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19/07/2013 17:00
Slovenian girls claim historic gold at European Youth Olympic Festival
2013 European Youth Olympic Festival

Utrecht, Netherlands, July 19, 2013. To round out an already memorable campaign, on Friday the girls from Slovenia (picture by Ronald Hoogendoorn) claimed gold at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival as they edged Serbia – the fourth-placed side from this year's European Championship – with the score of 3:1 (25-22, 25-12, 24-26, and 35-33). The group mentored by Joze Casar had almost finished it off in straight sets before Serbia bounced back to prolong the game but Slovenia could celebrate their greatest success in history as they showed great composure and solid nerves in a dramatic fourth set.   
Nika Markovic paced the winning side with 22 points well supported by Lana Scuka with 15 as well as by Ela Pintar and Anita Sobocan with 13 apiece. On the other side of the net, MVP Tijana Boskovic registered 29 points all alone for Serbia but that was not enough to stop Slovenia on their way to history.
The home heroines of the Netherlands could be more than happy with their bronze medal for they literally bounced back after missing out on a spot for the final round of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship held this past April. The young “Oranjes” completed their great campaign in Utrecht by routing Germany in straight sets (25-21, 26-24, and 25-16) to claim a bronze medal that only a very few could have hoped for before the start of the tournament. The Dutch girls were anchored by Marrit Jasper and Juliet Lohuis who both finished the game with 13 points while Lene Scheuschner registered 12 for Germany in their losing effort.

In what was a remake of the European Championship Final, this time Italy edged Poland 3:2 (25-20, 12-25, 25-22, 22-25, and 15-9) to settle for fifth place. Irene Botarelli registered 22 points all alone for Italy in their winning effort, including 4 aces and 3 blocks. Three more Italian players – Lola De Arcangelo (13), Alice Degradi (12) and Noura Mabilo (10) – finished the game in double figures while Malwina Smarzek paced Poland with 12.
The 2013 European bronze medalists of Turkey had to be content with seventh place as they rounded out a pretty disappointing campaign by besting Greece 3:1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-19, and 25-14). Turkey’s Pelin Aroguz top scored in the game with 31 points while Olga Strantzali was once again Greece’s most prolific scorer with 18.

Six out the eight teams that starred in the event – i.e. Poland, Italy, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia and Greece – will continue their season by competing at the 2013 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Champs that are scheduled for this coming July 26-August 4 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.  

Final ranking  
1. Slovenia
2. Serbia
3. Netherlands
4. Germany
5. Italy
6. Poland
7. Turkey
8. Greece  

Individual awards  
MVP: Tijana Boskovic (SRB)
Best Spiker: Tijana Boskovic (SRB)
Best Receiver: Anita Sobocan (SLO)
Best Server: Jelena Vignjevic (SRB)
Best Blocker: Nicole Oude Luttikhuis (NED)  

For further information visit

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