USA and Poland will go against each other in Sunday’s fifth place match at the FIVB Volleyball U20 Women’s World Championship in Kortrijk. On Saturday, they both defeated their playoff opponents, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, respectively, in straight sets.

USA left no doubts over their superiority in the match with NORCECA neighbours Dominican Republic and produced a convincing 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-18) victory in the first of two playoffs in the second foursome of the tournament. Despite making more unforced errors, the Americans outplayed the opponents on all other scoring counts. They fired 44 successful spikes, against 26 for the Dominicans. In blocking, the winners produced nine stuffs, against four, and in serving, the ace count was seven to three.

Playing in the opposite position, USA’s Emily Londot delivered the match high of 17 points, followed by middle blocker Caroline Crawford with 12. Sub-in Jordan Middleton nailed the match winner in the third set. Middle blocker and captain Geraldine Gonzalez was Dominican Republic’s best scorer on nine points.

“I think we did a good job of staying concentrated through the bad plays and the bad times and just focusing on what we could do to make it better. I feel that we played with a lot of teamwork. We brought each other up, just trying to focus and pull through,” said Londot after the match.

Poland clearly dominated over Brazil throughout the first set and the second half of the third set. The second set was the most competitive one and Poland won it in the overtime. Brazil fought back early into the third set and had the lead for a while before the European team came back with a strong finish for 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-15).

The Poles scored in 43 of their attacks, against just 30 for Brazil. They also made four aces, while the South Americans failed to score from the serving line. Only in blocking there was a balance between the two teams as they tallied 10 stuffs each. Polish opposite Karolina Druzkowska was the best scorer of the match on 12 points, followed by teammates Julita Piasecka on 11 and Julia Orzol on 10. Brazil’s top scorer Ana Luiza Rudiger also finished with 10 points.

“The game today was very hard, because Brazil are not an easy team to play against. We knew that and we played our best. It was also hard to overcome the disappointment with not making it to the top four, but with great teamwork and team spirit, we succeeded,” said Poland’s setter Martyna Lazowska.