Pool II favorites start persuasively in 2012 Junior European Championship campaign
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women
Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2012. Russia, Italy as well as Poland experienced a powerful start into the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women. Russia proved too strong for Germany (3:1), titleholder Italy overpowered Bulgaria 3:1 as well while Poland controlled the Czech Republic in a hard-fought duel (3:1) in today’s third match at Ahmet Taner Kislali Hall in Ankara.
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Russia opened their 2012 CEV Junior European Championship – Women operation with a considerable 3:1 win (25-19, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19) over Germany. Russia made a strong start with wing-spiker Kseniia Ilchenko performing astonishingly from the service line. She took her side 8-6 in front at the first technical time-out. The Russian ladies kept the pace, while German coach Han Abbing called for two time-outs at 14-19 and 15-22 to slow down the opponents. However, Russia was too dominant. Opposite Irina Voronkova, who sealed the set with an impressing spike, performed brilliantly at serving and spiking. Both teams showed virtuous defending skills in the first part of the second set. German wing-spiker Carina Aulenbrock made an impact to the game while her side was two points ahead at the first and second stop (8-6, 16-14). The German squad augmented the speed; and setter Magdalena Gryka finished the set in Germany’s favor with a fine block (25-20). The German ladies kept the pace in the beginning of the third set, forcing Russian coach Svetlana Safronova to call her players off court at 1-5. Without no consequences as Germany led even 8-1 at the first technical time-out. However, Russia bounced back bravely to turn the tables at 16-15. With a blistering winner from back row, Kseniia Ilchenko powered the Russian squad 2:1 in front. Germany made again a good start into the fourth set (12-7, 16-10), but things didn’t change. Russia battled violently to finally book a well-deserved 3:1 win at their first appearance here in Ankara.
Italy defeated Bulgaria in today’s second Pool II game 3:1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-12). One set down, the Italian ladies bounced back bravely to book their first win at the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women. Bulgaria performed beyond expectations in the first set and surprised Italy with strong serves. However, Italy managed to fight back with wing-spiker Miriam Sylla on fire (15 points). Elena Perinelli and Cristina Chirichella both scored 14 kills. Italy led 8-6 at the first technical time-out in set No. 1, before Bulgaria started to turn the tables with the help of some sharp serves of middle-blocker Milena Dimova (16-13). The Italian players tried their best, but couldn’t find an appropriate answer to stop the Bulgarian express. However, Italy made a good start into the second set. The “squadra azzurra” took over control, putting a lot of pressure on the Bulgarian defense. As a consequence, Italy won the second set 25-21 and kept the upper hand in the third period after a tough beginning. Italian head coach Marco Mencarelli had found some magic words at 9-12 to lead his team back to the winning road. Things didn’t change in the fourth and last set with Bulgaria committing too many unforced errors. After 95 minutes of play, Italy celebrated its first win at 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women.
Italy coach Marco Mencarelli: “The first win was very important for us because we always experience some problems getting into tournaments and we often face situations like in the first set. Bulgaria served very well at the beginning. But later on they started making more mistakes, and we improved our passing skills. The first game is always very important and we are glad to be the winners today.”
Although the Czech Republic managed to resist Poland during the first three sets, the Polish ladies finally left the court as winners (23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-15). Polish middle blocker Agnieszka Kakolewska topped the scorers with 17 points, including 5 aces and 5 block points. Poland started the game strongly with powerful serves and opened a four-point gap at the first technical time-out. Nonetheless, the Czech girls showed great fighting qualities and came back muscularly to level the game after the second technical break. In a thrilling finish, the Czech team kept the upper hand by winning the first set 25-23. In set two and three, there was not much to separate the two teams. Poland demonstrated their power and coolness principally at the end of the sets. Polish middle-blocker Kakolewska concluded the second set 25-22, while Iga Chojnacka did the same one set later to give the Polish squad a hard-fought 2:1 set lead. This was too much for the young Czech ladies as they resigned at the end of the fourth set (15-25).
Polish captain Iga Chojnacka mentioned that it was important and good to win the first game of a tournament like this.
Czech Republic head coach Stanislav Mitac said: “The game was very important as it was the first game of the tournament. Both teams performed well. However, we lost the game as we committed too many mistakes, particularly in the last set.”
The classic powers Italy and Serbia, host Turkey as well as Russia, Poland and Germany are the favorites for the crown of the prestigious CEV under 19 age category competition. Two weeks before the men’s juniors will battle for medals in Denmark and Poland, Turkey is in the spot light for the prominent CEV event at Baskent Hall that hosts Pool I and Ahmet Taner Kislali Hall featuring Pool II. A total of 38 matches will be played during the tournament, running from August 18-26.
The Preliminary Phase of the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women is split into two pools of six teams with the top two from each pool advancing to the semifinals. Pool I comprises 2010 runner-up Serbia, host Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium and France. Pool II sees title holder Italy defending their reputations versus 2010 bronze medalist the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Germany as well as Bulgaria.
CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women Records
2010 in Serbia: Italy (gold), Serbia (silver), Czech Republic (bronze)
2008 in Italy: Italy (gold), Russia (silver), Turkey (bronze)
2006 in France: Italy (gold), Croatia (silver), Ukraine (bronze)
2004 in Slovakia: Italy (gold), Serbia & Montenegro (silver), Russia (bronze)
2002 in Croatia: Poland (gold), Ukraine (silver), Belarus (bronze)
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