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06/01/2017 22:16
Netherlands keep perfect record in Women’s U20 World Champs qualifier
2017 FIVB U20 Women Volleyball World Championship - European Qualification

Luxembourg, January 6, 2017. The first round of European qualifications for the 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 Volleyball World Championship is up-and-running. The Netherlands lead the way in Pool C following their second straight victory in Ploiesti, where the young Oranjes haven’t dropped a set so far. Germany and Belgium started their campaign in Pool A and D with compelling victories over Croatia and Portugal, respectively. The first placed teams of each pool plus the three second-placed teams with the best score will progress to the second stage of the qualification process. Since one of the first-round pools consists of three teams only, the second best placed teams will be determined after discarding the results of the matches with the team finishing last in each one of the pools of four.

Pool A in Riga (LAT)

Croatia vs. Germany 0-3 (12-25, 22-25, 18-25)

Germany opened the programme of the tournament taking place at Daugava sports hall in Riga by routing Croatia in three sets. Germany showed an outstanding performance in all aspects of the game, thereby fulfilling the expectations they had matured in the lead up to the tournament. Lea Cvetnić top scored for Croatia with 15 points but Germany’s Hanna Orthmann and Aisha Skinner did even better, recording 18 and 17, respectively. Next up for Germany will be the match with Denmark on Saturday.

Latvia vs. Denmark 3-1 (14-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-23)

Latvia were off to a shaky start to their opening match in the competition and lost the first set at a canter by making too many service mistakes. However, the home team regrouped and played more effectively in the following sets where Denmark made a way too many mistakes – especially in the third one – to pose a threat to the hosts. Anija Jurdža and Elza Smilskalne top scored for Latvia with 15 and 14 points – as Amalie Langbjerg Lachenmeier and Helena Elbæk scored 17 and 16 times for Denmark, respectively.  On Saturday Latvia will play their second match in the competition taking on Croatia.
Andrejs Odinokovs, Latvia coach: “I think that my players were maybe too nervous and worried about today’s opening match.”

Pool C in Ploiesti (ROU)

The Netherlands vs. Estonia 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 15-14)

The Netherlands needed only 63 minutes to rout Estonia in the opening match of the second competition day in Ploiesti. Nika Daalderop – a two-time U20 European Beach Volleyball champion – top scored with 14 points, including five aces as Silvia Pertens scored nine times for Estonia.

The young Oranjes showed right from the start who was going to play the role of the ‘boss’ and claimed a five-point advantage at the second technical time-out of the opening set which paved the way towards a 25-16 win. The players coached by Julien Van de Vyver looked quite relaxed at the beginning of the second set and this provided Estonia with an opportunity to keep their pace. However, Daalderop chiefly contributed to 8-7 and 16-13 Dutch leads at the first and second technical time-outs, with the period eventually coming to an end at 25-14 for the Oranjes. The blocks killed by Laura de Zwart and Eline Timmerman were too much to stand for Estonia in the third set and the Netherlands showed enough quality and determination to seal their second 3-0 victory in as many matches they have contested in Ploiesti so far.

France vs. Romania 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-20)

France fought their way back from a heavy loss they suffered on Thursday to the Netherlands to rout hosts Romania in three sets. Scherine Dahoue top scored for ‘Les Bleues’ with 12 points as Elizabet Varga pointed 10 times for Romania.

France claimed a narrow lead at the first technical time-out of the opening set (8-6) and even though Romanian setter Aurora Bianca Pasca tried some different solutions in attack, the visitors eventually cruised to a 25-20 win. France were able to set the pace at both technical time-outs of the second set as well (8-7, 16-14) and even though Romania briefly drew level, France edged ahead again at 21-17, holding on to their advantage to cash a 25-18 win. Romania responded by cruising to an 8-5 lead in set 3 and it looked like the players coached by Gheorghe Vararu could change the course of the game. However, some great spikes by Dahoue and the blocks killed by Katia Tetuanui restored France’s leadership in the match and the visitors could ultimately celebrate a 3-0 victory.

Pool D in Viana do Castelo (POR)

Belgium vs. Portugal 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-17)

Belgium cruised to an impressive 3-0 victory in their matchup with hosts Portugal; the young ‘Yellow Tigers’ looked really determined and imposed their rule in a totally one-sided opening set where the home side looked powerless and not confident about their skills and abilities (25-12). Portugal found back some more energy in the second set but Belgium were still in full command and took it by 25-17. The Belgians showed their class also in the following one and even though Portugal tried to put up a fight, the young Tigers still claimed a 25-17 win to finish the match off by 3-0. Britt Herbots top scored for Belgium with 18 points but it was Julia Kavalenka of Portugal who topped all scorers’ in the match with 19 for the home side.

Dominique Baeyens, Belgium head coach: “This match was easier than I expected it to be. We knew we had to serve good and we did so, thus creating many problems to our opponents and especially to their setter, so we ultimately won 3-0. Tomorrow I believe it will be a completely different match because Poland have a good team.”

Antonio Guerra, Portugal head coach: “Belgium served really good and we could play at their same level only with good reception. Since this was not the case, it was impossible for us to develop our game.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

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