Men's U21 World Championship 2023 - News.

Egypt (EGY) vs. Brazil (BRA) men - Pool B #5646880

Brazil’s Arthur Bento in attack

Favourites Italy, Poland, Brazil and Bulgaria earned the first victories at the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Bahrain, which got underway on Friday with the first-leg matches in Pools B and C during the day session of the first competition day. The first games in Pools A and D are next up, during Friday’s evening session in Manama, starting at 17:00 local time (14:00 UTC).

Pool B

Defending champions Italy hammered out a shutout of Mexico and became the very first team to celebrate a win at Bahrain 2023. Other than the first set when the North Americans maintained control and wasted three set points before the Europeans could convert their first, Italy comfortably dominated on the court. In the overall stats, Mexico outblocked their opponents, but lacked in all other elements. Opposite Alessandro Bovolenta, the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 CEV U20 European Championship, registered a 67% success rate in attack and produced a match high of 20 points, including two aces, towards Italy’s success.

Mexico (MEX) vs. Italy (ITA) men - Pool B #5645675

Alessandro Bovolenta in attack

Brazil faced even fewer issues in cruising to a straight-set victory over Egypt. Completely dominating on the court, especially from the serving line, the South Americans nailed nine aces (against none for the opponents) towards a win. With four of these aces to his name, outside hitter and captain 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 scorers’ chart of the match on 12 points.

Pool C

The two finalists of the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship two years ago, Poland and Bulgaria, started their Bahrain 2023 campaigns with three-point victories, but each of them had some difficulties and allowed the opponents to win a set. Poland were quite convincing in the first two and the fourth sets, but so were India in the third. The reigning 2021 U19 champions won the match by .

India (IND) vs. Poland (POL) men - Pool C #5645595

2021 U19 World Championship MVP Tytus Nowik in attack

With rising star outside hitter and team captain Aleksandar Nikolov leading the way, Bulgaria snatched a hard-fought victory over Canada. With some productive serving, they cruised through the first set, but the North Americans fought back to level the match. In a dramatic fourth-set epilogue, the Europeans denied two Canadian set points before Nikolov aced to bring in the first match point, converted by his teammates with a monster block for the winner. The Dream Teamer at both the U19 World Championship in 2021 and the U20 European Championship in 2022 finished with 17 points, including a block and three aces. Opposite Brendan Mills and outside Kaden Schmidt also finished with 17 apiece on the Canadian side.

Canada (CAN) vs. Bulgaria (BUL) men - Pool C #5647385

Bulgaria’s Stoil Palev, the Best Setter of the 2021 U19 World Championship, dives for the ball