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Dominicans settle for the silver medal at U18


ROSARIO, Argentina, August 27, 2017 - Undefeated after eight matches, Italy successfully held on to the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship title after a spectacular final match against Dominican Republic which won 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-12, 25-20).


While Italy secured back-to-back titles for the first time of their history, for Dominican Republic it was also a dream run as the Caribbean girls reached the podium for the very first time in this age group category.


Italy was led by a power trio of scorers - Terry Enweonwu and Elena Pietrini capped 17 points apiece and captain Alessia Populini were just one behind of them. Dominican Republic fought hard led by Madeline Guillen, who scored a full set herself with 25 tallies.


With a 17-point game of Oxana Yakushina, Russia emerged as the winning side on the bronze medal match over Turkey 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 16-25, 25-15).


Russia picked up their sixth medal in this age group, plus other two as the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1991. Those were two golds, three silvers and now three bronzes. Turkey, despite the bitter taste of the loss, managed to equal their 2015 result, when they finished fourth in Peru. 


Supporting Yakushina were Valeriya Shevchuk with 14 points, Victoriia Pushina and Polina Shemanova, both with 10 tallies. For Turkey, Yaprak Erkek topped the list with 16 units, followed by Ebrar Karakurt (14) and Derya Cebecioglu (13).


In front of a cheerful crowd in Rosario, hosts Argentina went back onto the winning track with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 19-25, 30-28) over USA to finish the tournament in home soil at the seventh place.


Argentina had already finished seventh in 1991 in Portugal, but it was out of 12 participating teams, so this 6-2 record with 20 countries in contest counts as a solid improvement. On the other hand, USA was second-placed on the last two editions and now dropped to the eighth place.