Nitra, Slovakia, September 3, 2016. The 2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Women resumed after a rest day on Friday and was looking for the teams that will battle for the fifth place in Nitra. Slovakia and Italy claimed their games with Germany and Bulgaria by 3-2 and 3-0 respectively to get the right to contest the match that on Sunday will determine who finishes the tournament in fifth and sixth place.
The semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday as well with Belgium against Russia (20:00) and Turkey playing Serbia (17:30). All matches are streamed live and for free on LAOLA1.TV!
A comprehensive live gallery of the competition is available HERE.
Matches 5-8 | Slovakia vs. Germany 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 30-28, 18-25, 15-10)
Both teams tried to take the advantage with a risky service in the first set, but it was Germany that struggled with this important element. Additionally, the Germans made mistakes too easily in reception and attack to be a dangerous opponent for the Slovakians. An ace by outside-spiker Karolina Fricova and a block by middle-blocker Petra Adamovicova put the hosts 23-19 up and prevented a German comeback until the end when a German fault finished it at 25-20.
Seven consecutive points by Germany from 7-9 to 14-9 gave them the chance to compensate the previous defeat in the second period. Opposite Hanna Orthmann improved her attack and was almost unstoppable which brought a 25-19 scoreline for the girls of coach Jan Lindenmair. However, the following sets were up and down as Slovakia celebrated a powerful performance and surprised the German team with their spirit to gain a crushing victory at 30-28, 18-25 and 15-10. The decider was made with a sensational finish from opposite Karin Sunderlikova, who was the best scorer of the game with amazing 32 points.
Eva Kosekova, Slovakia coach: "I am very happy and proud of my team; we have shown a great game. Karin Sunderlikova was our dominating player and made the difference today. We have already confirmed our best result in the history. I like our improvement from game to game.”
Karin Sunderlikova, Slovakia opposite: "It was a very hard match against a strong opponent. I can´t describe our feelings, but I´m very happy. We followed the tactics of our coaches all the time which was the most important key to success.”
Jan Lindenmair, Germany coach: “We have to avoid mistakes. My players had the control until the score of 21-13 in the third set, but unfortunately we couldn’t make the last point due to our own errors in attack and service. Of course, it was our goal to win the last two games of the European Championship and I will tell my players that it is not over yet. I am expecting a reaction in the game tomorrow and don’t want to finish the tournament with a defeat.”
Matches 5-8 | Italy vs. Bulgaria 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 26-24)
World champions Italy produced a dominant performance against a chanceless Bulgaria right from the beginning of the first set. Five blocks and an excellent attack (45%) forced the players from the Balkan country to make a huge number of unforced errors and decided the opener with a 25-19 scoreline. As the match progressed, the Italians continued their impressive performance and controlled the attacks of their opponents. They went on to win the second set 25-16.
Italy shocked Bulgaria with a score of 12-3 in the last set and it seemed that this would be enough for a clear win. The Bulgarian team suddenly started a combeback and took the lead at the second technical time-out with a score of 16-15. However, even one set-ball at 24-23 did not help improve their confidence while two points by Alessia Mazzaro saved the Italian victory and completed the match. Middle-blocker Marina Lubian contributed the most points and scored 16 times.
Luca Cristofani, Italy coach: “We started perfectly and played as a team until the second half of the third set. At that moment the younger age of three or four of the girls didn’t help us. We did well to close the match in the end. It will be difficult against Slovakia because they have a few players who are very strong. The Slovakian people make them feel like they have an extra player on the court.”
Giulia Melli, Italy captain: “We are a good team and the performance was perfect. We relaxed too much in the third set and the other team is strong. As for Slovakia, we played them one time in a qualification tournament a year ago but I think it’s a different team. We will watch a video tonight to study them.”
Dimo Tonev, Bulgaria coach: “I expected that my players would play a whole match and not just one set. That is not enough to win a game against Italy. It was a very poor performance at the beginning.”
You can follow the Championship also on Facebook and Twitter, with the official hashtag to be used for all of your posts and tweets being #EuroVolleyU19W!