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05/07/2017 21:31
Ukraine ends Finland’s winning streak in first round of #EuroLeagueW finals
2017 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Helsinki, Finland, July 5, 2017. Finland’s winning streak in the 2017 CEV Volleyball European League – Women came to an end on Wednesday night in Helsinki – as the Finns lost the first round of the ‘grand finale’ to Ukraine 1-3 (20-25, 27-29, 25-22, 11-25) after previously sweeping eight matches in a row by combining the pool stage and the semis of the competition. The re-match will take place on Sunday, July 9 in Ivano-Frankivsk where Ukraine’s women will try to emulate what their compatriots did this past Sunday in Denmark when they won gold in the men’s competition in their maiden appearance in the European League.  

Finland fought as much as they could especially in the second and third sets; they came back from a deficit of six points in the second set and they had a set ball, but Ukraine eventually emerged victorious at 29-27. Ukraine rallied to a 20-13 lead in the third set, but this time around, Finland successfully completed their comeback coming out on top at 25-22. Anna Stepaniuk and Nadiia Kodola played a very good match for the eventual winners, but their top scorer was middle blocker Iryna Trushkina with 24 points. Finland had a very low percentage with their outside spikers, who only converted 25% of their attempts in attack.

“Finland defended very well. As for the rematch on Sunday, we will try to attack even better than we did today, I can promise that,” said Ukraine captain Nadiia Kodola. “We will be causing even more problems to the Finnish receivers than we did tonight.”

“This was the kind of match you would expect in any final, it was a nervous game and both teams made a lot of mistakes,” said Ukraine coach Gariy Yegiazarov. “We were much better than the opponent in attack, but we performed almost at the same level in defence and reception.”

“Our game was like a ride on a roller coaster,” said Finland setter Kaisa Alanko. “We fought bravely, but of course we are sad that we lost in the end. We must attack better in the next match and for sure we do not give up.”

“We have to pass the ball to our outside spikers as fast as we can, this is our only chance to be successful in this fixture,” commented Finland coach Tapio Kangasniemi. “Everyone could see tonight that Ukraine attacked much better than we did. The third set, however, reflected what we have done in this year’s European League, as we came back after fighting bravely.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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