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08/10/2020 21:20
Unbeaten Russia and Turkey to play for #EuroVolleyU17W gold
CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship 2020

Podgorica, Montenegro, October 8, 2020. On Friday, Russia and Turkey will contest the gold medal match of this year’s #EuroVolleyU17W in Podgorica after these teams emerged victorious from their respective semi-finals with Italy and Serbia. Russia and Turkey are yet to lose a match since the start of their campaign in the Montenegrin capital and Friday’s final showdown will certainly treat Volleyball fans to a great match, with live streaming available on EuroVolleyTV, the CEV’s YouTube channel as well as the EuroVolley Facebook page. In the semis 5-8, Poland and Romania beat Slovakia and Slovenia to secure their spot among the top six of the competition and with that their qualification for the 2021 FIVB U18 World Championship as well.

Semi-finals 1-4

Turkey vs. Serbia 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-20)

Turkey claimed the first spot in the gold medal match of this year’s #EuroVolleyU17W after securing their sixth straight victory in Podgorica. The reigning U16 European champions dropped the first set in their semi-final with Serbia but they swept three in a row to vie for their second straight continental title on Friday. Melisa Ege Bükmen was once again Turkey’s top scorer with 18 points, with Una Vajagic scoring as many as 27 times for Serbia in their losing effort.

“We are happy with this victory. I hope that we will win tomorrow as well and secure the first place in the final standing of this tournament,” said Pelin Eroktay, the captain of the Turkish national team.
“I am sorry that we played so badly and that in the end we lost 1-3. We must admit that Turkey played with more consistency especially in the crucial moments and we congratulate them on their victory. I hope that tomorrow we will perform better and take the bronze medal,” said the captain of Serbia, Nina Mandovic.

Russia vs. Italy 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-16)

Russia scored as many as 13 blocks on the way to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Italy in the second semi-final to make amends for their 2-3 loss at the hands of the ‘Azzurrine’ in last year’s U16 competition. As many as three Russian players finished the match in double digits, with team captain Arina Fedorovtseva (pictured above) leading the way with 18 followed by Natalia Suvorova (12) and Anastasiia Zhabrova (10). Manuela Ribechi and Sara Bellia responded with 17 and 13 points for Italy, but the Russians controlled the match from start to end.

“It was a very good match for us, we are happy with the victory and we feel ready to play against Turkey for the gold medal tomorrow,” Fedorovtseva said.
“Russia is a very strong team, and they played great tonight. We made many mistakes, but we are moving on and we look forward to the bronze medal match,” commented Italian captain Ribechi.

Semi-finals 5-8

Slovenia vs. Romania 2-3 (25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 25-14, 9-15)

Romania produced a surprising 3-2 victory over Slovenia to open the programme of the next-to-last competition day in Podgorica and secure their participation in next year’s FIVB U18 World Championship. Romania came back from losing the first set to claim two in a row – before Slovenia, who had finished fourth at last year’s U16 tournament in Trieste, stormed to a massive 25-14 win in the fourth. Despite 31 points scored by Taja Gradisnik Klanjscek, Slovenia lost the match at the tiebreak and they will have to be content with playing the match for places 7-8. Teodora-Elena Iancu top scored for Romania with 14 points.

“This was our best match in this competition, and we fought until the end of the game. We worked together as a team to the last point and we are very happy with this victory,” said Romania’s setter Iarina-Luana Axinte.
“We had a chance to win but we did not manage to show the trump cards we have. Moreover, we made too many mistakes. We did not succeed today but I hope we can secure at least seventh place tomorrow,” said the captain of the Slovenian team, Julija Grubisic-Cabo.

Poland vs. Slovakia 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20)

Poland beat Slovakia 3-1 to secure the remaining spot at stake to compete at next year’s U18 World Championship. This is especially remarkable since Poland ‘only’ got the right to play in Podgorica after Finland – winners of the NEVZA qualifier – withdrew from the competition due to travel restrictions in place in times of coronavirus. Edyta Waclawczyk top scored for the young White-and-Reds with 17 points, as Alexandra Fricova registered 14 points for Slovakia in their losing effort. 

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