Men's U21 World Championship 2023 - News.

Egypt (EGY) vs. Italy (ITA) men - Pool B #5657581

Italy’s Riccardo Iervolino in attack

The four favourites in Pools B and C at the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Bahrain – Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy and Poland - secured their spots among the top eight of the tournament. They registered their second victories in Manama on Saturday to set up direct clashes with one another for the top of the pools on Sunday. Pools A and D are next up, during Saturday’s evening session in Manama, starting at 17:00 local time (14:00 UTC).

Pool B

Defending champions Italy had no issues in their game against Egypt and cruised to a comfortable blowout, outplaying the opponents on all counts. Their opposite Alessandro Bovolenta was once again the best scorer of the match. The Most Valuable Player of the 2022 CEV U20 European Championship spiked at a 59% success rate, hammered four aces and raised three kill blocks towards a 17-point match high. Outside hitters Mattia Orioli (3 aces, 1 block) and Riccardo Iervolino (1 ace) contributed another 10 points each to the victory.

Brazil (BRA) vs. Mexico (MEX) men - Pool B #5658321

Brazil’s Samuel Neufeld on the serve

Brazil dominated the first two sets of their game against Mexico, but in the third, the South Americans had to recover from a four-point deficit on the way to a straight-set victory. The Mexicans, in fact, outblocked the Brazilians, but that was far from enough for pulling off a surprise. Spiking at a 63% success rate, Brazilian outside hitter Arthur Bento, a 2022 South American U21 Championship Dream Teamer, who was part of the men’s national team during the first two competition weeks of Volleyball Nations League 2023, topped the charts with 14 points, including three aces and a block. The MVP of last year’s continental championship, opposite Samuel Neufeld, added another 13.

Pool C
Canada (CAN) vs. Poland (POL) men - Pool C #5657584

Three-man Polish block against Canada’s Kaden Schmidt

Poland started the day in Pool C with a straight-set win over Canada. The reigning 2021 U19 champions prevailed comfortably during the first two sets, but in the third, the North Americans had a 12-8 and 21-20 leads, before the Europeans finished the match off with five points in a row for . 2021 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship MVP Tytus Nowik topped the charts with 15 points, including two aces and two kill blocks. Outside Piotr Sliwka added another 12 towards the victory. Canada’s Kaden Schmidt finished with 13 points.

Bulgaria (BUL) vs. India (IND) men - Pool C #5658538

Bulgaria’s Georgi Tatarov on the serve

Bulgaria were the only one of the four favourites that lost a set to their opponents in Saturday’s matches. They even struggled to push another one to overtime to win it, but eventually they got the three points after a 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 29-27, 25-13) victory over India. The Bulgarians made up for the excessive number of 30 unforced errors with 11 aces and 11 kill blocks in addition to the 63 points in attack. Aleksandar Nikolov, a Dream Teamer at both the U19 World Championship in 2021 and the U20 European Championship in 2022, and a key player for the men’s national team during the first two competition weeks of VNL 2023, excelled with five aces and spiked at a 60% success rate towards the match high of 23 points. Opposite Georgi Tatarov registered a 74% success rate in attack and tallied 22 points, including two aces and three blocks.