Bydgoszcz, Poland, May 24, 2014. All is clear in Pool B before the last competition day on Sunday. Poland qualified for the Final Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women as certain pool winner, while Ukraine will move on to the third qualification round as pool runner-up. On Saturday afternoon at Luczniczka in Bydgoszcz, Ukraine easily beat Latvia by 3:0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-19) followed by a 3:0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-20) for host Poland against Switzerland. With one match left to play Poland tops the standings with 14 points, followed by Ukraine with 10, Switzerland with 6 and Latvia with 0.
Ukraine vs. Latvia 3:0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-19)
After the loss to Switzerland the previous day, the stakes for Ukraine were extremely high – if they wanted to have a chance for the second place in the pool, they had to win. They started the match very aggressively and quickly jumped ahead to 8-4 at the first technical time-out, later to 14-7. The Ukrainians remained in control, putting a lot of pressure on the Latvians with their powerful spikes and great play in blocking. They scored 7 points on that element alone. They needed only 19 minutes to take this set by 25-12. The second set was very similar to the one before. Ukraine took the lead from the beginning and stayed ahead throughout the set. The Latvians’ play was too easy to read and Ukraine easily gained a large advantage – 16-8, 19-10. Without any troubles they picked up the set by 25-13, finishing with Anastasiya Chernukha’s ace. Set 3 saw a brief change of powers as the Latvians gained a two-point lead at 4-2, but the Ukrainians quickly came back and tied the score at 5-5. Nevertheless, the very determined Latvians were the ones leading at the first technical time-out by 8-6 and remained slightly ahead, but after two unforced errors in a row, the Ukrainians levelled the score once again at 12-12. After that they reclaimed control of the set for 18-14, and then for 23-16, and romped into the victory in the set by 25-19 and in the match by 3:0.
Nadiia Kodola contributed 13 points to Ukraine’s victory to become the best scorer of the match. Iryna Trushkina added 11, as many as Latvia’s most prolific player - Enija Bidzane.
Switzerland vs. Poland 0:3 (10-25, 12-25, 20-25)
Click here for more details on the 2nd Round of qualifications, including match statistics and photos.
Poland opened the first set very well, giving the opponents much trouble with its powerful serving. The Swiss struggled with reception. With a series of unanswered points the hosts jumped ahead to 11-3, later increasing the advantage to 11 points at the second technical time-out. They continued to put pressure on the opponent and easily took the set by 25-10. In the beginning of the second set the play stayed on a point-for-point basis before the Poles finally managed to break away to 10-7 and the head coach of Switzerland, Timothy Lippuner, called time-out. It did not help his team much, it still had problems with the Polish serves. Poland took this opportunity and scored another series of six unanswered points, gained a large advantage and won the set by 25-12. The beginning of set 3 was very similar to the previous one, on a point-for-point basis. The situation changed after the first technical time-out, when the Swiss jumped ahead to 11-8, gaining a three-point advantage for the first time in this match. The Poles quickly got over the brief lack of focus and levelled the score at 13-13 and from that point on the score stayed close. Once again, the technical time-out changed the situation, this time for the benefit of the hosts – they took the lead for 19-16. They remained on top till the end of the set, picked it up by 25-20 and the entire match by 3:0.