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05/01/2018 19:34
Russia qualify, as competition for places at #EuroVolleyU17W heats up
2018 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Luxembourg, January 5, 2018.  With all pools in action on Day 2 of the 2018 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Women 2nd Round there was plenty to play for.  But it was a ticket to the finals in Bulgaria from the 13 - 21st April that everyone was after.  After winning their opening two matches in a three team pool Russia were the first to secure their place next to the host team but all of the other pools are still open.  And remember, it is the top team from each pool, together with the three runners-up with the best score that will qualify.

 Day 2 was a busy day, with wins secured for Israel, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, Slovenia, Russia (pictured left), Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic Italy and Serbia.  There is lots to follow online via social media on @CEVEuroVolley (Facebook/Twitter) or search using the official hashtag #EuroVolleyU17W.


The hosts Romania, plus Belgium, continued their campaign with a series of good performances on Friday in Ploiesti as they forced their quest for a ticket to make it to the final round of the 2018 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship – Women scheduled for April in Bulgaria.

Belgium vs. Switzerland 3-1 (25-13, 25-20, 24-26, 25-21)

Belgium opened the programme on Friday by beating Switzerland in four sets.  Belgium played better than their opponents in the first two sets. They had the match under full control and seized the first set 25-13 and the second 25-20. It looked like the fans in Ploiesti were going to see an easy victory for Belgium. However, the Swiss girls woke up, started to play better and better and they won the third set 26-24.

Switzerland was ahead in the fourth set 8-6, but Belgium fought well and ended the set at 25-21. Outside spiker Bente Deckers collected 15 points for the winners, for Switzerland best scorer with 14 points was opposite Annik Stähli.

”We prepared very well for this match. We played against the Swiss girls in a preparation tournament and we knew that this would not be an easy match,” stated the head coach of Belgium Robin De Bont.

Romania vs. Sweden 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-12)

In the second match of the day the home team Romania downed Sweden in straight sets. Romania, pushed by the great local fans, started this all-important match very well and went up 16-3. The local heroines quickly pocketed the opening set with the score of 25-10 and the story of the match did not change much in the next two sets as Romania played with great figures in all areas ending the second and third sets easily, 25-13 and 25-12.

“We are happy that we won in straight sets. It’s good for the girls’ mental state. We are now preparing for the next opponent, Belgium,” said the head coach of  Romania Marius Macarie after the match. Team captain Alexia Ioana Carutasu collected 17 points for Romania.


Poland vs Austria 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-10)

It was sold out in Bassano del Grappa for the second day with 1,200 spectators. In the first match of the day it was a clear victory for the Polish team, despite a rocky start against Austria, and Poland now have 5 points in the pool.

Evelyn Siebert from Austria said: "We are not really happy today. We made a good start, but then the height gap between us and them proved fundamental. We suffered in attack and defence."

Andrzej Pec from Poland said: “We had concentration problems at the beginning, then I called a time-out and I tried to give order to the team. Things settled down, we made fewer errors and we played with the right concentration. The third set was easy enough for us."

Croatia vs. Italy 0-3 (20-25, 17-25, 19-25)

There was a strong victory also for the Italian team – thanks partly to Loveth Omoruyi's performance - who won in 3 sets against Croatia and are now top of the ranking with 6 points.

Michele Fanni, Coach of Italy: "Today the game was really hard compared to yesterday's one, but I'm really happy with the game and the result. We showed really good volleyball at times and we have to find consistency and avoid wasting opportunities."

Igor Lovrinov, Croatia Coach: "Congrats to the Italian team, they have deserved to win! Today we did better than yesterday, but it's not enough."

The decisive match will be between Italy and Poland (6th January -18.30) to define which team will be at the top of 2nd Round and will get the guaranteed pass for the European Championship finals in Bulgaria.


Spain vs. Slovenia 1-3 (20-25, 25-19, 18-25, 16-25)

Slovenia beat Spain in the opening match in Czech Republic. As the Slovenian players began the match they quickly took a five-point lead, which they kept throughout the first set (25-20). The second set was totally different with the Spanish team controlling the game from the beginning and winning it 25-19. But for Spain this was the end of the line, the rest of this match was dominated by Slovenia who won the following two sets easily.

Pascual Saurin, head coach of Spain: "This first match was nervous for both teams, but Slovenia controlled their situations better. After the second set our team was not comfortable anymore."

Boris Klokocovnik, head coach of Slovenia: "I am satisfied because for us is it the first official tournament. It was very important to win this game, we served better today and during the 3rd and 4th set produced less technical mistakes than Spain."

Czech Republic vs. Iceland 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-7)

Hosts Czech Republic did not give in during their first performance in the home qualifier for the 2018 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship Women.  The did not give Iceland any chance and excellently beat their opponent in straight sets. The Iceland team looked to answer the Czech game without effect and that was why they only managed to win 29 points in total during this duel.

Aleš Novák, head coach of Czech Republic: "Today´s win was obligatory, I am satisfied with the result but not so much with our performance. But every first match is mentally hard and our team proved their quality."

Daniele Capriotti, head coach of Iceland: "This match was important for us because it is a great experience and we learn from such matches a lot. Congratulations to Czech Republic."

Pool D - ANAPA (RUS)

France vs Russia 1-3 (18-25, 25-18, 22-25, 12-25)

Two high level teams clashed in a fierce battle both showing great desire to win every point.  Russia established a 4-point lead (12-8) with powerful cross-court spikes of Tatiana Kadochkina and Elizaveta Gosheva.  France pulled back steadily through the guidance of Julie Henyo and even went ahead 16-14. However, several fails with the serve from the French side did not allow them to show more and Russia won 25-18.

France trailed again in the early stages of the second set thanks to attacks of Fétia-Here Rovira and Henyo from the wings.  Svetlana Safronova made several substitutions but France troubled the Russian defence again.  Strong attacking from Russia helped France to grab the set, 25-18 again.

In the third set both teams tried to pull ahead but Russia made less reception mistakes and despite France regrouping Russia won through 25-22.  Russia found some fresh air in the fourth set and established a lead of six points at the second technical, largely due to spikes of Kadochkina. French spikes went out of bounds and Valeriia Gorbunova scored the last point for Russia to take the fourth 25-12.

Philipe Marta, Head Coach of France: “Congratulations to Russia! It was a hard game. In the beginning we were focused on the game but we started to make mistakes and we ended up losing.”

Svetlana Safronova, Head Coach of Russia: “It was a hard game for us. France has a good serve and good play in defence. Nevertheless, we could cope with them.”

Valeriia Gorbunova, player of Russia: “At the beginning of the match, we were not concentrated but France started to play very strong in attack and in defence. We could regroup and find the right team spirit to win.”

Pool E - RUMA (SRB)

Serbia vs. Estonia 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-10)

On the second day of the #EurovolleyU17W qualifier in Ruma, hosts Serbia beat Estonia in three sets after 63 minutes of play. Ana Drobnjak of Serbia topped the scorers' chart with 11 points.

The match started nervously on both sides of the net, the teams struggled to score. However, by the second technical break things came to order as Serbia started to pull away. The home side got better as the match progressed and the Estonian girls could not match them. In the end, a well deserved victory for the home team.

“This win is expected but it is not always easy when you are clear favorites. You have to demonstrate it on the court. This was a good introduction for tomorrow's decider and I hope we'll celebrate the top spot 24 hours from now,” said Jovo Cakovic, head coach of Serbia.

“Today the stronger team won. We cannot be happy with our serve and reception. We struggled in almost every element of the game. Serbia deserved to win,” said Peeter Vahtra, head coach of Estonia.


Latvia vs Greece 2-3 (21-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 14-16)

Latvia were close to causing a little sensation in their matchup with Greece, but Greece eventually emerged victorious at the tiebreak. Greece were off to a flying start as they stormed to a 2-0 lead in the match and seemed well in control in the third one as well (16-12); however, Latvia came back to draw level at 19-all and scored another six points in a row to change the course of the game (25-19). The same happened in the fourth sets with Greece leading 16-8 but again Latvia came back with the help of their top scorer, Kristine Kramena (17 points in the end). Latvia scored six times in a row again and eventually stretched the match to a tiebreak. Latvia set the pace of the game in the fifth set almost from start to end (3-0, 11-8, 13-10) but Greece had the last word (16-14) with Stamatia Kyparissi top scoring with 18 points. The result means that hosts Ukraine will have to take ‘only’ two sets from their matchup with Latvia to finish first in the pool.


The first day ended for the U17 girls in Miskolc with the first match being won by the Turkish side and the second by the Hungarians, with the latter winning in more straight sets so they are in the better position in the pool.

Slovakia vs. Turkey 0-3 (18-25, 13-25, 15-25)

In the first period of the match, the Slovaks kept themselves in it but through the leadership of Sude Hacimustafaoglu and Melissa Ilona Biber the team from Turkey knocked out the Slovaks and finally the Slovaks were able to achieve just 15 points in the last set as well.

The winning head coach, Bülent Günes said that they served and received very well during the match and it was the key element in his opinion.

The Slovakian head coach Marek Meriac talked about tomorrow’s match against Hungary saying that it will be a very difficult match as the Hungarian team plays at home. The victory will depend on details.

Hungary vs Portugal 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-21)

The home team got off to a strong start against Portugal where in the first two sets they were irresistible.  In the second set the Portuguese team was not able to achieve ten points. For the third set the Hungarians looked a little bit tired and this meant the teams traded points until 19-19, but after this the Hungarian team was able to get the points one after the other and won the match 3-0.

The head coach of the Hungarian national team, Gábor Kőnig said after the match that the girls started the match perfectly but it is a long tournament. “After 1 hour we knew we could win and it is the most important.


Denmark vs. Israel 0-3 (19-25, 21-25, 24-26)

Thanks to a clever service game, Israel managed to take their first set (25-19) in their second match at the #EuroVolleyU17W qualification tournament in Germany. Led by their team captain Clara Windeleff, Denmark reduced their reception errors and fought hard, but Israel stayed calm and won the second set as well (25-21). In the third set, the Danish girls were not able to hold on to a 20-16 lead as Israel finished a close set with 26-24.

Israel´s coach Ana German said: “The girls did an amazing job, particularly in terms of mental strength. It was tough to play in front of such noisy fans like the Danish ones, but we stayed calm and didn´t make a lot of mistakes.”

Mika Rome, who is the setter and team captain of Israel, added: “We fought hard and had always fire in our eyes. That was the most important. Our performance was good, but we can still do better in serving.”

Denmark coach Mats Olof Björkman: “We get closer and closer. But we have to play our best volleyball to get a set or a game. Today, we played our best in the last two sets. We had too high expectations in the first set; we were very nervous and stressed. I tried to calm them down in the break between the first and the second set. I wanted them to enjoy the match and have fun. Unfortunately, we had a down period in the third set which lasted too long.”

Denmar team captain Clara Windeleff commented: “We did great today, so we are a little bit disappointed at the moment. We got overexcited in the last set. We made one mistake and got confused.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

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