Halle/Westphalia, Germany, September 6, 2013. In the opening match of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women, host Germany outclassed underdog Spain in straight sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-17). In front of 4.800 enthusiastic fans in Halle’s Gerry Weber Stadium, the German team dominated the Spaniards and thus confirmed their ambitions for a medal. In the second match of Pool A, Turkey edged the Netherlands in a dramatic game 3:2 (25-15, 25-16, 27-29, 24-26, 15-12).
Right from the beginning, Spain suffered major problems in receiving which made it quite easy for Germany to lead until the first technical time-out (10-6). With some great actions, Spain fought back and increased their pressure on the German defense, but only for a short time (16-13). With a remarkable 9-2 run and a brilliant Margareta Kozuch, Germany closed out the first set 25-15.
In the second set, the team of head coach Giovanni Guidetti took an early lead (5-2) and dominated their opponents in almost all aspects of the game. It did not matter whether in attack or in defense, the German players were the superior team. Again, German Captain Kozuch made a great contribution to the 25-15 German set win.
Germany started the third set with a 6-1 lead that showed their huge advantage against a Spanish team, which was not able to compete at the same level. Giovanni Guidetti took advantage of the moment and sent in 19-year old wing-spiker Jennifer Geerties. Things did not change at the end of the match with Germany flying to an undisputed 25-17 set and 3:0 match win.
Spain captain Patricia Aranda Munoz: „It was a very difficult game for us. We played against one of the best teams at this European Championship. In the first sets we were not able to compete with Germany, but I´am happy that we stayed in the game in the third set.”
Germany captain Margareta Kozuch: „I think it wasn´t that easy as it seemed, because it was our first game and we were nervous. We worked very well in blocking and defense and we had a good solution after Spain started their comeback in the end.”
Spain head coach Francisco Hervas: „Congratulations to Germany. They have one of the best teams and I´m glad that my team tried their best. At the beginning, we lost too many points too easily, but I´am happy with the performance at the end.”
Germany head coach Giovanni Guidetti: „We want to enjoy this moment, because it is very special for us. I am glad that we won.”
Turkey win a dramatic five-set thriller
In the second match of Pool A, Turkey edged the Netherlands in a dramatic game 3:2 (25-15, 25-16, 27-29, 24-26, 15-12). Neslihan Darnel was the top scorer of the game with 19 points for the winning team. Anne Buijs scored 14 points and was the best player for the Netherlands.
Turkey started pretty well and took a three-point lead in the first minutes, but the Netherlands improved the quality of their game and leveled the game at 7-7. In the middle of the set it was the team of head coach Massimo Barbolini that went up again and dominated the game, especially with Kirdar Sonsirma in attack. Turkey set the pace and brought the first set home 25-15.
In the second set, the Netherlands got off a good start with an early 5-2 lead. Then Turkey started to wake up after their outstanding performance in the beginning of the match and reached the tie at 9-9. The spectators tried to push their teams and were rewarded with long rallies between two strong teams. However, the Turkish team took the lead again and wrapped up the second set 25-17. The Turks made the difference mainly in reception (88%).
In the sequel, Turkey kept control and made four consecutive points at the start of the third set (4-0). Nevertheless, the Netherlands fought back bravely. It seemed as Netherland’s head coach Gido Vermeulen found the gap in the Turkish block. His spikers cut the distance to one point and gained their first lead at 15-14. It was the turning point. The “Oranjes” kept the pressure high and finished their job 29-27 in a dramatic end after a Turkish mistake at the net.
The Netherlands went two points ahead at 5-3 in the fourth set and controlled almost the whole set. Turkey fought valiantly for a comeback in the end and had the chance to take the lead after they saved four set points (24-24). However, the Dutch were more focused in the last rallies and deserved the 26-24 win.
In the fifth and deciding set, Turkey set the pace right from the beginning and prevented a false start at the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women with a hard-fought 15-12 set win.
The Netherlands captain Maret Grothues: “Congratulations to Turkey. Right from the beginning, we experienced problems, but after the first two sets, we found our way into the match. It was an interesting game and we are glad that we came back from this deficit. At the end we made too many mistakes.”
Turkey captain Neslihan Darnel: “We played very well, but after two sets we made too many mistakes. We are happy that we finally won.”
The Netherlands head coach Gido Vermeulen: “I think Turkey played a good game at the beginning and we had big problems with our reception. We can be happy with the three sets we played after a weak start.”
Turkey Head Coach Massimo Barbolini: “After the first two sets the Netherlands started to play better in block and defense and we lost the passion. We have to continue our work in the next games, because we expected very tough matches.”
The Preliminary Phase of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women is split into four pools of four teams with the top three from each pool advancing to the next competition stage. The first ranked teams of each pool are directly qualified for the quarterfinals, while the second and third ranked teams will fight for the last four quarterfinal tickets.
For the first time in history, 130 countries with all five continents involved cover the Women's EuroVolley.
CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women
2011 in Italy/Serbia: Serbia (gold), Germany (silver), Turkey (bronze)
Records of the last five editions
2009 in Poland: Italy (gold), the Netherlands (silver), Poland (bronze)
2007 in Belgium/Luxembourg: Italy (gold), Serbia (silver), Russia (bronze)
2005 in Croatia: Poland (gold), Italy (silver), Russia (bronze)
2003 in Turkey: Poland (gold), Turkey (silver), Germany (bronze)
CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women
1. Russia (17 gold / 4 silver / 3 bronze), 2. Poland (2/4/5), 3. Germany (2/5/3), 4. Italy (2/2/2), 5. The Czech Republic (1/4/4), 6. The Netherlands (1/2/1), 7. Bulgaria (1/0/2), 8. Serbia (1/1/1), 9. Croatia (0/3/0), 10. Hungary (0/1/3), 11. Turkey (0/1/1), 12. Romania (0/0/1). 12. Ukraine (0/0/1).
All-time medal table
World Ranking – Women (participating teams)
4. Italy, 6. Russia, 7. Serbia, 9. Germany, 11. Turkey, 13. Poland, 18. The Netherlands, 22. The Czech Republic, 31. Croatia, 31. Bulgaria, 36. Azerbaijan, 39. Belgium, 39. Belarus, 42. Spain, 42. France, 109. Switzerland.
For further information visit the official website or click here for a detailed match schedule of the prelims.