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21/05/2017 21:29
Russia and Poland to fly to Mexico to vie for Women’s U20 World Champs crown
2017 FIVB U20 Women Volleyball World Championship - European Qualification

Luxembourg, May 21, 2017. Russia and Poland completed on Sunday a clean sweep of their matches in their respective qualifiers to book a ticket to the 2017 edition of the FIVB U20 Women’s World Championship – thus joining Italy and Serbia who were qualified already by virtue of their position in the current FIVB ranking for this age category. Russia had to fight for five sets and come back from two down before edging Pool F hosts Turkey in Turgutlu whereas Poland used the home-court advantage to the fullest to edge Belgium 3-1 and make sure they will also board the plane to Mexico later this summer.

Pool E in Wieliczka (POL)

The last match of the host team in Wieliczka started out in a balanced manner, but Poland soon worked out a safe advantage and did not let it go until the final service ace by Julia Nowicka closed the score at 25-17. Belgium started to the next set very well, mainly thanks to their captain Charlotte Coppin’s excellent work at the service line. After a while and with some loud support from the fans, the home team managed to tie the score at 11-11, only to fall behind again (12-16 and 15-21). Poland had one more chance in the end of the set, but ultimately, it was 30-28 for the young Yellow Tigers. That was as much as the visitors could do though, as the White-and-Reds showed a much better game in the subsequent two sets, thus avenging their 1-3 loss to Belgium from the first-round qualifier held back in January in Portugal. Coach Wieslaw Popik’s players finished the match with a 3-1 (25-17, 28-30, 25-13, 25-17) win, thus claiming a ticket to the U20 World Championship taking place in Mexico in July this year.

“My team put all their heart to the game but the rivals were stronger,” said Belgium coach Fien Callens. “All players passed their sports examination in these three matches,” said Poland coach Popik, referring also to the final school exams, yet to be passed by his team, as the tests were postponed to let them prepare for the tournament.

In the last match of the competition both Germany and Bulgaria fought only not to leave Wieliczka winless. Coach Frydnes’ team showed the day before that they are capable of competing on equal terms against teams like Belgium and consequently bested their Bulgarian rivals in the first two sets. The Balkan team had the upper hand for the greater part of set no. 3 but in the end lacked the experience needed to finish the job and gave away the final chance to win a single set in Wieliczka, with Germany ultimately celebrating a 3-0 victory (25-15, 25-21, 25-23).

Pool F in Turgutlu (TUR)

Turkey and Russia locked horns on Sunday in a match where a ticket to this year’s Worlds was at stake. Turkey claimed an early lead in the opening set of this much-anticipated matchup (8-6) and after that scored four times in a row to force a Russian time-out. The hosts set the pace of the game also for the remainder of the set (16-11, 19-11), emerging victorious at 25-19. Turkey controlled the second set from start to end as well (8-3, 15-8) and even though Russia scored three consecutive points towards the end, the home stars were able to stand the threat and to seal the set at 25-17.
The course of the game changed in the third set where Russia rallied to a 16-10 lead and even though Turkey got better and better as the set progressed, their opponents had the upper hand in the end at 25-21. The visitors opened the fourth set with three straight points and continued to play with high intensity (8-7, 10-7, 16-11), thus cruising to another 25-21 win. It was for the tiebreak to decide the winner of this match – and the team progressing to the World Championship. Russia opened with a 6-2 run and even though Turkey closed in at 6-5 with the help of their fans, Russia resumed their triumphal march (9-5) and eventually finished it all off at 15-10.

Mustafa Suphi Doğanci, Turkey coach: “The match was a real joy to watch for the spectators. We lost because we made too many mistakes. My players were really concentrated and focussed and it feels bad to lose after leading 2-0 in the match.”

Aslihan Kiliç, Turkey captain: “We played against a tough rival. We did everything we could. Both teams fought really hard.”

Vadim Pankov, Russia coach: “It was a very difficult match. In the third set, we had some luck on our side and won it. We made some substitutions and this paved the way towards the eventual victory.”

Maria Vorobyeva, Russia captain: “We felt quite some problems in the first set also because of the Turkish supporters. It was difficult to play against Turkey because they put a lot of pressure on us. However, we tried to fight back and we did so on and on.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the Netherlands finished the tournament in style by rallying to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-9, 25-15) over Croatia. These teams were out of contention for a spot to take part in this year’s World Championship but they obviously wanted to finish their duties on a high note. The Netherlands claimed an early 5-1 lead in the first set and were able to hold on to it for the remainder of the period (8-5, 16-12); Croatia did not seem able to find their way into the game and the Oranjes comfortably won the first set 25-20. Croatia responded by taking an early lead (4-2) in the second set but the Netherlands soon claimed back control of the game and their dominance was absolutely overwhelming (8-6, 16-7, 21-8), this resulting in a landslide 25-9 win. The Dutch players repeated that same performance also in the third set (4-1, 8-2, 13-4, 16-6), wrapping it up at 25-15 to seal a 3-0 victory.

Julien Van de Vyver, coach of the Netherlands: “I think we played well and we showed that we have a strong team. We controlled the match from start to end. I think we played good defence and blocked well too; on top of this, you could see that my players wanted to win this game.”

Christie Wolt, captain of the Netherlands: “We did not start fully focussed and this applies especially to the second and third sets. However, we showed that we can play well against any opponent and this feels great.”

Marija Anzulović, coach of Croatia: “This match was bad for us and the Netherlands have a very good team. We played very badly today.”

Astrid Popić, team captain of Croatia: “We are a little bit disappointed, because we wanted to get a better result but we could not achieve our goal. The atmosphere within the team was not as good as the other days.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

News nr. 1 of 10
20/05/2017 23:26:00
Four teams to fight for two tickets to Women’s U20 World Championship

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