Home team Serbia suffers another upset, this time from France
2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys
Belgrade, Serbia, April 13, 2013. Russia and France top the charts in Pool II of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys, after scoring their second wins on day 2 of competition. Defending champions and hosts Serbia suffered another upset, this time by 0:3 against France. Russia managed a straight victory over the third winner from yesterday - Finland, while Turkey and Bulgaria engaged in an exciting five-set thriller with the Turks emerging victorious.
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Turkey vs. Bulgaria 3:2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-6)
In the first match of the second day in Pool II, Turkey beat Bulgaria in a thrilling five-setter by 3:2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-6). Yasin Aydın (TUR) and Yani Georgiev (BUL) topped the scorers’ chart with 20 points each.
A very aggressive Bulgaria started putting the pressure on the Turkish receivers. Right from the beginning the gap was getting bigger in favor of the young Bulgarian side, and Turkey could not find any solution. At the second technical time-out Bulgaria had a five-point lead and it only got bigger by the end of the set. During the last rally Kusay Kaan Güleç of Turkey injured his left ankle and was out for the rest of the match.
This unfortunate accident did not affect Turkish players. To the contrary, they started the second set eager to compete. After the initial stage when both teams were scoring an even amount of points, Turkey made a move and created a five-point lead at 14-9. It strengthened the block, and that was maybe the key factor for this sudden getaway. However, after the second technical break (16-13 to Turkey), Bulgaria slowly but surely started to narrow the gap. The score was leveled at 19-19, and the teams entered an exciting final stage of the set. Unfortunately, at that precise moment Bulgarian setter Vladimir Stankov also got injured and had to leave the court. Both sides gave their maximum trying not to lose a single ball, but ultimately Turkey was a bit more focused and wrapped it up at 25-22, leveling the score in sets (1:1).
The plot remained more or less the same in the third set. Basically, it was like “copying and pasting” the second set all the way through the second technical break. Once again Turkey escaped to a 14-9 lead, but this time Bulgaria could not quite recover as the Turkish players did not allow their opponents to come any closer and pose a real threat to their advantage. In the end, it was an easy 25-20 to Turkey and 2:1 in sets.
Like in the previous two sets, the beginning of the fourth set was calm as well. Things continued to develop pretty much in the same way, only this time the roles switched, and Bulgaria was the side that made the first move creating a gap and leading by 16-13 at the second technical time-out. Until the end of the set Turkey was pushing hard but could never quite reach Bulgarians who managed to tie the score at 2:2 in sets edging their rivals 25-23.
In the fifth set Turkey was determined not to let this one slip away. With a firm defense and efficient attack they broke the resilient Bulgarian team that obviously lost too much fuel in the previous four sets. When the teams changed sides at 8-4 to Turkey, it was clear that coach Hidayetoğlu’s players would score the victory here.
Ali Kazım Hidayetoğlu, head coach of Turkey: "We had a very difficult match with Russia yesterday. Today we started slowly. One of our players got injured. We had to change something, and that resulted in a victory today. For that I am extremely happy."
Ivan Halachev, head coach of Bulgaria: "I still believe that both teams are equal. The fifth set was a gamble for both sides and unfortunately we lost. In addition, our setter got injured in the second set and with him on court I am sure that we could have won."
Yiğit Gülmezoğlu, captain of Turkey: "Today we played much better, but still I am not entirely satisfied. We are improving and this is the most important thing."
Mihail Tsvetanov, captain of Bulgaria: "We lost because the players did not perform well today. The first set, though, was a sign of our actual strength, and it is a pity we did not continue in the same way."
Russia vs. Finland 3:0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-11)
In the second Pool II match, Russia crushed Finland 3:0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-11).
Russia’s Victor Poletaev topped the scorers’ chart with 25 points, including 4 aces.
The two unbeaten teams started the game pressured by the importance of the match. It was pretty even before the first technical break (8-7 to Finland), but then things changed and Russia took over the control of the match. Russian boys always maintained a slight advantage, mainly of two or three points, while Finland was trying hard to match up the potent rival team. However, they could not avoid losing the first set 21-25.
Russian block was an unsolvable mystery for the Finns in the second set. With an early 12-5 lead, Russia made a clear statement to their rivals, who struggled to find a way around the strong Russian defense. In the end, it was an easy 25-14 and 2:0 in sets to Alexander Karikov’s team.
The Russian machinery continued to steamroll their rivals in the third set as well. From the very beginning, Russia imposed their rhythm of play, created a gap and never looked back for another easy 25-11 and a flawless victory in straight sets over the helpless Finnish team.
Alexander Karikov, head coach of Russia: ”Finland is a very interesting team. Yesterday they beat Serbia and we did not want to let them make any more surprises. The serve and the block are the key factors for us in every match, and today the guys did great in both aspects.“
Pertti Honkanen, head coach of Finland: ”Russia is a strong team. This result is not surprising, we have to be realistic. We tried to do our best, but today Russia was impossible to beat.“
Maxim Troynin, Russian blocker: "It was not an easy game. We prepared well and because of that we won. We want to continue winning and that is why we are here."
Sakari Makinen, captain of Finland: "The first set was our climax point of the match. We played well, but unfortunately we lost and after that we could not do much more. I think if we had played our best game, it would have been close, but, playing like this, it is impossible to beat them."
France vs. Serbia 3:0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-21)
In the last match of the second day in Pool II, France upset the home favorites and the reigning European Champions Serbia by 3:0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-21). Nohoarii Paofai (FRA) topped the scorers’ chart with 12 points, including 8 blocks.
The home side Serbia managed to hold off the persistent French team only until the first technical time-out in the first set (8-7 to France). After the break, the French players started building the gap with an aggressive play that Serbia could not match. The French were firmly in control and by the end of the set the home side could only shorten the distance for a tolerable 23-25 in favor of “Les Bleus”.
In the beginning of the second set France got off to an early 11-5 lead which allowed them to comfortably control the situation on the court. Once again Serbia tried to return to the match but could only cut the distance by a few points for yet another disappointing score of 22-25, and 0:2 in sets.
In the third set Serbia showed some fighting spirit and reacted with an early 10-7 lead. However, France never lost their focus and slowly but surely started narrowing the gap. They reached the tie at 12-12, and after that they once again took complete control of the match. Serbia was close, but not close enough. In the end, it was a well deserved 25-21 for the straight-set sweep.
Slimane Belmadi, head coach of France: “I am very happy. Serbia is a country of volleyball and it is hard to play against them on their home court. So we had to mix the line-up a little bit, and luckily for us it all worked out.”
Milan Djuricic, head coach of Serbia: “We played better than yesterday. Still, we are missing a key player to step up in the decisive moments. The guys are scared, they have to get some experience from these matches. We are in a tough position right now, and we will have to dig deep to earn a ticket to Laktaši.”
Luka Bašić, captain of France: “We knew that Serbia is a great volleyball nation. We were aggressive right from the start and we got the perfect result.”
Lazar Dodić, captain of Serbia: “They are a good team. We should have played much better. Tomorrow is a new day, and I hope we can win against Turkey.”
All matches in Pool II are streamed live on the official website of the Serbian Volleyball Federation here.
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