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25/08/2012 18:30
Germany and Poland keep hopes alive for fifth place
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women

Ankara, Turkey, August 25, 2012. Germany (straight-set win versus Slovenia) as well as Poland (3:1 triumph over Belgium) keep their hopes alive for an encouraging finish at 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women. Slovenia and Belgium will battle for the seventh place in Sunday’s classification matches.

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In today’s first clash in the race for the fifth rank, Germany outclassed Slovenia in straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-21). Except for the second set, the Slovenians had no chance to bother the solid German team. Slovenian Iza Mlakar topped the scorers with 17 points.
The West Europeans made an excellent start into the match by dominating the first set impressively (25-17). However, the young Slovenian talents fought back bravely to gain momentum at the start of the second set (8-5). On the other side, Germany responded with three consecutive blocks on Slovenian top scorer Mlakar. At the second technical break, the team of head coach Han Abbing led again (16-15). Although it was close until the end of the set, the promising German talents never looked back (25-23). The plot of the match didn’t change in the third and last set. Germany made fewer mistakes and showed much more power at the net to keep their hopes alive for a possible fifth place at 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women.  

Germany head coach Han Abbing: “I am happy for that win. We dreamed of a medal before coming here; then we were disappointed after having lost this chance. So, it was not easy to recover from this mind set. But my ladies did a great job.” Slovenia head coach Bruno Najdic: “The German girls played very well today, especially in first set. They made few mistakes and were strong on serving and attacking. But the main reason why we lost today was our lack of self-confidence.”  

In the second classification match tonight, Poland beat Belgium in 4 sets (25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22). Belgian wing-spiker Celine Van Gestel and Polish middle blocker Agnieszka Kakolewska topped the scorers chart with 15 points each. Poland made a good start into the game and opened the gap to four points at the first technical time out. However, the young Belgian talents bounced back fearlessly. The team of head coach Julien van de Vyver scored five points in a row. Nevertheless, thanks to a well-timed break by Polish head coach Andrzej Pec, Poland regained momentum and managed to keep the pace until the end of the set (25-17). Belgium responded with a 12-4 and 16-10 lead in the second period, but it was not good enough. Poland made an impressive comeback, before setter Evelina Tobiasz finished the set with a nice block kill in Poland’s favor. (25-21). Belgium didn’t give up in the third set. The young Belgian team showed excellent fighting spirit and never looked back (25-19). However, the lack of stability cost them the possibility to reach the tie-break. A 16-14 lead was not enough to pull through. Poland bounced back bravely to look forward for Sunday’s battle versus Germany in the race for the fifth rank at 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Women.  

Match schedule for Sunday:
10:00 Classification match 7-8 – Slovenia vs. Belgium (Kislali)
11:30 Bronze medal match 3-4 – Italy vs. Russia (Baskent)
12:30 Classification match 5-6 – Germany vs. Poland (Kislali)
14:00 Gold medal match 1-2 – Serbia vs. Turkey (Baskent)

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