Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria impress with straight-set wins
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Men
Randers, Denmark, August 24, 2012. Spain claimed the opening match in Pool II of the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship after edging Greece in straight sets (27-25, 25-20, and 25-17) on Friday afternoon in Randers.
The first set was a close run where both Spain and Greece showed a promising high-quality Volleyball. Greece had a close lead 16:14 at the second technical time-out, but it was Spain that got a first set ball at 24-23. Greece survived it and also had an opportunity to go up 1:0, before Spain eventually sealed the final 27-25.
In the second set Spain looked to have the upper hand leading 8:5 by the first technical time-out and 16:14 at the second. Greece took a needed time-out at 20:17 for the Spanish team, but could not turn the set around as Spain cruised to the final 25-20.
Greece could not really find the same recipe as in the first set and did not threat Spain for real in the third. Spain was in front 8:6 by the first technical time-out and 16:11 by the second. Increasing little by little their pace, the Spanish team won the third set 25-17 and the premiere of the tournament 3-0.
The win sends Spain to the top of Pool II with three points. Spanish head coach Ricardo Maldonado was happy with the win: “It was a good game to win. Greece has a good team, and the opening match is always difficult. This is a good start for us in this tournament. I think the team served very well and our blocks were alright as well. We found the right solutions to their attacks and that frustrated them. We have a strong group of players that play together as a team. We have been training together for a year and that can be the outcome today. I do not know how far we can go in the tournament yet, but of course I hope that we make it to the Playoffs in Poland”.
Spanish opposite Andres J. Villena scored an impressive haul of 28 points – 11 more than Greece’s leading scorer Georgios Tzioumakas - and was the best player of the match.
In the second game of the day, a strong Turkish side did not leave any chance to Germany scoring a 3:0 win (25-22, 25-16, and 25-20) to move up to the top of the charts in the group. Though, not much separated the two teams in the first set. Turkey was in front 8:7 by the first technical time-out, but Germany had the lead 16:15 by the second. Turkey had a three point lead at 22:19 and even though Germany closed in at 22:21, Turkey wrapped it up at 25-22. This made the German spectators in the Skyline Arena a little bit quieter after they had been making great noise and created a nice atmosphere with funny hats, drums and other instruments during the entire first set.
Yet another match with high-quality Volleyball proceeded in the second set. Again the Turks were in front 8:7 by the first technical time-out and from there they never looked back cruising to the final 25-16.
Germany had a taste of a lead in the beginning of the third set going to the first technical time-out in front 8:6. Turkey took a time-out at a German 8:11 lead which brought the Turks right back in the set leveling it at 13:13 and in front 16:15 by the second technical time-out. From here the Turkish team finished the business with a 25-20 and the match 3-0.
The Turkish team celebrated heavily after the match and head coach Ali Kazim Hidayetoglu was thrilled with his team’s performance: “We know the German team from earlier matches. They have a strong team. I am very happy with winning this first match since this is always is very important. We played good today and I hope we can continue at this level. The guys are hard-working and are playing well together as a team. On top of this we have a good staff which makes it all come together. It is a great team,” he said.
Turkey had the three best scorers of the game with opposite Metin Toy topping the tables with 15 points.
Bulgaria made it three in a row when they downed the hosts of Denmark 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, and 25-21) in the final match of the day in pool II. Three times a charm – especially when it comes to great Volleyball. And the last match of the day between the home team from Denmark and Bulgaria showed another Volleyball match on a high level. The home guys went ahead 8:7 by the first technical time-out and again 16:13 by the second. The Danish home audience created a fantastic atmosphere in Skyline Arena and the temperature rose gradually with each point Denmark made. The set was close all the way to the end before Bulgaria won it 25-23.
The second set became yet another close encounter. Bulgaria was leading 8:6 by the first technical time-out and increased their lead to 16:12 by the second. Denmark got close but could not prevent Bulgaria from winning the second set 25-19.
The third set was also close. The Danish team was in front 3:0 before Bulgaria leveled the set 4:4. Denmark was in front 8-7 by the first technical time-out, but Bulgaria flipped the score around by the second (16:15). From here the Bulgarian team was too strong to let the Danes come back in the game and Bulgaria won the set 25-21 and the game 3-0.
Bulgarian head coach Miroslav Zhivkov said: “Today we won against a team that played very well. Denmark proved that they are a strong team and belong to the final round. They have a physical advantage against us and sometimes during the match they definitely played better than us. I think our win in the first set is the key to the game. We still have to take it game by game. All teams still have the opportunity to win and go to Poland”.
Danish head coach, Fred Sturm: “At some points we played very well, but other parts of our game were not good. The Bulgarian team is very skillful and they have a lot of talented players. I think they got better through the entire game. We were unable to make the most of our chances and then Bulgaria got too many scoring streaks. Now we have to rest, watch some video of our problems and learn from them”.
A little comfort for the Danish team was that captain Peter Trolle Bonnesen was the best player of the game with 19 points.
Click here for more information, including detailed stats