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04/01/2013 14:00
France stuns home guys in Brno, Germany wins marathon with Belarus
2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys

Brno, Czech Republic, January 3, 2013. France and Germany started their quest for making it to the final round of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Boys by scoring two wins on Thursday for the first day of action in Pool A.
France edged the home guys of the Czech Republic in straight sets (25-23, 29-27, and 25-22) showing good play especially in the final section of each set.
“This is a very important victory for such a young group” commented France’s head coach Slimane Belmadi. “The first international match is always very difficult but my boys could stand the pressure and I am happy with their performance. Our goal remains quite evidently to make it to the final round and gain some valuable experience”.
“We showed good team work and I think our block was the deciding factor in contributing this success” added team captain Luka Basic.
“I am disappointed because the result could have been different. We did not control some key balls in the first set; we set the pace for most of the second set but we dissipated our lead and were blocked by our opponents in all deciding points. The same happened in the third set where we got the lead and kept it for quite a while but eventually our opponent had the upper hand” said Czech coach Tomas John.
“We played quite good but lost control of the game in the final section of all sets. We could not finish it off especially in the second and third set” added Czech spiker Jan Galabov.

The competition was actually opened by a real marathon whereby Germany eventually edged Belarus 3:2 (25-19, 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, and 15-10). Germany started out strong, and did so especially from the serving line, comfortably winning the first set (25-19). Belarus then stormed back in set 2 going up 8:1 and 15:2 and even though Germany fought back, they could not compensate for such a disastrous start (25-20 for Belarus). Germany’s coach went back to his best starting six in set 3 and this paid off immediately (11:3) before Belarus could find its way back and eventually celebrate the provisional 2:1 lead (25-21). Germany got back control of the operations in set 4 and helped by some errors of Belarus could call for the tie-break (25-18). The final set was hardly fought with Germany eventually having the upper hand at 15-10 to take two points from this game while Belarus got one.
“This game clearly reflects what normally happens in the first match of a tournament like this. We did not play that good in set 2 and 3 but we got back playing as a team and we tested a good tactic – opting for two setters – that eventually proved to be successful. Even though our reception was not stable, our setters played well and could exploit the potential of our spikers” explained Germany’s head coach Matus Kalny.  
“We lacked consistency and quality in the second and third set where we could not close some rallies as we should have done. However, we came back strongly and we showed we are good contenders for a ticket to the final round. To achieve this goal we need to play the next matches better than we did today” singled out German captain Moritz Reichert.
“The best spikers we have played good only for two sets and this explains our defeat” said Belarusian mentor Siarhei Konanau.

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