RV WU18 ROUvsTUR (21)

Brazil pulled off a tough battle in five sets over Poland and Romania celebrated a four-set win against Turkey to face each other in the match for fifth place of the 2021 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Durango, Mexico.

Matches for positions five to eight will be held on Wednesday before the medal matches at the FENADU venue.

In the first match of the day, Brazil and Poland struggled in a roller coaster match that lasted a little over two hours (2:14) with many inconsistencies from both sides. The South Americans' performance was slightly better than their opponents', with a 55-54 advantage in attacks, 21 blocks against 18 and committing two errors fewer (22-24). In serves, both teams finished with five points.

RV WU18 POLvsBRA (45)

Brazil celebrates scoring a point against Poland

Outside hitter Nicole Fernandes and Aline Segato topped Brazils’ attackers scoring 19 points apiece (both on 17 kills). Middle blocker Luzia Da Silva scored the most amount of blocks with 10 from her 14 points total; and middle blocker Julliana Vitória de Andrade also added 14 points.

Polish outside hitter Julia Lenik scored an impressive match-high of 26 points on 21 kills, one block and four aces, accompanied by outside hitter Karolina Staniszewska with 21 points on 15 kills, five blocks and one ace.

“We were expecting a 3-0 victory; still we managed to come out on top, which gives us a chance to battle to finish in the top-five of the world,” commented Aline Segato Maestri, outside hitter and captain of Brazil. “Our team is tough and we know how to play, but we lost concentration (we lost our head) on many occasions,” she added.

Romania's consistency in blocking and serves, as well as their good energy throughout their four-set win, left Turkey will little resources for any reaction. The Romanian players outnumbered Turkey with a huge 14 against 8 blocking points, 10 points from serves against 7 and a 48-40 advantage in attacks.

Middle blocker Anamaria Cristea with 16 points led five Romanian players who scored double-figures and she was the top scorer in blocks (7). Outside hitter and captain Lidia Paula Partoni followed with 14 points, and opposite hitter Denisa Stefania Cheluta along with outside hitter Elena Iancu collected 13 points each, while middle blocker Andra Dariana Badiu added 10 points.

Outside hitter Fatma Iklimya Demir scored 17 points as Turkey’s top attacker and outside hitter Melisa Bukmen contributed with 10 points.

Head coach of Romania Marius Macarie said the pressure was on Turkey’s side. “They are second in Europe and came from a difficult loss yesterday and it definitely showed. In the first set I switched my opposite hitter to outside hitter and it made a difference. Tomorrow against Brazil we have nothing to lose, we must play our game.”