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01/10/2020 22:00
Tournament favourites start #EuroVolleyU17W on a high note
CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship 2020

Podgorica, Montenegro, October 1, 2020. The 2020 edition of #EuroVolleyU17W went underway on Thursday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, with five matches and the pre-tournament favourites all living up to their status. Reigning U16 European champions Turkey routed Bulgaria and Slovakia did the same with hosts Montenegro, while Italy dropped one set before recording a 3-1 victory over Slovenia in Pool I. Romania showed no mercy in their matchup with Belarus in Pool II, where Russia conceded one set to Poland in one of the most anticipated fixtures of the opening day. The competition continues tomorrow in Podgorica with another five matches and Team Serbia making their debut in Pool II.

Pool I

Bulgaria vs. Turkey 0-3 (11-25, 19-25, 21-25)

Turkey and Bulgaria opened the programme of the competition at Verde Sports Centre in Podgorica. Turkey, gold medal winners at last year’s U16 championship, claimed the first set without any problems, before Bulgaria put up more of a fight later on – and yet Turkey secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory to start the tournament on a high note. Melisa Ege Bükmen top scored for Turkey with 13 points, as Iva Dudova recorded nine for Bulgaria in their losing effort.

Manuela Ribechi top scored for Italy in their 3-1 victory over Slovenia

Slovenia vs. Italy 1-3 (28-26, 16-25, 22-25, 15-25)

Italy regrouped after losing the first set to edge Slovenia 3-1 at the end of a very entertaining match. Taja Gradisnik Klanjscek top scored for Slovenia with 16 points, with Manuela Ribechi registering as many as 23 for Italy. “The start of the match was a bit difficult because Slovenia is a good team, but after losing the first set, we started to play well and in the end we won,” Italian captain Ribechi said.

Montenegro vs. Slovakia 0-3 (12-25, 16-25, 9-25)

Slovakia needed three sets and less than an hour to beat hosts Montenegro in the last match of the day at Verde sports complex in Podgorica. Tijana Milacic scored five times for the home side as Alexandra Fricova recorded 14 points for Slovakia. “This was our first match at this European Championship. We finished the match with a victory and I am very happy about that,” Fricova said.
Pool II

Belarus vs. Romania 0-3 (12-25, 20-25, 7-25)

In a pretty one-sided match, Romania routed Belarus in three sets, with the second being the only time where Team Belarus were able to put up more of a fight, even though this ended Romania’s way as well. Three players shared the top scoring honours – with Lioubou Svetnik registering 12 points for Belarus, just as many as those scored by Lidia-Paula Partnoi and Andra-Dariana Badiu-Savu for Romania. “It was a good game and we are very happy with the vicotry. It was not as easy as the score may suggest but this was our first game so we are more than satisfied with the result,” said Partnoi, who is the captain of Team Romania in Podgorica.

Russia and Poland delivered the closest match of the opening day of competition in Podgorica

Russia vs. Poland 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-16)

After losing a close first set, Russia stormed back and responded with a double 25-21 set win to get back control of the game. Russia had the upper hand with more ease in the fourth set to celebrate their first victory in the competition. Arina Fedorovtseva and Julia Lenik top scored for Russia and Poland respectively with 17 points apiece. “We did not deliver a good performance in the first set but after that, we played better and better with each set. I am very happy with this victory,” Russian captain Fedorovtseva said.

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