Rwanda 1-3 USA
Rwanda vs Canada
Serbia vs USA
RWANDA’S U-21 national volleyball team got its FIVB World Championships campaign off to a bad start after losing their Group C opening match against US on Thursday at Ataturk Hall in Izmir, Turkey.
Debutants Rwanda lost 3-1 in favour of the US, who are ranked fourth in the world, with 11-25, 18-25, 29-27 and 14-25 results in one hour and 31 minutes.
Coach Paul Bitok’s side, which was clinical in five warm-up matches, was put in their place mainly thanks to poor reception against the Americans’ strong serves.
Rwanda lost the first two sets before improving to make 1-2 after winning the third set 27-29. But then they lost the fourth 14-25.
Captain Aimable Mutuyimana was Rwanda’s top scorer converting 16 points, while Fred Musoni and Nelson Murangwa converted nine points each.
In the same group, African champions Tunisia were due to take on Canada by last evening.
Rwanda return to action on Friday against Tunisia before taking on Canada on Saturday and Serbia on Monday.
The tournament, which takes place every two years, provides a platform for the next generation of stars to showcase their skills on the international stage and potentially take a big step into elite volleyball ranks.
Twenty teams from across the world are battling it out for glory in Turkey. Most of the world powerhouses are taking part, including the biggest two rivals Russia and Brazil.
Serbia, whose squad includes seven players from their U-19 side that won the Youth World Championship in Argentina two years ago, is also participating in the championships.