Czech ladies emulate their countrymen to qualify for European Championship Finals
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Plzen, Czech Republic, May 31, 2014. The Czech Republic emulated Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, and Poland to qualify for the Final Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women coming up in September next year in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Czechs did book their ticket on Saturday following their straight-set victory over Slovenia (25-23, 25-19, 25-17) at the second-round qualifier in Plzen. Spain, on the other hand, got their revenge from last week’s home defeat in the outskirts of Madrid cruising to a 3:0 victory over the young players from Montenegro (25-16, 25-15, 30-28). The competition in Plzen will come to a close on Sunday with the last couple of matches. As a result of Montenegro’s defeat to Spain, Slovenia has secured second place in the Pool and will therefore continue their journey in May next year with the third and last stage of the qualification process.
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Spain vs. Montenegro 3:0 (25-16, 25-15, 30-28)
After a shocking home defeat last week, Spain got back on track and imposed their rule right from the start of their match with Montenegro (12:6). They continued to control the operations all the way through to the end cashing the opening set by 25-16. The course of the game did not change much also in the second set where Spain opened with a 12:7 lead and helped by the many errors of their opponents, the Spaniards controlled the remainder of the set for a speedy 25-15. However, Montenegro displayed their best performance in the third set where the score was close up to 10 all. The players from the Balkans even scored a few consecutive points to get the edge at 18:15, but with their well-known team spirit the Spaniards stormed back and eventually finished the game at 30-28.
“Today we played very concentrated from the start to the end and I saw good things, especially in defense and blocking,” said Spain’s head coach Pascual Saurin. “It was a very good match for us and I hope it will boost our morale for the last game coming up tomorrow with the Czech Republic.”
Slovenia vs. Czech Republic 0:3 (23-25, 19-25, 17-25)
The Czech ladies imposed their rule right from the beginning of their match with Slovenia and looked in full control halfway through the opening set; however, they suddenly got nervous and their opponents fought back to level the score at 18 all. The match continued point for point before a mistake by Slovenia eased things up for the Czechs who cashed their first set point at 25-23. The second set started quite well for the home heroines who quickly piled up a 12:7 lead but once more their opponents clawed back and made it 13 all. The Czechs approached the final section of that set with a margin of three points and in the end they widened it up to six (25-19). Anchored by their superstars Aneta Havlickova and Helena Havelkova, the Czechs dominated the third set (25-17) and could start their celebrations as they deservedly pocketed a ticket to the Final Round of the European Championship.
“The first set was very tough as Slovenia took a lot of risks but that tactic proved successful,” said Czech captain Helena Havelkova. “However, after the first set our tactics worked just fine and we won the match.”
“Our team looked a little bit nervous in the first set because my players knew the importance of this match,” commented head coach Carlo Parisi. “However, after taking the first set, though we still had some ups and downs, we finished the match quite comfortably. I am happy for the team and of course with reaching the goal we had set.”