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07/09/2012 23:00
Azerbaijan and Belarus happy with good start up in the north
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Salo, Finland, September 7, 2012. Azerbaijan and Belarus opened their European campaign by downing their opponents, Austria and Finland, in the first day of action in Salo.
Even though Austria fought hard, still Azerbaijan could cruise to a 3:0 win (25-19, 25-17, and 25-17) as their superstar Natalya Mammadova did not play much. She still scored 12 points while her side was paced by Slovak-born Jana Matiasovska-Aghayeva with 20. “Austria is not weak at all and they played solid in reception, but my team played at a much higher level” said Azerbaijan head coach Faig Garayev.
The young Finns knew they had to play their best to stand the challenge brought by Belarus. They did not succeed in this except for one set and eventually lost 1:3 (10-25, 16-25, 25-22, and 13-25). “We only showed 50% of our potential in this match” said Belarusian head coach Viktar Hancharou. Setter Volha Palcheuskaya stood out for Belarus compensating for the sometimes not excellent performance in reception displayed by her colleagues, with Marina Tumas and Tatsiana Markevich top scoring with 18 and 17 points.  
“If you go through the team lists, the result does not come as a surprise but there are only some sections of the game that I can be happy with” says home mentor Tore Aleksandersen.
Finland played well in set 3, especially in blocking, but then could not stop Belarus attacks anymore in the fourth set.

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