Serbian girls keep perfect record after two rounds
2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship - European Qualification
Subotica, Serbia, May 9, 2013. The home heroines of Serbia claimed on Thursday their second straight-set win of the qualifier for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship running this week at “Dudova Suma” sports hall in Subotica. After beating Portugal in straight sets on Wednesday, the players captained by Bianka Busa cruised past France in straight sets too (25-17, 25-16, and 25-12) to keep an immaculate record after two days of action. In the other match of the day, Belgium debuted by routing Denmark in three sets too (25-12, 25-13, and 25-10) to re-assert their intention to fight for that much desired ticket to the Worlds.
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As they celebrated their debut in the tournament, the Belgian players – dressed in black – routed Denmark in three straight sets (25-12, 25-13, and 25-10). Celine Van Gestel top scored for the winning side with 12 points, with Belgium registering 14 aces in the game vs. only 3 for Denmark. Belgium did not wait that long to impose their rhythm and by dominating in every fundamental they quickly pocketed the opening set (25-12). The score remained close in the early phases of the second set (9:8) but Belgium accelerated the pace with good attacks and serving to move up 22:12. Though Denmark’s head coach Skafte Herskind called his players by his side it did not help with Nathalie Lemmens and Sofie Hawinkel finishing the set at 25-13. Playing with real ease the players from Belgium dominated the scene also in the third set (16:4) cruising to a speedy 25-10 to claim three valuable points from their first game in the tournament.
“We were quite surprised by the quality that Denmark had displayed yesterday while playing France” Belgium’s head coach Julien Van de Vyver said. “However, we had prepared very well for this debut and we controlled the game. We served well, defended many balls and I am very happy with this win in straight sets”.
“I am very happy because we had been watching the game Denmark had played yesterday with France. Yesterday they played better than they did today but we also were well prepared for this match. I am very satisfied with the result” Belgium’s team captain Lize Van Cleemputte added.
“As you can see from the result they were the better side and we could not do much but we will take our lessons from this game” Denmark’s team captain Emma Brix stated.
“Belgium is a very good team as shown by the results they have claimed in the last editions of the European and World Championship. So the result is quite normal. We knew they can play good but we could not prepare good enough as they had a free day yesterday and could not see them in action. I think we have a lot to learn as they are better than us physically and technically. However, it will be good to see how my players are going to respond to difficult situations. I think we could have played better but let’s wait and see if we can improve in our next games” Denmark’s mentor Skafte Herskind concluded.
In the second match of the day the hosts of Serbia downed France in three straight sets (25-17, 25-16, and 25-12). The host team had some problems only in the early phases of the match but after the first technical time-out everything went just fine for the silver medalists of the 2012 European Championship. Serbia opted for a line-up including Mina Popovic, Bianka Busa, Natasa Cikiriz, Jelena Trnic, Tijana Boskovic, Sladjana Mirkovic and libero Aleksandra Stepanovic. Tijana Boskovic top scored in the end with 14 points and Serbia booked 9 block kills and 9 aces.
At the beginning of the match the teams played point for point until the first technical break. After that the captain of Serbia, Bianka Busa, took her side by the hand to move up 16:11, while Mirkovic served well to stretch the lead to 22:12. In the end Serbia silvered its fifth set ball to seal the final 25-17. Due to the numerous mistakes committed by the French team, and especially by Julie Oliveira-Souza, Serbia easily took the lead in second set (7:3, 15:7, and 18:8).
The young Serbian opposite Tijana Boskovic claimed a series of set balls with the second cashed for the final 25-16. In the last period of the match Serbia was strikingly better than the French team, cruising to the 25-12 that shaped up the final 3:0 win.
Gael Le Draoulec, head coach of France, said: “The spirit of the team was better than yesterday, but we made too many mistakes in attack and serving and it was difficult to fight against Serbia. We had a very good block but we couldn’t do anything better”.
France’s team captain Kim Nowak: “We played better than yesterday but Serbia was stronger. I’m sad because I like to win and we didn’t play very good”.
Natasa Cikiriz, wing-spiker of Serbia: “We are satisfied with this win in straight sets. In every match we are showing the right attitude and that is the key. Maybe our play is not as a good as we would like, but match by match we are getting better. I hope that we will continue like this and after our rest day we will beat Belgium in the most important game of this tournament”.
Serbian head coach Ratko Pavlicevic concluded: “For sure we wanted to play better but this was nevertheless a very good performance. We will try to perform our best in the next couple of games and especially in the clash with Belgium. We must give our maximum there”.