Germany complete clean sweep as seven teams move on to second round of Women’s U20 World Champs qualifications
2017 FIVB U20 Women Volleyball World Championship - European Qualification
Luxembourg, January 8, 2017. Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey had secured their progression to the second round of qualifications to this year’s FIVB Women’s U20 Volleyball World Championship on Saturday already and Germany followed suit on Sunday as they completed a clean sweep of their matches in Pool A – and they did so in style, without dropping a single set in Riga. The three second-placed teams with the best score – Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland – also progress to the second stage of the qualification process scheduled for May 2017. Since one of the first-round pools – Pool D – consisted of three teams only, the second best placed teams were determined after discarding the results of the matches with the team finishing last in each one of the pools of four.
Pool A in Riga (LAT)
Denmark vs. Croatia 0-3 (18-25, 17-25, 14-25)
The last competition day in Riga started with Croatia routing Denmark in three sets to stay in contention for a ticket to the next round of qualifications – and it eventually turned out that Croatia made it through to the next set of tournaments to be contested in May. Katarina Luketic top scored for Croatia with 12 points as Lea Cvetnic and Bruna Ana Vrankovic added 11 apiece. Sophia Helena Andersen scored 10 times for Denmark and Helena Elbæk nine in their losing effort.
Germany vs. Latvia 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-17)
Germany completed their duties in the Latvian capital with a 3-0 victory over hosts Latvia to finish the tournament with a perfect record of three wins in as many matches – and no sets lost at all. Elza Smilskalne and Ivaise Zake top scored for Latvia with 10 points as Anija Jurdza added eight more; Aisha Skinner and Hanna Orthmann paced Germany with 16 and 13, respectively.
Andrejs Odinokovs, Latvia coach said: “If we want to achieve better results when taking on strong opponents such as Germany, we need to have more opportunities to play matches at this level. I am satisfied with the team’s performance because we played three good matches but unfortunately I am not as happy with the result, for which I take full responsibility.”
“I would like to thank the Latvian Volleyball Federation for the opportunity to lead this team and also the players, I believe that they have a bright future ahead in Latvia and some of them could maybe play even abroad,” he continued. “Some have really showed great performances these days and I am especially pleased with the brilliant game shown by Elza Smilskalne, Anija Jurdza and Nadezda Saveljeva. They all contributed a lot to the results achieved by the team.”
Pool D in Viana do Castelo (POR)
Portugal vs. Poland 0-3 (18-25, 14-25, 21-25)
After losing to Belgium on Saturday, Poland regrouped to rout hosts Portugal in three sets and settle for second place in the pool. Poland started the match at a high pace and claimed a comfortable lead which they were able to hold on until the end of the opening set with the final score of 25-18 resulting from three consecutive aces by Natalia Murek. In the second set Poland put even more pressure on Portugal with their serve; the hosts made a number of mistakes and this prevented them from posing a real threat to their opponent (25-14). Portugal were able to keep the score tight for most of set 3 but their resistance did not last long enough and Poland imposed their rule at the net to close the match in three sets (25-21). Murek top scored in the end with 17 points as Julia Kavalenka scored 12 times for Portugal.
Helena Monteiro, Portugal captain: “Unfortunately we did not win the match. Our goal was to show our real value but we were not able to do so. Nevertheless, I do believe that we did grow throughout this tournament and we would like to thank this amazing audience for their great support.”
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