FIVB U21 Championships
- June 23-July 2, 2017
- Brno, Czech Republic
Poland 3, Morocco 0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-15)
Canada 3, Czech Republic 2 (25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12)
Poland cruised to an opening day win over Morocco, while the Canadians took five sets to rally for a victory over the Czech Republic to kick off Pool A play at the FIVB U21 World Championships.
Poland 3, Morocco 0
The result was never in doubt in a Polish sweep of Morocco on Friday to kick off the U21 Championships. The Polish side nearly doubled their opponent’s output, tallying 75 points, while allowing just 39. Poland outblocked Morocco 10-1, outserved them 5-3 and put down 34 kills to 21. The Polish team also had help from 26 Moroccan miscues.
“We played very well today, but playing against Morocco was not so difficult,” Polish captain Jakub Kochanowski said. “For us every step at this championship is important. Today we made a good step towards the gold medal, so I am happy.”
After a 25-9 drubbing in Set 1, Morocco improved in Set 2, but could not overcome a 100 percent offensive effort by Poland’s Bartosz Kwolek. Poland swapped out its lineup in set three, but the European side still cruised to a 25-15 win and the sweep.
Kwolek managed a match-high 14 points, including 10 kills and three aces. Norbert Huber added nine points, including a match-high four blocks.
Soufiane El Gharrouti led Morocco with five points, all on kills. Oussama Elazhari, Ahmed Kerroumi and Othman Ghassel added four points apiece.
“Poland’s national team is very strong,” Moroccan coach Mohammed Abdellaoui Maan said. “They have good players and they have good strategy in the game. My team is young team and we did not play a lot of matches. My goal at this tournament is to gain experiences for my players. Their performance will improve as the tournament unfolds.”
Canada 3, Czech Republic 2
The Canadians rallied from down 2-1 in the match to take a five-set win over the Czech Republic.
The Canadians used 14 blocks to make up the difference in aces (10-7) and overcome 33 errors to eek out the victory, although the Czechs outscored them 102 to 101 in the final numbers.
The Canadian block overcame seven points from Donovan Dzavoronok in a 25-22 opening set win. The Czechs cruised to a 25-13 win and held off a late Canadian rally in a 25-23 Set 3 victory. The Canadians returned to form for the final two sets, sealing the victory with a kill by Taryq Sani.
Five Canadian players tallied double-digit point efforts, led by Eric Loeppky (18) and Sani (17). Fynnian Lionel Mccarthy (11), Deanan Gyimah (11) and Jesse Elser (10) followed. Loeppy posted 16 kills, while Sani added 15. Mccarthy put up six blocks and served up two aces, while Gyimah and Elser added two aces apiece.
Dzavoronok led all scoring with 21 points, including 19 kills and two aces. Matej Smidl registered 19 kills, with 16 kills and two aces.