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04/01/2013 13:00
First win for Czech and Hungarian girls in Brno
2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Girls

Brno, Czech Republic, January 3, 2012. The hosts of the Czech Republic and Hungary opened their campaign to possibly clinch a ticket to the final round of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls by easily edging their respective rivals, namely Portugal and Lithuania respectively, on day 1 of Pool B in Brno.
The young girls of the Czech Republic could take maximum points from their opening match with Portugal (25-23, 25-14, and 25-10) to assert their ambition to make it to the final round. After a good start (4:2), the Czechs were surprised by the good reaction of Portugal that flipped the charts around (4:6); Portugal’s head coach Gilda Harris asked for a time-out as his side was trailing 9:11 and she got the reaction she was searching for as Portugal got the lead at the second technical time-out (14:16). However, the Czechs gradually got back on track via the attacks killed by Michaela Mlejnkova and Pavlina Simanova, heading into the final rush with a margin of three (23:20); after missing a first opportunity for the 1:0 it was Mlejnkova who did cash the final 25-23.   
The Czechs asserted their supremacy in the second set that was quickly pocketed with the score of 25-14 and they stretched momentum also to the early phases of the third set, going up 8:2 and quickly cruising to their first win in the tournament (25-10).  
“I have been working with youth national teams for a while so I know that the first match is very difficult. Our opponents served extremely well in the first set and this caused some troubles to us but afterwards we clearly showed that we were the better side on the court today” said the Czech mentor Leos Chalupa after the game.
“It was not easy but I am happy that we could stand the pressure resulting from the opening match. We knew we were not going to have it easy with Portugal and this was confirmed by a close first set. After that we definitely dominated the scene and our win is well deserved” added Czech captain Pavlina Simanova.
“The Czech team is very good. We played our best in the first set but that was not enough. We have a very young team and I believe we can score some wins in the remaining matches of the tournament” said Portugal’s mentor Gilda Harris.
“We played a good first set but afterwards we made a way too many mistakes. We have to stay focused on the next matches” concluded Portugal’s leader Ana Martins.

In the other match of the day Hungary easily routed Lithuania (25-13, 25-22, and 25-13). Dora Gerendeli anchored Hungary in the first set and even though Lithuania attempted a comeback halfway through, Hungary responded well to cash that section of the game with the clear score of 25-13. Lithuania fought bravely in the second set and even set the pace of the game for a while; after trailing 12:16, Hungary scored eight consecutive points and eventually cruised past (25-22) after Lithuania had cut the gap to only one point. Hungary literally dominated the scene in set 3 (25-13) and could hence cash its first win in the tournament.
“Our players performed really well, especially in serving and attack. We have developed a good team also physically speaking, and we deserved this win” said Hungary’s mentor Attila Nagy.
“We definitely controlled the game with ease in the first and third set; our rivals fought hard in the second, there we got nervous but I think that overall it was a good performance from our side” stresses Hungary’s team captain Reka Ludman.
“We have traveled for 16 hours by bus to come to Brno and we showed our fatigue today. We had problems in reception and need some more time to find the right team work” concluded the head coach of Lithuania, Jolita Kontvainiene.

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