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25/07/2017 22:24
Semi-finals begin to take shape at 2017 EYOF
2017 European Youth Olympic Festival

Győr, Hungary, July 25, 2017. The Volleyball competition of the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) continued on Tuesday with another seven matches – one less than initially scheduled following the withdrawal of the women’s team from the Netherlands on Monday. The results already defined – to a certain extent – which teams will progress to the semis and will play for the medals and which ones will fight for positions 5 to 8.

In the men’s competition, Russia beat Poland 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-20) to cement their leadership in Pool A. “This match was the most important game of the tournament so far,” said Russian rising star Pavel Tetyukhin. “It was a very important match for my team and with this victory, we qualified for the semi-finals. We had to remain focused from start to end because Poland has a really strong team. We are looking forward to playing the Czech Republic tomorrow.”

Reigning U19 men’s European champions Czech Republic beat Hungary 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 26-24) to also set their sights on the semis. “Today we did not perform outstandingly against Hungary,” said Czech coach Leos Sramek. “After our tough match with Poland yesterday, this victory is very important. We have to try and remain focussed until the end of each set.”

The Czech Republic and Russia will lock horns on Wednesday to determine who finishes on top of the pile in Pool A.

In Pool B, Italy beat Turkey 3-1 (25-18, 25-13, 21-25, 26-24) in one of the most anticipated matches of the day. “We started the game very aggressively and effectively,” commented Italian libero Filippo Federici. “After taking the second set so easily, we did not expect Turkey to fight back but in the fourth set we had luck on our side and we came out as the eventual winners today.”

France added a second victory to their tally as well as they beat Belgium 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 25-22). “We played very well and were much focused against Belgium today. We did very well especially with our side-out,” French player Pierre Derouillon said. “Our tactics and team spirit were the keys to this victory. Now we have to concentrate on tomorrow’s match against Italy. We will do our best.”

On Wednesday France and Italy will extend their rivalry in a fight for the top spot in the pool.

Russia and Serbia booked their spot in the semis of the women’s competition as they beat Slovenia 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-16) and Hungary 3-0 (25-20, 25-9, 25-15) respectively. “We played against the home team from Hungary. It was a really difficult game as a lot of visitors came to the hall and cheered them on with a lot of passion,” said Russia captain Polina Shemanova. “The whole match felt so dramatic and emotional. We are really happy to have made it to the semi-finals.”
After their 3-0 victory over Slovenia, Serbia player Barbara Batinic commented: “The first set was balanced, but we were able to emerge victorious in the end and I think this somehow decided the outcome of the game. The two following sets were not quite as tight.”

In Pool B, Germany had a walkover in their match with the Netherlands whereas Italy came back from two sets down to beat Belarus 3-2 (19-25, 19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-11). “Our match was difficult from the beginning but with good team work, we took the lead and could keep it,” said Italy captain Alessia Populini. “Yesterday’s match with the Netherlands was cancelled so this was our first game in this tournament. I am really happy that we performed well.”

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