Israel starts with victory at home, Hungary suffers first loss, France still alive
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Nataniya, Israel, May 30, 2014. Israel started the home tournament in Pool E of second-round qualifications for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women with a three-point victory. The Middle Eastern side overpowered a fighting Swedish squad by 3:1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18). In the second match of this first competition day Hungary suffered its first loss in the pool. France managed to stay in contention defeating the Hungarians by 3:1 (25-20, 27-25, 17-25, 25-22).
Israel vs. Sweden 3:1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18)
The first set was very competitive through 16-15, but the fantastic performance of the Swedish block pushed the final outcome heavily in favor of the northern European side with a 9-2 run for the final 25-17. Sweden continued to control the scoreboard through the most part of the second set, but with outstanding actions by Tatiana Artmenko, Israel tied at 21-21 and in the conclusive moments showed more character to flip it over to a 25-23 win. Improved serving and spiking helped the home side dominate in the third set, but the Swedes did not give up easily and leveled the score at 21-21. Spiker Anna Velikiy gave the Israelis a 22-21 lead and captain Moran Zur followed to extend the score to 23-21. Despite Swedish efforts, Israel took the set at another close 25-23 converting its first set point. The Mediterranean team truly dominated the fourth set with more productive efforts in serving and blocking, but also taking advantage of the many unforced errors that Sweden committed. Again Velikiy and Artmenko kept the Israelis in the lead in front of a cheering home crowd to win the set by 25-18 and the match by 3:1.
Tatiana Artmenko piled up 22 points on Israel’s tally to become the best scorer of the match. On the Swedish side, Alexandra Lazic was most prolific with 17 points, 6 of which scored by blocking.
Arie Selinger, head coach of Israel: “We had a bad match, but we came out of the grave. Well done to the Swedish team for a good game. We will derive our conclusions ahead of tomorrow’s game.”
Tina Celinder-Nygren, head coach of Sweden: “I am very satisfied with the game; the girls played well from the first set. Israel took advantage of our mistakes and won the game. Our young team will learn from this game and get better in the future.
Hungary vs. France 1:3 (20-25, 25-27, 25-17, 22-25)
The so-far unbeaten Hungarian women led from the start of the first set against the French, but it remained a closely fought set and, thanks to its productive serving, France took it by 25-20. At the start of the second set France took an early 9-2 lead, but the Hungarians’ drive did not falter as they played a strong and aggressive match. They fought back, but the French kept the upper hand to take the second set by 27-25. In the third set though the Hungarians played hard and soundly defeated the French by 25-18, taking advantage of their mistakes, to give themselves a chance to remain in the game. The fourth set started close with the French leading by 8-5 at the first technical time-out. The Hungarians contested every point but the French determination persevered and gave the team the fourth set at 25-22 and the match at three sets to one, leaving the race for first place on the pool wide open.
Renata Sandor became the best scorer of the match with an outstanding 29 points for Hungary. Alexandra Jupiter with 17 points was the top contributor to France’s victory.
Click here for more details on the 2nd Round of qualifications, including match statistics and photos.