republic v Mexico on September 17
14 - Chinese Taipei v Czech Republic on September 16
13 - Mexico v Cuba on September 16
12 - Russia v Cuba on September 11
12 - Turkey v Czech Republic on September 13
12 - Chinese Taipei v Mexico on September 15
12 - Chinese Taipei v Cuba on September 17

Top Blocking Performances
10 - Zehra Gunes of Turkey v Puerto Rico on September 15
7 - Laiza Ferreira of Brazil v Czech Republic on September 11
7 - Zhang Qian of China v Peru on September 12
7 - Zehra Gunes of Turkey v Egypt on September 16
7 - Anna Danesi of Italy v Serbia on September 16

Top Team Blocking Performances
18 - Czech Republic v Chinese Taipei on September 16
16 - Italy v Brazil on September 15
16 - Serbia v China on September 13
15 - Italy v Japan on September 13
15 - Cuba v Mexico on September 16
15 - Puerto Rico v Egypt on September 17

Highest Scoring Sets
31-29 Czech Republic v Cuba (1st Set) on September 15
29-27 Mexico v Cuba (4th Set) on September 16
29-27 Serbia v Brazil (3er Set) on September 17
28-26 Peru v Serbia (3rd Set) on September 11
28-26 Japan v Bulgaria (3er Set) on September 17
28-26 Dominican Republic v Peru (3er Set) on September 17

Highest Scoring Matches

224 - Cuba d Mexico 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 27-29, 15-10) on September 16
208 - Turkey d Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12) on September 15
201 - Puerto Rico d Egypt 3-2 (25-16, 25-10, 18-25, 23-25, 18-16) on September 17
200 - Chinese Taipei d Czech Republic 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 24-26, 25-13, 15-9) on September 16

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