Zurich, Switzerland, September 7, 2013. On day 2 of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Volleyball – Women, Italy booked their second win by beating France 3:1 (25-16, 25-15, 20-25, 25-16). In Saturday’s second Pool B match, Belgium overcame host Switzerland in front of 5,500 thrilled fans 25-21, 25-16, 25-23.
Showing the beauty of Volleyball was one of the main goals of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women for the Swiss organizers. Over 5,500 spectators came to watch their Swiss national team against Belgium. Svetlana Ilic’s players showed a strong performance in the first set, keeping the score close. The crowd romped as the Swiss national team took a first lead at 5-4. The two teams fought bravely for every ball and knew no mercy. Belgium’s middle-blocker Freya Aelbrecht and Lise Van Hecke put enormous pressure on the Swiss defence. The “Yellow Tigers” took command of the match by increasing their lead to 16-11. The Swiss tried their best to shorten the deficit, but the Belgians never looked back until 25-21.
The Belgians took the flow from the first set into the second one (8-2). Even though the “Yellow Tigers” experienced some problems in reception, they capitalized on many errors in the Swiss offensive play. The Belgian blocking system worked as Swiss clockwork, helping Gert Vande Broek’s team increasing its lead to 16-4. The Swiss players never gave up but were finally not able to catch up their opponents (16-25).
The local heroines had to find an answer in the third set. And they did. The Swiss worked their self up into a real frenzy. Wing-spiker Inès Granvorka and opposite Mandy Wigger put a lot of pressure on the Belgian defence to move the scoreboard forward in their favour. However, a 21-17 lead was not good enough for Switzerland to conclude. Vande Broek sent in Hélène Rousseaux to stabilize the Belgian game. Moreover, captain Charlotte Leys and Lise Van Hecke played at their best to offer their team a hard-earned 3:0 win against a brave Swiss team.
Belgium opposite and player of the game against Switzerland Lise Van Hecke: “You can’t win a game on your own in Volleyball. It is nice that I could help my teammates with 30 points, but we won as a squad. Our blocking game and our defence will be very important tomorrow against Italy. We have to play very well and I’m looking forward to this game.”
Belgium captain Charlotte Leys: “We knew it would be hard for us against Switzerland. We started with very strong serves. The Swiss played well and we lost a little bit our concentration in the third set and got 17-21 behind, but still won this game what was good.”
Switzerland captain Kristel Marbach: “We started aggressively today. The atmosphere in the Hallenstadion was incredible. We already felt the energy when we entered the court. All this is a new world for us.”
Belgium head coach Gert Vande Broek: “We expected a strong Swiss team, but they were even stronger. We needed all our strength to beat them. We had some physical advantages, but we worked hard for this win. Today’s game was a good preparation for the duel against Italy tomorrow. Our service-reception will be crucial versus the Azzurre. Of course I like the position as underdog, as every coach does.”
Switzerland head coach Svetlana Ilic: “Maybe it sounds strange to you, but I’m very satisfied with my players. We did a better job than yesterday. We cannot compensate for our physical disadvantages or our lack of experience, but we did what we can do. Why should we feel pressure? It is true that the game against France will be the key match for us. Nevertheless, we feel no pressure.”
Italy continue their run against France
The situation for the first game of the second day at 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women in Zurich between Italy and France was pretty clear. The Italians, favourites for the first place in Pool B, had to beat France. The history of direct duels underlined the dominance of the Azzurre.
Italy had more problems than expected in the second game of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women in Zurich facing France. Marco Mencarelli’s players finally won 3:1 (25-16, 25-15, 20-25, 25-16) but struggled with their reception in the second and third set.
The Italians fulfilled their role as favourites at the beginning of the game and quickly led 16-10 at the second technical break. Italy’s opposite Valentina Diouf broke through the French defence that stood under an enormous pressure. The French players did their best but nothing helped. At 24-16, Caterina Bosetti put an end to the first set by a strong smash from the left.
The start of the second set was another proof of the Italian dominance. Fabrice Vial’s players could not find a way to stop Italy’s aggressive offensive play. A huge 3-8 deficit was the consequence for the outsiders. Middle-blocker Christina Bauer and her teammates fought bravely but Italy’s wing-spiker Carolina Costagrande and opposite Valentina Diouf sent some sharp missiles to the French side. The Italian lead increased to 20-10 and ended up in an undisputed 25-15.
Fabrice Vial’s players mobilised all their power in the third set. The game kept tight until 4-4. Italy started to play more aggressively again and took a three-point lead at 8-5. However, the turning point of the set came at 13-12 when France took over control. Italy fell behind 15-18. Mencarelli sent in Indre Sorokaite and Cristina Barcellini. However, it was already too late as France never looked back (25-20).
Marco Mencarelli put his trust again in Valentina Diouf and was not deceived by his players. The Italians swiftly found back to their performance of the first two sets by improving their serves. Wing-spiker Carolina Costagrande did a great job on the outside and increased the Italian lead rapidly to 16-9. France tried to bounce back, but had no answers to the powerful Italian game in the end.
France head coach Fabrice Vial: “We knew it would be hard. At least we could win one set. That is a positive point for us, but I am not satisfied with two losses. We have to play a good game tomorrow. There is a lot of pressure on us and on the Swiss team. We know Switzerland – their qualities and their weaknesses.”
Italy head coach Marco Mencarelli: “We had big problems with our receptions in the third set. I do not think that Valentina Diouf was the reason why we had problems in the offence. As we had weak receptions, our offensive systems suffered.”
France captain Anna Rybaczewski: “It’s difficult to play against a team like Italy. They are physically and technically superior. Surely, we cannot be happy after two losses, but now we have to concentrate on the game against Switzerland. It will be very difficult against them because they play in front of their fantastic home crowd. Therefore, we have to serve better.”
Italy captain Martina Guiggi: “We had big problems with our reception when France took more risk at serving. Maybe, we were not focused enough. Our coach Marco Mencarelli woke us up.”
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.