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21/05/2017 20:46
Poland claim classy match with Germany to book ticket to U21 Men’s Worlds
2017 FIVB U21 Men Volleyball World Championship - European Qualification

Berlin, Germany, May 21, 2017. Poland lived up to the expectations and on Sunday secured their qualification to the 2017 FIVB U21 Men’s World Championship after completing a clean sweep of their matches in Pool F – following a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-23, 26-24) over hosts Germany at Sportforum in Berlin. Poland join the winners of Pool E, Ukraine, hosts Czech Republic plus Russia and Italy – qualified by virtue of their position in the latest FIVB ranking for this age category – to compose the European contingent for this year’s World Championship.

Some 400 fans attended the much-anticipated match between Poland and Germany and they had quite much to enjoy since both teams played at the highest level. They both looked motivated to secure the ticket to the World Championship and this resulted in many long, exciting rallies. Poland had to work hard and could only score at their second or third attempt, but still this was enough to win the first set 25-23.

As the game resumed, Germany found it difficult to stop Polish rising stars Bartosz Kwolek and Tomasz Fornal. However, the hosts responded with the help of Matti Binder and Linus Weber who together accounted for 11 points in the second set, thus keeping the score close up to 21-all. Kwolek stepped up towards the end of the set and helped Poland seal another 25-23 win.

Poland trailed by five points in the early stages of the third set but fought back to show their class. They cancelled four set points for Germany and used their first opportunity to secure a ticket to the World Championship, thus extending their winning streak in age group competitions, which has been lasting for two years.

Johan Verstappen, Germany coach: “It was an amazing match and it does not happen very often that you get the opportunity to witness such a game! I have to congratulate the team for fighting so hard, even though we were not able to score the crucial points towards the end of each set. Nevertheless, it was an amazing performance from my team and I am proud of the way these players have developed over the last two years. You can see that they have been working hard and they have taken the right path. I think we are disappointed right now, but soon we will be proud of our performance against the reigning European champions in this age group.”

Egor Bogachev, player of Germany: “It was not a bad match but we always missed two, three points. I wish we could have won at least the third set; that is a pity!”

Sebastian Pawlik, coach of Poland: “It was important to play flawlessly towards the end of the sets. Germany played their best game and surprised everyone. They improved their performance and did so in an impressive way. Even though we made many mistakes, we are of course happy with our victory.”

Norbert Huber, player of Poland: “We are obviously very happy with this victory and with making it through this qualification round.”

The final match of the tournament featuring Latvia and Belgium did not have much significance since both teams had already lost their chance to make it to the World Championship. Therefore, both teams were lacking the same kind of focus and concentration, which they had shown earlier in the tournament. Belgium was the first to regain their rhythm and did not make too many mistakes. However, Latvia did not disappoint either – the players from the Baltic country presented themselves as a dynamic team ready for action at this tournament. In the end, Belgium rallied to a 3-0 victory (25-19, 25-22, 25-15) to cement their value and status of rising power – they only had to cope with a very difficult pool in Berlin starring reigning European champions Poland and hosts Germany.

Kris Eyckmans, Belgium coach: “We are happy with how we played today and we can leave this tournament with a good feeling. We did not disappoint at all and played well against Germany.”

Boriss Kolcins, Latvia coach: “I know my team and I know that we could have played better, but we lacked concentration. We are a little disappointed, but we were the underdogs at this tournament and did a pretty good job at the first two matches with Poland and Germany.”

Click here for further information including detailed stats of the matches

News nr. 1 of 11
20/05/2017 22:29:00
Ukraine beat Serbia to book ticket to U21 Men’s World Championship

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