Nitra, Slovakia, September 4, 2016. The classification matches of the last day at the 2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Women brought out dominating performances by Germany and Italy who finished the tournament with a positive result and feeling to settle for fifth and seventh place, respectively.
The final between Russia and Serbia will be held on Sunday (18:00) and can be watched live and for free on LAOLA1.TV!
A comprehensive live gallery of the competition is available HERE.
5th Place | Slovakia vs. Italy 0-3 (13-25, 9-25, 10-25)
World champions Italy took the advantage in the first with a speedy way of playing through their middle-blockers Alessia Mazzaro and Marina Lubian to 8-2. The level was too high for the hosts as an amazing service run by Alessia Mazzaro with 11 points including four aces produced a shocking score of 14-3. The Italian girls didn’t stop their effort and forced the Slovakians, who never found an offensive response (25%), to a big deficit of 25-13 by the end of the set. Although the passionate local spectators made a great job in Nitra, they couldn’t transport the energy to their players performing on court. So the second set became even worse for the team of coach Eva Kosekova and was marked by a great attack advantage of 54% to 27% by the Italians which resulted in a massive 25-9 set win.
The Italian team also showed no mercy for the hosts as the last period started. Six blocks and a steady reception of 67% (!) put them in the position to deliver smashing attacks for an easy 25-10 set win that secured them the 5th place at the #EuroVolleyU19W. Alessia Mazzaro (14) and Elena Pietrini (14) contributed the most points to the crushing victory.
Luca Cristofani, Italy coach: “Our goal was not only to win the last game; we wanted it exactly this way to show that we deserve the victory. We are happy with the 5th place, but it is also hard to see that we got just one defeat in the whole tournament and had no chance to win a medal.”
Eva Kosekova, Slovakia coach: "We expected that Italy will play strong, because they are the World Champion in this age-group. I think our team was tired and we were not able to find an answer. Nevertheless, we are very happy with this tournament. We played six great matches against strong teams and took the sixth place sixth which is a very good result for us. I want to thank my players, my staff and our federation for the organisation."
Lucia Sedlackova, Slovakia captain: "Italy played very well, I think they should be in semi-final and I´m surprised that they are not among the best four teams. They beat us, but it was pleasure for us to play against them. We are happy that we have reached the sixth place and I´m proud of my team."
7th Place | Germany vs. Bulgaria 3-0 (25-21, 25-11, 25-11)
The opening match of the last competition day began with two teams who acted on the same level until the second technical time-out (16-14). Germany had the advantage due to middle-blocker Sabrina Krause and Hanna Orthmann whose combined efforts resulted in scoring 10 points in the first set. On the other side, Bulgarian outside-spiker Monika Krasteva and a low offensive efficiency of 38% were not enough to trouble the German defence for a Bulgarian set win, while Sabrina Krause found the final gap through it opponents block to 25-21. It continued with a dominating performance by the girls of coach Jan Lindemair. Germany flew straight to a comfortable victory in the second as well in the third set by showing some great rallies, blocks (eight) and serves (11 aces); a Bulgarian service error ended it all at 25-11.
Germany opposite Hanna Orthmann was the best scorer of the game with 14 points.
Jan Lindenmair, Germany coach: “It feels good to finish the tournament with a victory. Nevertheless, we are not satisfied with the result, because we wanted to finish among the best six after the preliminary round. My team produced some great results and was close to claiming a victory against the eventual finalists Serbia, but also had some games where we made too many mistakes. It was quite good, but still not enough to belong to the best teams in Europe. We have to work on the little things which can decide a game.”
Pia Kästner, Germany captain: “We wanted this victory so much after the hard defeat against Slovakia yesterday. It is always good to go home with a victory, but the seventh place is not the result we had hoped before the start of the European Championship. We have set very ambitious goals and couldn’t achieve them. That’s the reason why we are a little bit sad, but the win today was also important for the confidence of the team.”
Dimo Tonev, Bulgaria coach: “Every time it’s very difficult to play for the last position because the team prepared for other matches. In the group we lost two matches 3-2 and after that my team didn’t play as well as they did before. These young players have little experience but I think for the next competition they will play much better. This team only played five matches this year and this has been a good experience for them. Preparation is the key to success and we need to work more at the next competition.”
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