Russia 3, Cuba 0 (32-30, 25-17, 25-14)
Turkey 3, United States 0 (25-19, 25-14, 30-28)
The Russians blocked out Cuba, while the United States were overrun in an error riddled sweep to open the U21 Championships in Brno, Czech Republic on Friday.
The Americans return to action against Cuba Saturday morning, while Russia faces Turkey in the afternoon session.
Russia 3, Cuba 0
Three Russian players posted double-digit point efforts, while the team racked up eight blocks, in a sweep of Cuba to open U21 play.
Anton Semyshev led the way with 19 points, including 16 kills and three aces, while Aleksei Kononov and Dmitry Yakovlev added 11 points apiece. Kosonov put up five of Russia’s eight blocks, while Yakovlev added nine kills and two stuffs.
Each team served up seven aces, but the Russian outblocked their foes 8-1 and outdid them in kills (45-29).
“We have never played with Cuba before, but we knew they have a good and strong team,” Russian coach Vladimir Kohromenkov said. “The first set was balanced but after that we fulfilled our plan.”
Russia won an epic first set 32-30 closing it with a block. After that, the Russians cruised to 25-17 and 25-14 wins.
Cuba’s Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo Hernandez and Miguel David Gutierrez Suarez added 11 points apiece in the losing effort. Suarez managed 10 kills and a block, while Hernandez put down nine kills and served up two aces.
“The game was not bad,” Cuban coach Nicolas Vives Coffigny said. “The first set we played on very high level, but after that our team decreased the level of the game.”
Turkey 3, United States 0
A balanced and efficient Turkish attack helped lift the team to a sweep of the United States to open U21 Championship play. Turkey hit at a 60 percent clip for the match.
The Americans were outdone in all facets of the game in the sweep. The Turkish side racked up 45 kills, eight blocks and four aces in the contest, while allowing the United States 34 kills, four blocks and three aces.
Abdullah Cam paced Turkey to a 25-19 Set 1 win with five points, including the finale. The United States crippled itself with errors in a 25-14 Set 2 loss. The Americans held a sizeable lead in Set 3, but Turkey knotted the score at 23 and eventually closed out the 30-28 win with a putaway by Cam.
Adis Lagumdzija put up 16 points to lead Turkey, with 12 kills, three blocks and an ace. Batuhan Avci (14) and Cam (12) followed. Avci managed 14 kills, while Cam chipped in 11.
Kyle Ensing paced the U.S. effort with 19 points, including a match-high 17 putaways and two blocks. The next highest scorer was Dylan Missry, who managed five points, with four kills and a block.