Aguascalientes, Mexico, July 18, 2019 – It has come to the final four teams at the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Aguascalientes with Japan, Italy, Russia and Turkey reaching the semifinals in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Asian champion Japan still undefeated moved into the semifinals winning pool F with a 3-0 record and runners-up Turkey with 2-1. Italy, who finished top in pool E, concluded the second round with 2-1 record and 7 points; and Russia finished in second place with the same win-loss record but with 5 points.

Brazil, China, United States and Poland will play for fifth to eighth place in the rankings.

Saturday’s schedule starts with placing matches 5-8 followed by the semifinals (all local-time)
12:30 Brazil vs. United States
15:00 Poland vs. China
17:30 SF1 Japan vs. Russia
20:00 SF2 Italy vs. Turkey

Pool E

Russia’s ticket to the semifinals came after their hard working comeback 3-2 (22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-11) over Italy in pool E. Russia’s victory brushed aside Brazil who earlier lost to China in five-sets 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11).

Ekaterina Pipunyrova carried Russia into the semifinals scoring 21 points on 18 kills and 3 blocks, accompanied by Yulia Brovkina with 18 points including 6 monster blocks; Alexandra Borisova Valeriya Shevchuk registered 13 and 10 points accordingly. Italy’s offence depended on Ruth Enweonwu (16), Loveth Omoruyi (14) and Yassimina Kone (11) including 3 aces.

Current world champion China defeated Brazil in five-sets 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11) for their first victory in pool E in the second round. China led scoring on 31 opponent errors against 21. Wang Yizhu was China’s top scorer with 20 points including 7 aces, followed by Mao Junyi with 17 points including 7 monster blocks, Che Wenhan contributed with 16 points and Xu Luyao added 13 points. Kisy Nascimento of Brazil scored a match-high of 25 points including 5 blocks, Julia Bergmann and Julia Gambatto tallied 14 and 10 points accordingly.

Pool F

Asian champion Japan move undefeated into the semifinals after their 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19) victory over Poland, finishing pool F with an undefeated 3-0 record, followed by a second place Turkey that swept the United States 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 32-30).

Zuzanna Gorecka’s impressive 26 points were not enough to carry Poland into the semifinals as her team lost to Japan 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19). Japan’s speed and defence limited Poland’s tough 10-6 margin in blocks, while both teams finished with 54 points in attacks. Japan scored on 35 opponent errors and handed out 20. Japan used a balanced offence between Ishikawa Mayu with 19 points alongside Hirayama Shion and Nishikawa Yuki with 12 points each.

Turkey’s sweeping victory 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 32-30) over United States had put them in qualifying position to reach the semifinals. The exciting last set seemed it would go on to overtime but Tukey’s 47-40 margin in kills and 8-3 advantage in serves was enough to pocket their second win in second round pool F. Turkey’s leading scorers were Yaprak Erkek (21), Derya Cebecioglu (18) along with Zeynep Uzen (12), while Skylar Fields (15) and Jena Wenaas (14) led the Americans.

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