Moulins, France, May 24, 2014. The national team of Israel, which lost its Friday match against Hungary, recovered with a shocking 3:0 (25-23, 25-15, 26-24) over home side France on Saturday, the second competition day in Pool E of second-round qualifications for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women. In today’s second match in Moulins, Hungary managed its second victory in the tournament – 3:1 (25-17, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19) against Sweden.
Israel vs. France 3:0 (25-23, 25-15, 26-24)
Israel was off to a flying start with a nothing-to-lose attitude, scoring the first sixth points of the game to lead by 8-2 before the first technical time-out. France, looking for a second straight victory, recovered and levelled the score at 21-21, even saving one set point, but Tatiana Artmenko’s spike gave Israel the first set at 25-23. Obviously nervous, the home team managed to take the lead for the first time at 3-2 in the second set, but then suffered a 10-2 run for 19-10 by the more organized Israelis. The team coached by Arie Selinger took a well-deserved two-set lead after finishing the second at 25-15. The hosts were more competitive in the third set, but it was not enough. The set was tied at 22-22, 23-23, before Christina Bauer saved a match point at 23-24. But Artmenko and the Israelis stayed strong and definitely silenced the Moulins crowd after claiming this last set by 26-24, to bounce back after their defeat against Hungary on the day before.
Anna Velikiy and Moran Zur contributed 14 points each to the victory and became the best scorers of the match. Christina Bauer was France’s top scorer with 13.
Deborah Orttschitt, player of France: “We did not begin well and then we started to panic a little bit. They were more aggressive than us and we were not able to respond. But it is not over, we have to be more aggressive tomorrow against Hungary and next week in Israel.”
Tatiana Artmenko, player of Israel: “It was very important after yesterday’s defeat against Hungary, where we did not play our best. Today, we came in the right mood, ready to fight. We knew we were facing a strong team, but we were focused on ourselves.”
Sweden vs. Hungary 1:3 (17-25, 19-25, 27-25, 19-25)
After defeating Israel on Friday, Hungary claimed a second straight success, edging Sweden by 3:1. The Pool E leaders never trailed in the first set, extending their lead to seven points early on, at 12-5. They maintained the pressure offensively to win this opening set by 25-17. But the Hungarians were less accurate in the second set, despite two undisputed spikes by Renata Sandor to take a 5-1 lead. The Swedes showed resilience and levelled the score at 9-9, but the squad directed by Jan Jose De Brandt sped up to take a seven-point advantage at 22-15 and conclude on its second set point to win by 25-19. Looking to score their first set of the tournament, Anna Harlin and her teammates reacted well in the third one, with a 4-0 run to begin. And if Edina Dobi and the Hungarians took back control at 9-8, the game was more tense than ever. Sweden had to save two match points before moving on to a 27-25 win. The Hungarians quickly bounced back from this upset, starting the fourth set with a 7-1 run before cruising to a 25-19 victory, after another match point saved by the Swedes.
Rita Liliom was the game’s nest scorer with 23 points for Hungary. Renata Sandor added 16. Ingrid Andrea Jacobsson and Alexandra Lazic shared the honors on Sweden’s side with 18 points each.
Alexandra Lazic, player of Sweden: "In the beginning, we just did not play in full. Then, we started to play and did a really good job. We found our game and started to be aggressive, that is why we won the third set. Now we want to win more sets and win a game. We must continue to fight and we will have the possibility to do that."
Renata Sandor, player of Hungary: "In the third set, everybody was scared and we did not want to hit the ball. We have to play better tomorrow, because France will also play better than today against Israel. But I think we are going to win!"
Click here for more details on the 2nd Round of qualifications, including match statistics and photos.