Bocharova and Voronina claim U19 World Championship women’s title
Russia’s Mariia Bocharova/Maria Voronina won the women's gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships
Bocharova/Voronina were down a set but rallied to turn things around and gain the two-point edge in the last two sets against their Dutch counterparts 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-13) thereby earning gold and a place for their country at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October.
Schoon/van Driel's play first had the Russian defence searching for solutions as the Dutch led 8-4 in the first set. Great play in defence by the Dutch created opportunities for them to set up excellent counter-attacking moves against the Russians. Voronina tried to keep her side in the game, but van Driel held on to win the set for the Dutch 21-19.
Bocharova made her presence felt early in the second set with a couple of attack winners and blocks, but Schoon’s excellent defence set up van Driel for retaliation. The Russians had a 19-16 lead but suddenly lost their momentum following a service error and back-to-back points by the opposing side. However, consecutive points by Bocharova helped them extend the match 21-19.
The final set saw both sides trading points until Russia managed to break away at 10-8 from a block by Bocharova on van Driel. Schoon’s ace levelled the score again at 10-all, but Voronina and van Driel’s spike contest favoured the former to give the Russian side another 2-point cushion at 12-10. Van Driel tried to get her side back in the game, but Bocharova took her turn to finish the match 15-13.
Quick links - Beach volleyball:
FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships
Spain’s Daniela Alvarez/Tania Moreno prevailed 2-1 (10-21, 21-18, 15-12) in their encounter with the United States’ Devon Newberry/Lindsey Sparks to take the bronze medal.
Newberry/Sparks jumped at every opportunity to score, while Alvarez/Moreno struggled to keep their offence going in the first set. Newberry and Sparks took turns in finding the open spots until they mounted a huge lead against their Spanish rivals. Newberry found the open corner to close the first set 21-10.
The Spaniards then made some brilliant digs and serves, paired with service and attack blunders by the Americans to build a 10-5 edge in the second set. They maintained the same pace to level the match at 21-18.
The European side enjoyed every bit of their momentum in the final set, mounting a commanding 9-2 lead. However, the American duo never gave up and trimmed down the lead to within one point at 12-11. Moreno gave the Spanish side a breather with a drop shot to the corner to bring it to match point at 14-11, until another drop shot sealed the bronze medal triumph 15-11.
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