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20/05/2017 23:26
Four teams to fight for two tickets to Women’s U20 World Championship
2017 FIVB U20 Women Volleyball World Championship - European Qualification

Luxembourg, May 20, 2017. The matchups featuring Russia vs. Turkey and Poland vs. Belgium will determine on Sunday which teams will join Italy and Serbia to compose the European contingent for the 2017 edition of the FIVB U20 Women’s World Championship. These four teams have a perfect record of two wins in as many matches they have contested so far in their respective pools and on Sunday the two ‘finals’ will decide on who finishes on top of the standings and later this summer will board a plane to Mexico to carry Europe’s flag on the global stage.

Pool E in Wieliczka (POL)  

In the first match on schedule for Saturday in Wieliczka, hosts Poland very quickly made it clear who was going to dictate the rules. With some strong serving, the White and Reds caused serious problems to the Bulgarian team, who were also a bit chaotic in their offensive attempts. The home team’s advantage grew fast to as much as 13-3, putting them out of the opponent’s reach. The situation changed a little with set no. 3, which started with Bulgaria on the lead. Coach Wieslaw Popik’s players, however, made up for their early deficit levelling the score at 13-13 and did not let the second victory slip from their hands: 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-21). “After two very successful sets we did lose some focus. Otherwise, we did well from the tactical side and made very few mistakes,” said Poland’s Martyna Łukasik after the game.

The match no. 2 was a true thriller. Belgium was the favourite side in the game but the German team did not seem bothered by that. Instead, they showed some good Volleyball, clearly winning the first set. Coach Martin Watne Frydnes’ players fought to save even the toughest balls and lost two sets only in their ending parts, when Belgium exhibited more mental toughness. This factor combined with a more versatile attack and better blocking eventually tipped the scales in the favour of the team coached by Fien Callens, but only after a tiebreaker, which ended the match 3-2 for the young Yellow Tigers (21-25, 26-24, 24-26, 30-28, 15-9).

Pool F in Turgutlu (TUR)  

Russia extended their winning streak in Pool F by rallying to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-18, 25-11, 25-18) over Croatia. Actually, Croatia cruised to an early 11-8 lead in the first set and with Russia helping with many mistakes, the outsiders kept a four-point advantage at the second technical time-out. This is, however, where the course of the game changed quite dramatically; Russia fought back to draw level at 18-all and eventually piled up seven straight points to seal a 25-18 win. After a close start to the second set, Russia edged ahead at 8-6 and despite Croatia’s attempts to stop their run, the favourites of the match easily stormed to a compelling 25-11 win. Croatia claimed an early lead in set three but Russia soon closed the gap and after taking an advantage of four points, they practically determined the fate of the match – which ended in a 3-0 victory for Russia.

Alexander Krasilnikov, Russia assistant coach: “We started quite badly today and probably this was due to a lack of concentration and focus. Even though we achieved a good result, we cannot be satisfied with our performance and the way we accomplished our goal. We made too many mistakes today.”

Marija Anzulović, Croatia coach: “Russia put a lot of pressure on us. They attacked very well and you could see that they have been training very hard for this tournament.”

Astrid Popić, Croatia captain: “I think we felt a lot of pressure going into this match because we knew we had to win in order to stay in contention for a spot to compete at the World Championship.”

Later in the evening, Turkey claimed their second straight win on home soil rallying to a 3-1 victory (25-13, 26-28, 25-11, 25-21) in their matchup with the Netherlands. Turkey started the match in the best way, enjoying again a loud support from the stands. Nearly 1,500 Turkish fans and another 50 from the Netherlands attended the match. Tutku Burcu Yüzgenç and Tuğba Şenoğlu delivered a truly impressive performance in the first set. With the support of the local fans, Turkey easily won it 25-13. In the second set, the Netherlands made a surprising comeback as Turkey, on the other hand, made many mistakes. Nika Daalderop was instrumental towards a 28-26 win for the Oranjes. After the second set, Turkey regrouped, and with Şenoğlu and Yüzgenç again on fire, the hosts rallied to a convincing 3-1 victory.  

Mustafa Suphi Doğanci, Turkey coach: “I am not happy with my team’s performance today. This applies especially to the second set, where we lost our concentration. We will discuss what all happened and work to improve on this. Tomorrow, we will play an early final with Russia. We have to win the game if we want to finish on top of the pool and I am confident that we can win that match.”

Julien Van de Vyver, Netherlands coach: “We tried our best but we could not manage to win this match. We are much more than this. I am not satisfied with the performance of my team today. We wanted to finish this tournament with a win. So we will try our best in the match with Croatia tomorrow.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

News nr. 2 of 10
21/05/2017 21:29:00
Russia and Poland to fly to Mexico to vie for Women’s U20 World Champs crown
19/05/2017 21:55:00
Pre-favourites look dominant on first day of Women’s U20 World Champs qualifiers

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