Pool B favorite China prevailed over Czech Republic by a score of 21-25, 25-22, 25-14, 22-25, 15-12 at Tijuana High Performance Center, and hosts Mexico edged Thailand in dramatic fashion in Pool A at the State Auditorium of Mexicali by a score of 25-23, 14-25, 25-17, 20-25, 18-16.
Zhang Yichan paced the Chinese offense with 16 points, with three others - Yuan Caixia (14), Liu Xiaotong (13) and Sun Mingjian (12) - also recording double-figures. Czech Tereza Vanzurova tallied a match-high 29 points in a losing cause.
"Both teams were very competitive tonight but we were luckier than them and won the match," said Qi Lixia, the coach of China. "We have a great deal of respect for player number 11 (Vanzurova) who is an outstanding athlete."
Olivia Meza led Mexico with 17 points and Sontaya Keawbundit led Thailand with a match-high 18 points.
In the other Pool B match on Thursday, Germany beat Chinese Taipei in straight sets, 25-13, 25-23, 25-21, jumping out to 10-4 and 13-3 margins on blocks and service aces. German Sarah Petrausch led her side with 17 points while Anja Brandt and Berit Kauffeldt each contributed 10 points. Chen Shih Ting had 16 points for the losers.
In Pool D in Tijuana, Turkey defeated Bulgaria 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-10 in 1 hour and 34 minutes with Busra Cansu recording 17 points (five aces and three blocks) to pace the Turkish squad. Polen Uslupehlivan added 15 for Turkey, while Dobriana Rabadzhieva produced 16 points for Bulgaria.
Meanwhile, Cuba capped the night by defeating USA 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11 with Yoana Palacios leading the way with 19 points.
In Mexicali, Isadora Rodrigues recorded 19 points to lead Brazil over Poland 25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20 in Pool C, while the Dominican Republic executed a rapid disposal of Kenya by a score of 25-11, 25-10, 25-6 in just 52 minutes. Jeoselina Rodriguez and Candida Arias led the winners with 11 and 10 points respectively.
In Pool A, Netherlands needed only 61 minutes to defeat Venezuela by score of 25-9, 25-10, 25-18. Anne Buijs and Nicole Koolhaas each produced 11 tallies and Lonneke Sloetjes added 10 points for the winners.
U.S. Women's Junior Team Falls to Cuba
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 16, 2009) - The U.S. Women's Junior National Team started off the 2009 FIVB Women's Junior World Championship (Under-20) with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11 loss to NORCECA-rival Cuba Thursday evening in Tijuana, Mexico.
Mexico used a 5-0 run in the first set to take a 15-13 advantage, then held off the U.S. to win 25-23 and taking advantage of nine American errors in the frame. Team USA rolled to a 9-3 advantage with some early blocks, but needed to use all 12 Cuban errors in the set to win 25-23 after it was all knotted at 23-all. Cuba broke a 10-all tie with a 4-1 run in the third set, then withstood a 4-0 run late by the U.S. to win 25-22. Cuba built a 6-0 lead in the fourth set and never looked back by clinching the match with a 25-11 victory.
Team USA returns to action on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Pacific Time against Bulgaria, which dropped its opening Pool D match to Turkey 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-10. The top two teams in each of the four-team pools advance to the winner's pools in the second round.
Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the U.S. squad with 10 points on nine kills and an ace. Amanda Dowdy (Lexington, Ky.) chipped in nine points with seven kills and two blocks, while Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind.) contributed eight kills and an ace for nine points. Alexis Olgard (Spokane, Wash.) matched Dowdy and Hunt with nine points coming from five kills and a team-high four blocks. Morgan Broekhuis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chipped in four kills and two aces for six points. Ashleigh McCord (Wylie, Texas) added two kills and Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with a kill.
For the complete story, visit http://usavolleyball.org/news/article/14375.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images