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Unprecedented glory for Dominican Republic at Women’s U20 World Championship

 
Caguas, Gurabo, Juncos and Maunabo, Puerto Rico, September 19, 2015 - FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship finished in the best possible way as the final match was an incredible contest between Dominican Republic and Brazil, with the first earning a world title for the first time in their lives, triggering a crazy celebration from Caribbean fans in Puerto Rico.

The gold medal match was beyond the wildest expectations, as Brazil and Dominican Republic struggled for five exhausting sets. Brazil even had two championship points, but they failed to close it and the Dominicans were relentless to stamp the 3-2 (17-25, 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 16-14).

MVP Brayelin Martinez emerged as top scorer of the entire competition after leading her side in the final match with an amazing total of 32 points. Brazilian Lorenne Geraldo, in the last game of the tournament, broke all scoring records with 39 smashes, even when they fell short of the glory for a couple of points. Nevertheless, Brazil gathered their 13th medal at this age group, being 6 golden ones, 5 silvered and 2 made of bronze.

A perfect appetizer was provided by Japan and Italy at the bronze medal match, with the latter prevailing in a hard-fought 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-19) that meant their third access to the podium. Before this third place, Italy were champions in 2011 and had also a silver medal way back, in 1997. A 17-point total of stuff blocks acted as the key to fight against the tireless defence of Japan, who dropped to the fourth position after being runner-ups two years ago.

Playing for the fifth place in Juncos, Serbia lost the first set against Peru but then successfully recovered to celebrate 3-1 (18-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23) and improve two steps from 2013. Sara Lozo, Maja Aleksic and Bojana Milenkovic formed a vital trio to break Peru in very close chapters. Meanwhile, Russia pulled out a final comeback to grab the seventh place over Bulgaria 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-9), despite an awesome harvest of 33 points by Bulgarian super-scorer Gergana Dimitrova.

In Maunabo, China avenged their loss of a few days ago against Turkey and won 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 26-24) to seize the ninth place of the standings. Before that, Chinese Taipei secured the 11th spot defeating Czech Republic 3-1 (26-24, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19).

Completing the final ranking, in Gurabo, Cuba ended on a high as they outlasted Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-18, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-7) to sit on the 13th place. And it was a sweet finish for Mexico as well, landing 15th with their first victory of the competition - a 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18) over Egypt, which went home winless.

Final Positions
1. Dominican Republic
2. Brazil
3. Italy
4. Japan
5. Serbia
6. Peru
7. Russia
8. Bulgaria
9. China
10. Turkey
11. Chinese Taipei
12. Czech Republic
13. Cuba
14. Puerto Rico
15. Mexico
16. Egypt

All-Star Team
Setter: Misaki Shirai - Japan
First Outside Spiker: Brayelin Martinez - Dominican Republic
Second Outside Spiker: Bojana Milenkovic - Serbia
First Middle Blocker: Maja Aleksic - Serbia
Second Middle Blocker: Anna Danesi - Italy
Opposite: Lorenne Geraldo - Brazil
Libero: Zhana Todorova - Bulgaria
Most Valuable Player: Brayelin Martinez - Dominican Republic

Top Scorers
177 - Brayelin Martínez, Dominican Republic
156 - Gergana Dimitrova, Bulgaria
152 - Lorenne Geraldo, Brazil
125 - Paola Egonu, Italy
124 - Bojana Milenkovic, Serbia
123 - Anna Lazareva, Russia
120 - Ángela Leyva, Peru
116 - Gaila González, Dominican Republic
111 - Drussyla Costa, Brazil
109 - Maguilaura Frías, Peru

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
27 - Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic v Italy on September 18
39 - Lorenne Geraldo of Brazil v Dominican Republic on September 19

Top Scoring Performances
39 - Lorenne Geraldo of Brazil v Dominican Republic on September 19
33 - Gergana Dimitrova of Bulgaria v Russia on September 19
32 - Brayelin Martinez of Dominican Republic v Brazil on September 19
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
27 - Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic v Italy on September 18
27 - Anna Lazareva of Russia v Bulgaria on September 19

Top Serving Performances
7 - Angelina Sperskaite of Russia v Brazil on September 16
7 - Maria Aguilera of Mexico v Cuba on September 16
7 - Humay Topaloglu of Turkey v Czech Republic on September 18
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
13 - Turkey v Czech Republic on September 18

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
18 - Dominican Republic v Brazil on September 19
17 - Russia v Bulgaria on September 19
16 - Italy v Brazil on September 15
16 - Serbia v China on September 13
16 - Brazil v Japan on September 18
16 - Brazil v Dominican Republic on September 19

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
29-27 Serbia v Bulgaria (3er Set) on September 18
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
28-26 Italy v Japan (1st Set) on September 19

Highest Scoring Matches
224 - Cuba d Mexico 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 27-29, 15-10) on September 16
212 - Russia d Bulgaria 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-9) on September 19
210 - Dominican Republic d Brazil 3-2 (17-25, 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 16-14) on September 19
208 - Turkey d Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12) on September 15
208 - Dominican Republic d Italy 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-7) on September 18

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