Resistencia and Corrientes, Argentina, August 20, 2015 - It’s time for the best in Argentina as FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship is approaching its grand finale. Eight elite teams will open on Friday a three-day sprint to decide the gold medal owner - defending champions Russia command the list that includes hosts Argentina, China, Poland, USA, Brazil, Italy and Iran.
The Russian side will precisely be featuring the first out of four quarterfinal matches in Resistencia, alongside undefeated USA. After losing to Brazil on their first match, title-holders Russia greatly improved, led by bomber Dmitry Yakovlev and outstanding setter Konstantin Abaev. However, USA is also pushed by their setter - the talented Micah Ma’a who’s also the best server in the competition so far, with 21 aces and an average quota above 1 per set (1.05). Outside hitter Torey DeFalco, already experienced at senior level, is also among the ones to watch.
Afterwards, Italy and Iran are scheduled to meet each other looking for the semifinals as well. This game is set out to be a relentless battle on the center of the net, with stuff blocks and quick spikes all around. Iran enjoy the great moment of Aliasghar Mojarad, a towering blocker that is currently the tournament’s best on that department, and Italy has a ferocious pair of middles in captain Gianluca Galassi and teammate Gabriele Di Martino, which are the main scorers among the Azzurrini.
The third shift will be flavoured with a bit of drama, as one of last edition’s podium occupants for sure will fall short this time. Runners-up China and bronze medalists Poland share the common goal of getting as close to the Top 4 as possible, but only one of them will prevail. The Asians have their hopes put in super-scorer Yu Yuantai - competition leader with 101 points, while Poland, still unbeaten, appear as a serving collective force without match, with 54 aces on five games and three players into the Top 10 of servers, being Bartosz Kwolek, David Woch and Tomasz Fornal.
Finally, continental archrivals Argentina and Brazil will jump on court for a delicious closure, in order to complete the Final Four. The Brazilian side has not lost a game so far in Argentinean soil, headed by spikers Daniel Martins de Pinho and the athletic Kaio Ribeiro, but the local boys are relying on their history as they subdued this Brazil a couple of times at a South American level. Club Sarmiento’s Alejo Gronda Hall is already preparing for another spectators record and the crowd will play their part undoubtedly.
Although these four games shine above the rest, the draw will also continue to give shape to all other final placements. In Corrientes, searching for the 9th place, the daily program will have Bulgaria v Mexico, Chile v Cuba, Turkey v Japan and France v Germany. Also, with the matches Egypt-Puerto Rico and Belgium-Chinese Taipei, the race for the 17th place will also have another chapter, one on each venue.