Poland and Russia remain unbeaten in Pool II
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Women
Ankara, Turkey, August 20, 2012. Poland and Russia keep a clean sheet at the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women in Ankara, Turkey. On Monday Poland overcame Bulgaria 3:1, whilst Russia overpowered the Czech Republic in straight sets. In tonight's last duel of Pool II, titleholder Italy won its important duel with Germany 3:1.
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Poland continued their run at the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women with their third consecutive win. In a roller-coaster match, the team of head coach Andrzej Pec beat Bulgaria 3:1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16).
Poland still felt in heaven from their unexpected straight-set win versus titleholder Italy the day before when they faced Bulgaria for their third duel in Pool II on Monday afternoon. That was probably one of the reasons why the Polish ladies controlled the first set quite easily (25-21). The Bulgarian squad had lost its first two encounters, but had regularly showed its potential. However, five service errors and a low quote in passing didn’t help Bulgaria to bug Poland’s strategy during the first set. Nevertheless, the team of Bulgarian head coach Radoslav Bakardzhiev showed strong will to book its first win at the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women. Veselina Grigorova and Gergana Dimitrova doubled the power in attack and six block kills led Bulgaria to a hard-earned 25-23 in the second set. The story of the game didn’t change in the third set as Bulgaria set the pace. In the meantime, Polish head coach Pec had changed almost his complete team. The scoreboard stopped at 21-16 as Bulgaria suddenly lost momentum. Poland’s second string showed excellent fighting spirit to bounce back bravely. At 23-24, Bulgaria’s Dimitrova smashed the Mikasa out of bounds to offer Poland an unpredicted 2:1 set lead. The lost opportunity in set No. 3 weighed heavily on Bulgaria’s players. As a consequence, Poland made short work of their opponents in the fourth and last set (25-16).
Poland head coach Andrzej Pec: “My starting six left their concentration in the hotel today. Fortunately, the substitutions worked out.”
Poland captain Iga Chojnacka: “We thought probably that today’s match would be easier. Anyway, our reserve players showed their great talent.”
Bulgaria head coach Radoslav Bakardzhiev: “It’s not easy to understand today’s defeat. We controlled the game in the third set, but suddenly lost concentration. Too bad!”
Like Poland, Russia booked their third consecutive win in Pool II at the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women. The promising young Russian talents beat the Czech Republic in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-14). Irina Voronkova with 15 kills and Eli Uattara (13) were the dominant players for Russia, whilst Michaela Mlejnkova scored ten times for the Czechs.
Even when the team of head coach Stanislav Mitac tried its best, the difference between the two sides was finally too big. Russia showed their power with six aces, a solid 71% quote in passing and remarkable 49% in attack.
After an undisputed first set (25-18), the young Czech ladies fought bravely in the second period with admirable offensive combinations and compact defense work. At 19-21, the Mitac team had a chance to narrow the gap to one point, but the Russian powerhouse struck back fearlessly (25-21). That was too much for the Czech Republic. In the third and last set, the Russians never looked back to conclude their third win in a one-sided way (25-14).
Russian head coach Svetlana Safronova: “We played better than the days before, in almost all aspects of the game. Now we need to prepare well for Wednesday’s duel against Poland.”
Russia captain Elena Novik: “In the beginning of the tournament, we were a little bit nervous. Now we fell more confident.”
Czech captain Lucie Herbockova: “We played a good game today, particularly in the two first sets. We knew that Russia was a great team, we tried to do our best.”
In tonight’s last Pool II clash, Italy overcame Germany 3:1 (25-19, 25-16, 18-25, 25-21). Italian youngster Elena Perinelli was the top scorer of the match with 18 points, whilst Carina Aulenbrock booked 16 kills for Germany. 17 Italian blocks to seven for Germany were one of the reasons why Italy finally pulled through.
Both Italy and Germany started with a 1:1 record in their duel, ready to pursue Pool II leaders Russia and Poland in the run for a prestigious semifinal spot. Italy experienced the better start into the match, showing remarkable block-defense work and with Perinelli and Miriam Sylla on fire. Perinelli brought up set point with a blistering winner from the right, before a German mistake ended the first period in Italy’s favor (25-19). The story of the match didn't change in the second set as the dynamic Italian ladies put a lot of pressure on the German passers. Germany's setter Magdalena Gryka was often forced to slow down her game, giving their opponents many opportunities for a successful block-defense play. The “squadra azzurra” never looked back in set No. 2 (25-16). Although the team of head coach Han Abbing came back bravely in the third set (25-18), it was not enough to stop the Italian express tonight. Germany saved four match points, but after 99 minutes of playing time, Italy pulled through (25-21).
Italia head coach Marco Mencarelli: “Both teams felt a lot of pressure today. We tried to prepare well to control Germany. It worked sometimes, but not always. When our passing worked well, we were able to show a solid performance at the net.”
Italia captain Cristina Chirichella: “We showed a great will to win this game tonight. We were powerful and played with determination. That's what we needed to win versus a strong German team.”
Germany coach Han Abbing: “We made it too easy for Italy tonight. We missed some power and speed at the net.”
Germany captain Magdalena Gryka: “We were not able to show our best performance tonight. Although we showed great fighting spirit, on a sportive level we couldn't find the appropriate solutions.”
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 are 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.
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