Bar, Montenegro, April 7, 2013. Germany grabbed the last ticket for the European Youth Olympic Festival coming up in July in Utrecht (The Netherlands) following their thrilling 3:2 win over Russia in today’s classification duel for the seventh place. In today’s second duel, Greece defeated Slovenia 3:2 as well to finish on the excellent fifth rank of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls in Bar, Montenegro.
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Greece vs. Slovenia 3:2 (25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 17-25, 15-10)
Greece defeated Slovenia 3:2 to finish on the excellent fifth rank at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls in Bar, Montenegro, the best result ever in Greece’s history.
Outstanding player of the match was Greece’s Anthi Vasilantonaki with 30 points.
Led by top scorer Vasilantonaki, Greece started with determination in the first set, while skipper Lana Scuka opened the account for Slovenia. Greek Vasilantonaki, Olga Strantzali and Ioanna Gkountimenko contributed enough points to keep pressure over Slovenia and helped Greece lead 8-5 and 16-12 at the technical breaks. Scuka and Nika Markovic popped up on the wings to score some sizzling shots, boosting Slovenia to come closer at 20-21. At 23-20, however, Vasilantonaki placed a well-timed shot in the middle of Slovenia’s court to give Greece three set points. Sara Dukic saved one with a quick combination at the right flank but then served the Mikasa into the net to offer Greece a well-deserved 1:0 set lead.
A 5-0 run in the middle of the second set helped Greece to keep control of the match. The Slovenian receivers experienced major difficulties with ball control. Head coach Joze Casar sent in second setter Tina Korosec but couldn’t stop the Greek winning streak. Alexandra Psoma sealed the set at 25-17 with a longline winner from the left.
The match stayed tense as it was tied several times until late in the third set. Greece had a match ball at 24-23 but couldn’t conclude. Au contraire, Slovenia’s Anita Sobocan reeled off the last two points to pull one set back at 26-24.
Slovenia kept the fourth set under control. Even though the upcoming Greek stars came from behind to reduce the gap to one point at 15-16, a 3-0 run restored order for Slovenia at 19-15. To thunderous applause from the energetic Slovenian supporters, Sobocan hammered the Mikasa down at 25-17, pulling the match into decisive tie breaker.
The decisive set was hotly contested in the beginning, with the Greek side taking an upper hand first and leading 8-4 after a Psoma block on Katja Mihevic. Another Psoma block caused chaos in the back court of Slovenia, sending Greece to 11-6 ahead while Vasilantonaki climbed well on the right to close out the match at 15-10.
Greece head coach Dimitrios Floros: “I can’t explain how we found the power to win the fifth set. My players are just amazing.”
Germany vs. Russia 3:2 (26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 22-25, 15-9)
Greece player Alexandra Psoma: “We played on a very high level today. At the end, we were much focused and pulled through with strong serves.”
Slovenia head coach Joze Casar: “It was tough to play again after yesterday’s emotions. Congratulations to Greece, they played very well today, especially Anthi Vasilantonaki.”
Slovenia captain Eva Mori: “We couldn’t find our habitual rhythm and missed some fire today. It was a very long tournament.”
Germany grabbed the last ticket for the European Youth Olympic Festival coming up in July in Utrecht (The Netherlands) following their thrilling 3:2 win over Russia in today’s classification duel for the seventh place.
Germany’s Julia Schäfer topped the scorer chart with 23 points while Daria Kokoreva booked 22 for Russia.
After Schäfer and Wiebke Silge spiked apiece, Germany led the first technical timeout at 8-6 in the opening set and went on to hold an upper hand on Russia. With Irina Kemmsies stopping Anastasia Lopatina, the upcoming German stars kept a one-point advantage at the second technical break. Russia finally found back their range and ran off several points in a row to turn the tables at 21-20.The match then became hotly contested as it was evened several times until Taisia Konovalova sent the Mikasa out of bounds to offer Germany the first set.
Inspired by in-form Schäfer, who continuously torn open the Russian defense from the right side to strike some spectacular kills, Germany kept momentum in the second set. At the end it was – as in the first set – again a Russian spiking mistake that gave Germany a hard-earned 2:0 set lead.
The third set saw another tight competition but to the contrary of the two previous sets, the young Russians kept cool and converted their lead into a win to pull one set back at 25-22. Kokoreva was outstanding on Russia’s side as she scored ten points in the third period, including one ace and one block winner.
Following another 25-22 victory, won by a dominant Russia, the match was dragged into the tie breaker, where Schäfer scored early points to fire Germany 6-3 up and force a Russian timeout. A reawaken German team raced to an 8-4 lead at changeover and never looked back en route to their 15-9 triumph.
Germany head coach Jens Tietböhl: “It was a very tough tournament with a lot of emotions. It was not that easy to adapt to the new situation in Montenegro as we played the first part of the competition in Serbia, but at the end we are satisfied with the seventh place.”
Germany captain Steffi-Martha Kuhn: “We made a lot of efforts to prepare for this tournament. As a consequence, yesterday’s defeat was a big frustration for us. Nevertheless, today we played very well and we are happy as the seventh place gives us a ticket for the European Youth Olympic Festival.”
Russia head coach Yury Shchuplov: “In the beginning of today’s match we did not play at the level we should and that caused us to lose the first two sets. Then we raised our game to a higher level, but couldn’t pull through in the deciding set.”
Russia captain Svetlana Serbina: “I guess Germany was the luckier team today and that’s why they won.”
9. The Netherlands°
10. The Czech Republic
The final ranking of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls has determined 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), including the organizers from the Netherlands.
The final matches of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship – Girls are available live and for free at http://www.laola1.tv.
For more information, please visit www.cev.lu.