Poland remains only unbeaten team after second day in Pool I
2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys
Laktaši, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 14, 2013. Poland maintained its perfect record and remained the only unbeaten team in Pool I of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Boys after the second competition day in Laktaši. The team around head coach Wieslaw Czaja managed another 3-0 shut-out, this time against Belgium. The following two games of the day were way more disputed and exciting as Italy overcame Slovenia by 3-1 and Austria defeated the home team of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the same score.
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Belgium vs. Poland 0:3 (12-25, 13-25, 21-25)
Poland succeeded in maintaining a perfect record after its second match in Pool I in Laktaši. This time the team around head coach Wieslaw Czaja shut out Belgium in 67 minutes of play. Captain Bartosz Bucko contributed a fantastic 23 points to the winning tally of his team. Substitute player Robbe Vandeweyer was Belgium’s top scorer with 8 points.
Poland’s powerful serving and almost unstoppable attacks (82% success rate) completely demolished the opponent in the first set. Bartosz Bucko was putting one ball after another on the floor to pile up a huge advantage in Poland’s favor, while Pawel Gryc’s blast through the middle shaped up the final 25-12.
The story pretty much repeated in the second set. Once again, Poland completely dominated on the court and did not allow any doubts over its superiority. And again, captain Bucko was very prolific in widening the gap to get to an easy block by Rafal Szymura that finished it off at 25-13.
The first half of the third set was Belgium’s time in this match. Its efforts in offense started paying off and coach Steven Vanmedegael’s players took control over the scoreboard. However, Poland confidently kept close behind and between the two technical time-outs managed to take the lead. Once again Bucko spearheaded his team’s attack and scored 8 points for the eventual 25-21.
Steven Vanmedegael, head coach of Belgium: “We expected a difficult game today, so the result was as expected. Poland has a really good team and we did not play as well as yesterday. We made a lot of mistakes, but we knew Italy and Poland were favorites in our pool, so I am happy we won against Italy yesterday.”
Sebastian Pawlik, assistant coach of Poland: “We played really well today. We had good reception, we served well... In the next match I hope we are going to play as well as we did today because our game was really good.”
Bartosz Bucko, captain of Poland: “We played our best game, and if we continue playing this well, we can win this tournament. I think the Belgian team can go to the next round if they continue to play as well as they did today.”
Sander Depovere, captain of the Belgium: “They were better than us today. We made mistakes in serving that we did not make yesterday, but we only have to win against one more team to go to the next round. We played two difficult matches and won one of them, so it was not bad.”
Italy vs. Slovenia 3:1 (25-18, 25-18, 15-25, 25-23)
Italy managed its first win in Pool I by allowing Slovenia to gain only one set in the exciting second match of the day in Laktaši. Tiziano Mazzone of Italy was the top scorer of the match with 16 points, while substitute player Toncek Stern became Slovenia’s most prolific player with 14.
In the first set Italy proved much stronger than Slovenia. By winning 5 rallies in a row it took an early lead by 6-3 and never let go. With more productive attacking efforts and better blocking Andrea Tomasini’s boys widened the gap. The Slovenes also helped by making too many unforced errors. A Slovenian spike that went too wide gave Italy the last point in the set for 25-18.
Simone Giannelli’s serving in the second set, as well as that of Oreste Cavuto, gave Slovenia lots of hard times and Italy once again dominated on the court. After 24-14, the team of Iztok Ksela saved four of Italy’s set points, but it was too little too late – 25-18.
However, the end of the second set helped Slovenia to switch gears and to run over the opponents in the third. Inspired by their faithful supporters on the stands, they improved tremendously in blocking and offense and won the set by a stunning 25-15.
The fourth set was the one that left the best impression on everyone in the hall as it was an exciting and spectacular battle and could have gone either way. Both teams greatly improved their performance in all elements and reduced their unforced errors. Italy was particularly good at blocking while Slovenia impressed with its five aces in the set. At first, the Italians took the lead, then the Slovenes dominated for a while. Between the two technical breaks Squadra Azzurra managed to build up a solid 4-point advantage. Their opponents, however, had no intention of giving up. After 19-15 they won six consecutive rallies to take the lead again. At 23-20 Slovenia’s way everyone was already preparing for episode 5, but not the Italians. 5 points in row with special contribution by the Italian block finished the game off.
Andrea Tomasini, head coach of Italy: “Today it was difficult to start playing and get in the match. We did this in the first two sets, and then lost the third. We got better in the fourth.”
Iztok Ksela, head coach of Slovenia: “I think the third and the fourth set were great. The Italian team played really well, better than yesterday, so they even surprised us with their technical skills and we needed to get used to their game. We almost won the fourth set, but the Italians really did play well and deserve their victory.”
Sebastiano Milan, captain of Italy: “This was a very difficult game. We played really well in the first and the second set. In the first set we did not have a good side out, but we got better in the fourth set. I am really excited, this was a good match. Tomorrow is a new day. We will have a hard game against Poland.”
Jernej Vrhunc, captain of Slovenia: “The Italians have a really good team and that was seen in this game. Their team showed that they have amazing players, but I think we played really well.”
Austria vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina 3:1 (25-20, 28-30, 25-21, 25-22)
In tonight’s last match of Pool I, Austria secured its first victory in the tournament as it defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina by 3-1 to the disappointment of the local crowd. Austria’s Paul Buchegger added an incredible 32 points to his tally to become the best scorer of the match. Teofan Budincic became Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top scorer with 12 points.
For the most part, the first set was very even and well-disputed, with several ties on the scoreboard and changes of the lead. The first time the gap exceeded 2 points was at 20-17 after Austria scored four in a row. This is when Nina Sawatzki’s team took off on a quest to win the set and finished it off in a convincing manner at 25-20 as Paul Buchegger piled up an impressive 11 points in this set.
The second set was even more exciting. Bosnia and Herzegovina secured an early 5-point lead and, well-assisted by the too many opponent errors, was able to maintain control of the score through 20-17 when Austria won six rallies in a row to take over by 23-20. At 24-22 it had two opportunities to close the set, but failed to take advantage of either to provide for a thrilling ending of the set in overtime. Eventually the Austrians made a couple of more mistakes in attack to allow the host team to win its first set in the tournament – 30-28.
Austria stormed to a 5-0 lead and took charge of the third set. While both teams were committing way too many errors, Bosnia and Herzegovina was less efficient in its reception and offense and could not find the right weapon for a comeback. In the end Philipp Waller put the ball on the floor for the final 25-21 Austria’s way.
Both sides came out more focused for part 4 of the match and split it into half a set each. Stepping up its spiking efforts, Bosnia & Herzegovina was in the lead in the first half, but Austria stayed on its toes to flip the score shortly before the second technical time-out. It kept up the pace and a powerful strike through the middle by Lukas Scheucher put an end to it all at 25-22.
Ljubisa Ristic, head coach of Bosnia & Herzegovina: “We played well tonight. However, our lack of patience and practice was evident in this game as in the first one. We did not play well in the critical moments when young players win or lose games. They are young and we, coaches, too have to have patience when it comes to training them. We are getting better every day and I hope some of our players will use this championship to practice. I have to say again that it is a shame that we did not play any friendly games and practiced more. Tomorrow is going to be a hard game, and we will try to do our best. I will be happy if we win a set.”
Florian Ertl, captain of Austria: “We did not play our best today. However, the game was important and it is important we played well. We are motivated and I hope we will make it to the next round.”
Muris Krivokapa, captain of Bosnia & Herzegovina: “Our game was better than yesterday. In the first set, we played point after point and that worked against us. We practiced and played as well as we could, but their team was better than ours and the game was really challenging.”
All matches in Pool I are streamed live on LAOLA1.tv here.
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