USA produced an incredible comeback from two sets down against Poland to win by 3-2 and claim the fifth place at the FIVB Volleyball U20 Women’s World Championship. Brazil claimed the seventh place in the final standings after a clean-slate victory over the Dominican Republic in Kortrijk on Sunday.

Poland seemed to be cruising to a clean win over USA as they had a two-set lead and a solid advantage in the third set. However, the Americans had different thoughts on their minds. Stepping up their efforts, especially in blocking, they mounted a furious comeback to win by 3-2 (14-25, 18-25, 25-16, 29-27, 15-13) and celebrate the fifth place in the world.

Caroline Crawford led the American blockers, delivering four of the 13 stuffs on their tally, most notably the winning points in sets three and four. Still Poland outscored their opponents on that element, delivering as many as 17 kill blocks. The European team also produced twice as many aces, 12 against six from USA, with opposite Karolina Druzkowska scoring four of them and five blocks towards a match high total of 22 points. What made the difference in the game was the American offence, which came up with 61 kills against 53 from the Polish spikers. Opposite Emily Londot was USA’s most prolific scorer on 17 points. Poland’s outside Julita Piasecka also scored as many.

“I think this has been an awesome experience for all of us. It’s been such an honour to be playing with this group of girls,” said Kamerynn Miner, setter and captain of USA. “I think from the very start of the tournament we have great team chemistry and that carried us through. And I think that’s what showed up the most in this last match going five sets - that heart and that will to win. So I’m super proud of my team.”

Brazil finished the tournament on a high note, defeating the Dominican Republic by 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-21) to claim the seventh place in the final standings and leave the opponents in the eighth. The match was a one-sided affair in which the Brazilian had control for the most part of the game. Their players served 11 aces against five by the Dominicans. The Brazilian offence produced 35 kills, against 27 on the other side of the net. The team from the Caribbean committed way too many unforced errors as well – 22 against Brazil’s 10. Only the stuff blocks were balanced, seven on each side.

Three players shared the top scorer honours. Brazil’s middle blocker Livia dos Santos Gomes Lima and outside Stephany Gomes Xavier Morete, as well as Dominican Republic’s outside hitter Romina Cornelio, delivered 12 points each.

“We did a lot of learning at this championship. We managed to reverse the bad situation that we got ourselves into,” said Katia Machado da Silva, middle blocker and captain of Brazil. It was one of the most important things, to grow up inside the competition.”