Girls' U19 World Championship 2023 - News.

Croatia (CRO) vs. Poland (POL) - Eightfinals #6300458

Croatian players and fans celebrate their success against Poland

The list of national teams competing for the title of the 2023 FIVB Girls’ U19 Volleyball World Championship was limited to eight candidates on Monday, when the tournament’s Round of 16 matches were played in Osijek, Croatia, and Szeged, Hungary.

Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Türkiye and the United States are the nations that remain in contention and they will have their next battles on Wednesday, when the quarterfinals will be held in Osijek.

The tournament is streamed live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel.

Hosts Croatia had a tough battle with Poland in the Round of 16, but managed to advance with a dramatic 3-2 (21-25, 25-10, 14-25, 25-19, 16-14) victory in Osijek. The Croatians had middle blocker Aurora Papac and opposite Tonka Bošnjak tallying 16 points each, while Polish outside hitter Anna Fiedorowicz led all scorers with 22.

“Obviously, we have to thank our fans,” Bošnjak said. “It was awesome, the atmosphere was great. The energy on the court was amazing and we left our hearts there, that was all. If someone had told me that we would be in the quarterfinals, I wouldn't have believed it. But we are here and we will give our maximum in our next matches as well."

The hosts will now face Thailand, who caused probably the biggest upset of the Round of 16, eliminating China, one of the four undefeated teams in pool play, with a 3-2 (31-33, 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-12) triumph in Szeged. Outside hitters Kanchana Sisaikaeo and Warisara Seetaloed were both in excellent form, scoring 30 and 25 points respectively in the Thai victory.

Pool B winners Türkiye were put to sweat by Korea in Osijek, but remained alive, grinding to pull off a 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-10) win over the Asians. Outside hitter Liza Safronova was a key player in the Turkish victory, leaving the court with 26 points, nine more than opposite Beren Yesilirmak – outside hitter Jua Lee scored 22 points for Korea and middle blocker Sebeen Kim, 19.

“We were really prepared for this game,” Safronova reacted. “Yesterday, we won a game against Croatia and it was really exciting, so we used this motivational boost for the preparation for this game against Korea. They played a really good game, but we were more prepared. We showed great volleyball, I’m just so happy. This is team Türkiye - great mentality, great fighting spirit.”

Türkiye (TUR) vs. Korea (KOR) - Eightfinals #6297567

Türkiye were strongly challenged by Korea, but still managed to advance

Brazil will be the next team to cross Türkiye’s path in the tournament, in the quarterfinals. Playing in Szeged, the team triumphed in the South American Derby, beating Argentina 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 15-25, 25-19). Outside hitter Vittoria Kuehne and opposite Larissa Brandão carried the Brazilian offense with 15 and 13 points respectively, but Argentinean middle blocker Bianca Garibaldi was the match’s top scorer, with 16.

2023 FIVB Volleyball Girls' U19 World Championship: Match Schedule and Results

Undefeated in Pool D in the pool play stage, the United States continued in good form in the Round of 16, handing continental rivals the Dominican Republic a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 26-24) victory in Osijek. Outside hitter Abigail Vander Wal was the American leading scorer with 13 points, one more than middle blocker Favor Anyanwu. Dominican outside hitter Katielle Vargas topped all scorers with 18 points.

USA (USA) vs. Dominican Republic (DOM) - Eightfinals #6292030

Vander Wal pushes the ball against the Dominican block

The Americans will now face Bulgaria, who eliminated hosts Hungary with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-18) win in Szeged. Opposite Mikaela Stoyanova scored 16 points in the Bulgarian victory, while outside hitter Iva Dudova added 11. Opposite Mirtill Eróss was the only Hungarian player to reach double digits in scoring, with ten.

Also in Szeged, Italy had no trouble remaining undefeated and moving to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-9) triumph against Egypt. The Europeans got 14 points from opposite Merit Adigwe and 13 from middle blocker Linda Manfredini – outside hitter Malak Elbehiry delivered nine points for the Africans.

They will now face Japan, the last team to secure a spot in the quarterfinals in Osijek, with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-21) win over Puerto Rico. Opposite Miku Akimoto left the court with 16 points and outside hitter Riri Kasai with 13 on the Japanese side, while outside hitter Elena Garcia and opposite Grace Mar Villanueva each scored 14 for Puerto Rico.

Four matches in playoffs for 17th to 24th places were also played, with Mexico beating Germany 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 26-24), Canada beating Chile 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 16-25, 25-23), Peru topping Cameroon 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-22) and Serbia overcoming Nigeria by forfeit.

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