Xiu unstoppable as China upset Bahrain in U21 Men’s World Championship


Manama, Bahrain, July 20, 2019 – Xiu Chencheng led the charge in China’s third consecutive victory in Pool A of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship, scoring 23 points to power his squad’s 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15) upset of hosts Bahrain on Saturday.

Xiu finished with 19 attacks and four service winners, but started off slowly as his team conceded the second set to Bahrain, forging a tie in the match. The Chinese opposite spiker went on an unstoppable offensive run, giving his team the 2-1 set advantage.

In the fourth set, the Chinese brilliantly executed their plays and built a huge lead against the Bahrainis, who struggled hard in attacking against their rivals’ tough block. China kept a consistent pace until they reached the end of the set, completing their unbeaten run in the tournament.

Hasan Mohamed led Bahrain with 19 points, not enough to power his team to overcome their rivals. The visiting side led in attacks (46-34), blocks (12-7) and aces (11-2).

In the other Pool A match, Puerto Rico needed four sets to record their first win in the tournament. After opening the match with two-set victories, Puerto Rico conceded the third set to Morocco after a long battle to get the two-point edge that ended at 36-34. However, they regained their composure in the fourth frame to seal the 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 34-36, 25-20) match victory.

Sebastian Negron led Puerto Rico with 28 points built from 26 attacks and two service aces, while Ilyas Rhouni Lazaar (18), Oussama Elazhari (17) and Hamza Ouyachi (17) were Morocco’s scoring trio.

Meanwhile, Russia completed a sweep of their first round matches in Pool C with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-15) triumph over Tunisia. After escaping their tough five-set match against Iran on Tuesday, when Maksim Zapozhkov top scored with 34 points, Pavel Tetyukhin took his turn in the scoring spotlight as he led Russia with 16 points.

Vitali Dikarev added 12 points, including six blocks, to command the defence of the Russian side, Sapozhkov was still explosive after coming off the bench in the second set to hammer four kills and four aces.

Iran secured the second spot in Pool C with a 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 26-24) win over the Czech Republic. Porya Yali came up with a solid performance from the attack line with 20 kills, then his teammates Mehran Feyzemamdoust and Morteza Sharifi boosted the Iranian offence with 10 points apiece, while their Czech rivals had Marek Sotola and Lukas Vasina scoring 17 and 12 points, respectively.

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