Russian boys add EYOF crown to their collection
2013 European Youth Olympic Festival
Utrecht, Netherlands, July 19, 2013. Russia’s boys (picture by Ronald Hoogendoorn) added another gold medal to their collection after claiming the final match of the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival where – similarly to what they had done this past April at the European Championship – they beat Poland 3:1 (25-17, 19-25, 25-18, and 25-18). The guys mentored by head coach Alexander Karikov seized the EYOF crown after they had previously claimed gold this year at the CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship in Laktasi (BIH) and at the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Champs held a couple of weeks ago in Mexico.
After surviving a dramatic five-setter against Italy in the semis, the Russian express got back its usual quality and consistency to beat Poland in what was a remake of the European Champs final. Dmitry Volkov paced Russia in the final game with 18 points with Victor Poletaev and Maxim Troynin also finishing in double digits with 12 and 11 respectively. Aleksander Sliwka and Artur Szalpuk were Poland’s best scorers as they registered 18 and 16 in their losing effort.
After what was the longest and most hard-fought match of the tournament, Turkey claimed bronze edging Italy 3:2 (28-26, 28-30, 25-15, 20-25, and 16-14) to confirm this country is the rising power on the international stage. After they dominated the European scene with their girls, Turkey is now a real force to be reckoned with also in men’s Volleyball and in all age groups, starting right from the youth division. Italy, on the other hand, lost their second consecutive game at the tie-break after on Thursday they almost had caused a sensation in their semifinal game with Russia. Yasin Aydin and Sebastiano Milan were the best scorers in this game for Turkey and Italy as they did register 25 and 23 points respectively.
France settled for fifth place after edging Finland 3:1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-23, and 25-19) in a game where Jean Patry and Nohoarii Paofai top scored for the young “Bleus” with 19 and 16 points respectively. Though they had much higher expectations for this competition, 2013 European bronze medalists Belgium had to be content with seventh place after besting the young “Oranjes” 3:1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-23, and 25-22) in the opening game of the last competition day. Hidde Boswinkel top scored for the home side with 24 points while Lowie Stuer and Jonas Colson both registered 18 for Belgium.
MVP: Yigit Gülmezoglu (TUR)
Best Spiker: Victor Poletaev (RUS)
Best Receiver: Dmitry Volkov (RUS)
Best Server: Pavel Pankov (RUS)
Best Blocker: Nohoarii Paofai (FRA)
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