RV WU18 USAvsPUR (37)

Middle blocker Eloise Brandewie (18) and Setter Bergen Reilly (6) of USA block Puerto Rico's captain Paola Martell (8)

Defending champion United States concluded the preliminary round with a victory over Puerto Rico and advance into the round of 16 as Pool C winners at the 2021 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Durango, Mexico.

Romania also completed poo-play with three victories and one loss after defeating Thailand in tough five sets, securing second place in Pool C. Thailand and Puerto Rico resume pool-play on Friday, both with one victory and two losses.

United States overwhelming 14-1 blocking margin was too much for Puerto Rico, with middle blocker Eloise Brandewie leading with seven from her 13 points; outside hitter Devin Kahahawai added 12 points. The Americans also overpowered in attacking (39-16) and serving (6-0). Both teams committed sixteen scoring errors.

Top scorer and blocker Eloise Brandewie of United States who loves the adrenaline of blocking expressed “we’re going after one goal, and that’s to win the tournament, every match is taken in consideration no matter who it is. Today it was all about energy, squeezing and kept suffocating Puerto Rico with our serves. One of my favorite things is blocking, I believe the match depends on that, I feel a fire in my heart and energy when I’m able to score on a block”.

RV WU18 ROUvsTHA (34)

Romania´s captain Lidia Paula Partoni (10) and libero Alexandra Gabriela Ion (18) celebrate victory over Thailand

Romania and Thailand engaged in a tough battle from the second set further as the Asians challenged the Europeans who dominated the first set. Romania’s victory came from a huge 10-3 margin in blocking and a considerable attacking advantage of 64-57. Both teams scored nine points from serves and similar amount of errors, Romania with 25 and Thailand a total of 27.

Opposite hitter Denisa Stefania Cheluta led Romanian attackers collecting 21 points from 17 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Outside hitter and captain Lidia Paula Partoni contributed in Romania’s victory with 19 points including 4 aces, followed by outside hitter Teodora Elena Iancu with 17 points and middle blocker Andra Dariana Badiu Savu with 15 points.

Ampha Sonsurat, outside hitter of Thailand led all scorers with 22 points and captain Donphon Sinpho registered 20 points.

Nigeria had been due to participate in the event; however, was unable to arrange their visas for Mexico in time and so forfeited their matches.