Netherlands and Ukraine win easily waiting to cross their ways
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Yuzhny, Ukraine, September 14, 2012. The Netherlands and Ukraine imposed their rule on Friday for the opening day of the second round robin in Pool B by edging in straight sets Denmark and Greece respectively. Their clash on Saturday will determine the final tables of the Pool and allocate the sole ticket at stake to make it to the final round of the 2013 European Championship.
The hosts of Ukraine easily disposed of Greece in three straight sets (25-7, 25-11, and 25-19) to open the program of the tournament in Yuzhny. Ukraine cruised to a speedy 8:2 lead in the first set powered by Tetyana Khyliuk and as Greece was having problems in reception, the hosts moved up 18:6; Daria Stepanovska, who has been playing for the local club Khimik YUZHNY for the past 11 years, aced for the 22:7 and eventually Ukraine could pocket a terrific 25-7 for the provisional 1:0. Things did not change in the second set where Ukraine opened with a 4:0 and set the pace by the second technical time-out with a comfortable margin (16:7). Iryna Trushkina paced the home side in this section of the game with 4 blocks and the final 25-11 was quickly there. The story changed a little bit in set 3 where the score remained close up to the second technical time-out (15:14) before Ukraine accelerated the pace and 16-year old Oleksandra Bytsenko finished the game with a fast attack.
“Our opponents played very good today and we had huge problems in reception. This was our second bad game against Ukraine” stated Greece’s captain Eleni Kiosi.
“They played very well and we could not find any way to stand their quality” said head coach Dimitrios Floros.
“We did not know much about Greece before our first match in the Netherlands last week, so this is why there we did not play as we wanted. This time we could prepare well and you can see the result. Greece arrived very late here in Yuzhny and maybe this influenced their play; we have to rest and get ready for a tough game against the Netherlands” said local star Tetyana Kozlova.
“This game was crucial for us and a victory was our minimum goal. With this result we basically have guaranteed we will finish second in the group and we can go for the third round to possibly get there our ticket for the European Championship. Still we will fight for the victory as we cross our ways with the Netherlands on Saturday” singled out home coach Andriy Romanovych.
In the second match of the day the Netherlands easily outclassed Denmark in straight sets too (25-12, 25-13, and 25-7). After a close start, the Dutch ladies quickly imposed their supremacy going up by 7 points at the second technical time-out; by the end of the set this margin had even doubled (25-12). Coach Gido Vermeulen decided to rest Caroline Wensink in the second set and line up Quinta Steenbergen; she paid back by scoring five attacks and two aces. Denmark reduced the gap for a while with Juliane Daugaard and Lykke Degner (9:8) but the Dutch could show all of their quality to finish the set with a margin of 12 points. Vermeulen almost changed his complete his starting six in set 3 with Robin de Kruijf being the only one who remained on the court and in the end she topped the charts of the best scorers with 11 points, including also 3 blocks.
Melcijana Salispahic, Denmark’s captain, said: “We played against a strong team and it is a good experience for us to study a side that can play at such a high level”.
“We came to Yuzhny to improve as a team and our play; we will draw the line at the end of the tournament” added head coach Sven-Erik Lauridsen.
“We are happy with this win and this game was a sort of warm-up for the next with Ukraine. We feel ready for this demanding task” said top scorer Robin de Kruijf.
“We try to play good and use all of our players, this is necessary to make the group grow and improve. Our next opponent is Ukraine and we expect a tough and interesting game. They play at home and so they have a little advantage” said Dutch mentor Gido Vermeulen.
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