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02/10/2020 22:00
Turkey, Italy and Russia record second straight victory at #EuroVolleyU17W
CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship 2020

Podgorica, Montenegro, October 2, 2020. Turkey, Italy and Russia – the gold, silver and bronze medal winners from last year’s U16 competition in Trieste – keep a perfect record after completion of the second competition day at #EuroVolleyU17W in Podgorica. However, Turkey had to come back twice from one set down before they eventually edged Slovenia at the tiebreak. Italy, on the other hand, dropped the opening set of their matchup with Slovakia before producing a 3-1 victory. Russia were just dominant in their fixture with Belarus - and they are the only unbeaten team in Pool II.  

Pool I

Turkey vs. Slovenia 3-2 (16-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 15-5)

In a repeat of the semi-final match from last year’s U16 European Championship in Trieste, Turkey came back twice from one set down to eventually edge Slovenia at the tiebreak. The match was a truly exciting one, with Slovenia looking in command after the third set before Turkey fought their way back.

U16 European champions Turkey boast a record of two wins in as many matches this far

Melisa Ege Bükmen top scored for the second day in a row for Turkey, this time with 18 points, as Selena Leban recorded 16 for Slovenia.

Slovakia vs. Italy 1-3 (25-22, 19-25, 19-25, 21-25)

Slovakia caught Italy a bit off the guard to claim the first set of their matchup at Verde sports complex in Podgorica, before the ‘Azzurrine’ regrouped to secure their second 3-1 victory in the competition – the same score they had recorded on Thursday when playing Slovenia. The two teams fought for every point – and Slovakia managed to cause some problems to Italy almost until the end of the match. Alexandra Fricova top scored for the Slovak side with 14 points, as Julia Ituma tallied up 21 for Italy – with team captain Manuela Ribechi adding another 20 to the Italian count.

Montenegro vs. Bulgaria 2-3 (23-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-15, 10-15)

The hosts from Montenegro were close to causing a sensation but they wasted their 2-1 lead in the match with Bulgaria, eventually losing at the tiebreak to the young Lionesses. Majda Cakar scored 18 points for Montenegro in their losing effort, five more than Bulgaria’s best scorer Viktoria Koeva. Bulgaria could celebrate their first victory in the competition after losing to Turkey on Thursday, and despite the eventual setback, Montenegro showed a much better performance than in their opening match against Slovakia.

Pool II

Poland vs. Serbia 0-3 (14-25, 21-25, 14-25)

Serbia celebrated an emphatic victory in their first match in Podgorica. After delivering a very impressive performance in the first set, Serbia found more resistance from Poland in the second – and yet, even though Poland fought bravely, Serbia got the job done in three sets only. Aleksandra Uzelac top scored for Team Serbia with 22 points – Julia Lenik was Poland’s most prolific player (12), just as she was the day before in the match with Russia.

Vanja Ivanovic of Serbia in action during the matchup with Poland

“I am happy that we started the tournament with such a victory. However, we did not show our best game. We were nervous because it was our first match in the competition. I hope and I am sure we will do better in the next one,” said the captain of Serbia, Nina Mandovic.

Russia vs. Belarus 3-0 (25-11, 25-10, 25-16)

Russia looked in ominous form on Friday night in Podgorica as they thumped Belarus in three quick sets and less than an hour to celebrate their second victory in as many matches in Pool II. Their team captain Arina Fedorovtseva scored as many as 20 points all alone, as Valeryia Turchyna registered nine for Belarus in their losing effort.

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