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31/03/2013 23:00
Titleholder Turkey and host Serbia remain unbeaten in Pool II in Kladovo
2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Girls

Kladovo, Serbia, March 31, 2013. After three competition days, Turkey and Serbia remain undefeated in Pool II at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls. The Netherlands improved their win-loss record to 2-1 after their 3:1 win versus France.

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Turkey vs. Germany 3:1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-21)
In today’s opening match of Pool II, Turkey remained unbeaten after a highly competitive duel versus Germany. The young Germans managed to win the first set, but couldn’t pull through. It was the third win at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls for titleholder Turkey. Turkish Pelin Aroguz topped the scorers chart with 25 points. Germany`s captain Steffi-Martha Kuhn scored 22.
Both teams started very tense and made many mistakes. At the end of the first period, Germany was a bit luckier (25-23). However, Turkey showed their power right from the beginning of the second set with inspired setter Arelya Karasoy who connected very well with Ada Germen, Su Zent and Pelin Aroguz. The German side regained momentum only in the fourth set. The young West Europeans improved their defense work, but a 5-1 lead was not enough to worry the confident Turks. Sahin Catma’s team recovered quickly and cruised quite easily to its third consecutive win at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls.

Turkey Head Coach Catma Sahin: „It’s already the third competition day. The players are getting a little bit tired. Germany started very aggressively, but we managed to counter them. I am happy with the way my team reacted. We have nine points now, and tomorrow is a day off. We will do our best to recover rapidly and prepare for the final stages.”
Germany head coach Jens Tietböhl: “We made some changes in the line-up what helped us to win the first set. Anyway, I must admit that the Turkish team played better technically and tactically.”

The Netherlands vs. France 3:1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20)
After their unexpected win over Germany yesterday night, the Netherlands continued their winning streak today with a hard-fought 3:1 triumph against France. The Dutch ladies improved their record to 2-1, whilst France experienced their third consecutive defeat at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls. The Netherlands’ Tessa Polder topped the scorers chart with 17 points, including 4 blocks. Romee Polman helped her with 15 units, including 4 aces.
For the third match in a row, the Netherlands easily swept their opponents in the first set (25-18). The second set started pretty much in the same way as Britt Bongaerts behind the service line and Romee Polman at the net secured an early 4-0 lead for the Netherlands. However, the French girls soon picked up their defensive game and reached the tie at 7-7. The rising French team slowly took over control, and at the second technical break they were already leading 16-13. The discouraged Dutch team couldn`t recover from this unexpected French revival, although they tried really hard.
Even though France was still the better team in the first half of the third set (10-4), “les bleus” suddenly lost focus and let their rivals bounce back (25-21). The plot of the match didn’t change much in the fourth set as Dutch setter Bongaerts stepped up as a true leader of her team. The upcoming Dutch star was literally everywhere on the court, guiding her teammates to a well-deserved 3:1 victory.

The Netherlands head coach Saskia van Hintum: „We started very well, but slipped a little bit in the second set. We were on the verge of losing the third as well, but we never stopped believing in us. The French girls got nervous, and we managed to win. Now, we have to recover for the challenging matches against Russia and Turkey. It will be a true test for us.”
France head coach Serge Marouteau: „I guess tonight my players thought more about not losing rather than winning. The result was always in their mind, and they didn’t pay enough attention to what was happening on the court, especially in the fourth set. You cannot play like that.”

Serbia vs. Russia 3:1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-22)
It was the match of the day at “Jezero” Sports Hall in Kladovo as host Serbia faced Russia in the third round of Pool II. In front of 750 Serbian supporters, the home side managed to preserve their perfect record with a well-deserved 3:1 win. Serbia's Sara Lozo topped the scorers chart with 19 points, including 3 aces.
Russia experienced the better start (25-22) into tonight’s match. Nevertheless, Serbia kept calm and fired back strongly in the second period (25-19). The momentum stayed on Serbia’s side in the third set. Russia, once more, lost their confidence quite rapidly. The duel became more emotional in the fourth set. Both teams battled hard to gain momentum. Still, the home team entered the second technical time-out with a three-point lead. It was sufficient as Serbia successfully maintained the distance all the way until the end. A wonderful serve by Jelena Vignjevic ended the set 25-22 and the match 3:1 in Serbia’s favor.

Serbia head coach Marijana Boricic: “The first set was very difficult for us because we couldn’t control the excellent Russian serves. Later, we managed to find solutions and predicted their moves, which was very helpful.”
Russia head coach Yury Shchuplov: „Tonight, Serbia proved that they were much more confident than we are. We are very disappointed with our overall performance so far“.
Sara Lozo, tonight’s best Serbian player: “We felt some pressure, of course. But we always knew that we could win. Our coaches guided us magnificently, and we realized all of their plans on the court.”
Victoria Zurbenko, Russian middle blocker: “I think we lost due to our mistakes. We usually play much better. We beat this Serbian team in a friendly match 4:0, and maybe we underestimated them tonight, so we paid the price.” 

The Preliminary Phase of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls is split into two pools of six teams with the top two from each pool advancing to the semifinals. Pool I comprises host Montenegro, Italy, Slovenia, Greece, the Czech Republic as well as Poland. Pool II sees the local heroines from Serbia defending their reputations versus Russia, Germany, France, Turkey and the Netherlands.

The final ranking of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls will determine the six teams representing Europe at this year’s FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship coming up later this summer in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, as well as the eight nations taking part at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht (NED).

The matches of preliminary Pool I as well as all semi-final and final matches are available live and for free at www.laola1.tv. On the other hand, all matches of Pool II are streamed on the official website of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia and namely under the following URL: http://eng.ossrb.org.

Click here for more information.

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