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World Champions USA Sweeps

Pool C

 

KOBE, Japan, October 4, 2018 - The United States showed that they were in no mood to let go of their World Championship crown by defeating Russia 3-2 in the last match of Pool C held at Kobe Green Arena on Thursday evening.

 

The Americans, who won the world title for the first time in 2014, beat the 2006 and 2010 world champions Russia 19-25, 25-20, 26-24, 12-25, 15-11 to complete a perfect 5-0 win-loss record in the first stage. Russia slipped to 4-1.

 

Four American players scored in double figures led by Kimberly Hill with 19, Jordan Larson and Foluke Akinradewo with 16 and Kelly Murphy with 14. Akinradewo notched four of the USA's 13 block points.

 

Nataliya Goncharova led the Russian reply with an incredible 36 points, including 35 spikes, and Kseniia Parubets added 16.

 

Also in Kobe, Korea ended their World Championship campaign with their first victory in Pool C - 3-0 over Trinidad and Tobago. The set scores were 26-24, 25-16, 25-23 and the result condemned the Calypso Spikers to a fifth consecutive defeat on their World Championship debut.

 

Park Jeongah led the Korean scorers with 26 points, including 24 spikes, and 18-year-old middle blocker Lee Juah added 14, with three blocks and six service aces. Korea served 10 aces in total.  For T&T, Channon Thompson and Darlene Ramdin both contributed 14 points.

 

In Sapporo, Bulgaria had to fight hard to earn their place in the second round, edging Canada 3-1 (23-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-21) on the last day of first-round action. 

 

Bulgaria were led by Gergana and Nasya Dimitrova who both had 17 points, with Nasya’s total including three aces. Canada’s top scorers were Autumn Bailey and Kiera Van Ryk, who each scored 18 points with both picking up four aces. Emily Maglio’s 12 points included six blocking points. 

 

The two teams were well matched. Both had seven blocking points and eight service points. Canada had 20 errors to Bulgaria’s 22. Canada ended the first round 1-4, while Bulgaria finished 2-3

 

Also in Sapporo, Turkey ended the first round of matches with a 3-2 record after beating winless Cuba 3-1 (25-15, 25-14, 23-25, 25-7).  It was Cuba’s 12th straight loss in World Championship matches.

 

Turkey were led by Meryem Boz (17 points), Hande Baladin (16 points) and Zehra Gunes (15 points). Gunes scored five blocking points while teammate Meliha Ismailoglu netted four aces. Cuba’s top scorer was Ailama Cese with 11 points.

 

In Yokohama, Lonneke Sl÷etjes kept the Netherlands perfect at the close of the Pool A action on Thursday, claiming 12 points as they won for the fifth straight match, 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-16) against Mexico.

 

Juliet Lohuis and Anne Buijs were also regulars on the board for the Netherlands, putting up 11 points apiece

 

Mexico’s challenge was led by Andrea Rangel and Samantha Bricio, who each contributed 13 points, with five of Bricio’s coming from aces.