USA team huddle

Friday was a good day for the teams of Turkey and the USA, who opened their WU20 campaigns with important victories. Turkey did not have any big problems vs the underdogs from Thailand, while the U.S. players lost concentration for one set only vs Russia, but could congratulate themselves with an important win at the end of the action.

Turkey and Thailand got the ball rolling in the Pool, with the players around head coach Sahin Catma seizing a straight-sets victory. Turkey, who back in 2019 finished in 4th place in the U20 Women’s World Championship, outclassed their opponents facing no big challenges. Leading comfortably in the first two sets, it was in the third that the Thailand team got a wake-up call. However, it was too late and thanks to middle blocker Karmen Aksoy's good performance on the net, Turkey congratulated themselves with the victory. Аksoy together with Elif Su Ericek and Beren Yesilirmak became the best scorers, each one recording 13 points. For Thailand, Inchan Wirany and Chaiyaphet Panatda scored 10 and 9 points respectively.

Karmen Aksoy, middle blocker of Turkey: "It's a good start for us. We managed to keep our focus on the game. This is our first match here, at the tournament. We have been preparing for this competition in the past month, so we are looking forward to the next games as well!"

The day at Topsportcentrum Rotterdam finished in style, with a derby between the teams of Russia and the USA. Seven of the USA players on the roster return from the U18 team that won the Worlds in 2019, and with high hopes to repeat the success at the U20 age group, started on the right foot outclassing Russia at 3-1. The Russian players, who at the last WU20 Championship grabbed the bronze, put up a real fight, showing good skills on attack, but couldn’t cope with USA’s good serving and better play on the block (16 to 3), with these two elements being the key to the success. For Russia, Tatiana Kostina and Vita Akimova finished with 17 points each, while for the USA, Alyssa Batenhorst and Caroline Crawford added 16 and 15, respectively.

Miner Kamerynn, setter and captain of the USA: “We have worked a lot on our serving pass, on serving hard and putting pressure on them. We did it well in the later sets of the match. Our blocking on the right side also paid off. I am really proud of my team! We have been preparing together only a week.”