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11/01/2017 12:41
Latvia are no outsiders at home #EuroVolleyU18W qualifier
2017 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Riga, Latvia, January 11, 2017. The Daugava sports hall in Riga will be playing host this coming weekend to a qualification tournament on schedule for the 2017 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship – Women. The competition will get underway on Friday, January 13 with Montenegro playing Serbia before hosts Latvia take on Ukraine later in the evening.

“It’s hard to judge how strong the Latvian team is,” said head coach Pavels Selivanovs, a gold medallist from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. “These girls are all like daughters to me and in my opinion they are amazing. I also think that this is the best youth national team Latvia has ever had. And I am proud with the opportunity to lead them.”

In this round of qualifications, Latvia will play strong national teams such as Ukraine, Serbia and Montenegro. “I haven’t seen any of the two teams from the Balkans yet but last year we won a match with Ukraine,” Selivanovs said. He feels like his team is not the outsider in the tournament. “Hope dies last. I know that the eventual winners go to the Final Round, but I haven’t focussed myself on the next stages of the competition, I do not like to start making calculations about which team we have to beat and which match is not a must-win one. We take it one match at a day and I prefer to think about future plans later. We need to fight in every match and put our best efforts to win, and if we end up losing, we have to accept the result and move on from there.”

The tournament is open to players born in 2000 and after. Many of the Latvian players already have some international experience, like Irbe Andike Lazda who last weekend played at the U20 World Champs qualifier held in Riga.

The eventual winners of each qualification tournament plus the three second placed ones with the best score will secure their progression to the Final Round scheduled for April 1-9 and taking place in the Dutch city of Arnhem.

Click here for more info including a detailed match programme

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