Mogilev, Belarus, May 24, 2014. Turkey launched the second competition day in Mogilev with another straight-set win. En route to the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women, the Turks had some hard time against Denmark but defeated the opponent by 3:0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-23) in a second-round Pool A qualification match. In the second game of the day, Finland upset the home side Belarus by 3:1 (25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21).
Turkey vs. Denmark 3:0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-23)
Despite the fact that some of Turkey’s main players were left off the starting line-up, in the first set he Danish girls managed to stay competitive only through 5-5. They could not cope well with the Turkish blocks and made far too many errors to fall far behind for the final 15-25. In the second day, the northerners held up far longer and even had a 13-11 advantage before the Turks broke away with an 8-point run to claim another convincing victory at 25-16. Looking much more confident on the court, the Danes significantly reduced the mistakes and increased the number of successful spikes to stay in control through the most part of the third set. However, after leading by 23-21, they once again allowed their opponents to score a series of unanswered points and close the match at 25-23.
Ezgi Guc from Turkey and Trine Noer Kjelstrup were responsible for 11 points each to become the best scorers of the game.
Sven-Erik Lauridsen, head coach of Denmark: “If yesterday we felt stiff and pinched, in the match against Turkey, we showed a better game in serving. I was pleased to see better reception as well. I hope we keep our form for the match against Finland. If we do, then the game on Sunday could get very interesting.”
Massimo Barbolini, head coach of Turkey: “I wanted to give all players a chance to show their skills in Mogilev. Unfortunately, we made a lot of mistakes. It is difficult to say what the reason is. During practice, the players from the bench looked better, but it is a serious game. I tried to make changes in the course of the match…"
Finland vs. Belarus 3:1 (25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21)
The Belarusians started well with a 5-1 lead in the first set, but soon after the Finns scored a long series of points with captain Paulina Vilponen behind the serving line to take a 17-8 advantage. While Belarus had problems with the reception of the ball, the coach decided to change setter. The visiting team did not give up the initiative and stepping up its block, closed the set at 25-19. Continuing their great blocking performance, the Finns clearly dominated the next set as well to double their lead after 25-21. Belarus could only win the third set when the attack was the led by Aksana Kavalchuk. Being ahead in the score through the most part of the set, the home team eventually closed it at 25-21. The fourth set was a real rollercoaster, with frequent switches in the lead. The Belarusians made too many mistakes in the end and could not cope with the aggressive Finnish attacks that led to a final 25-21 in the set and 3:1 in the match.
With 20 points each, Paulina Vilponen from Finland and Aksana Kavalchuk from Belarus split the honors as best scorers of the match.
Tapio Kangasniemi, head coach of Finland: “It is a great success for us. Good skills and quality were shown by our leaders. We played well in blocking, as well as in serving. These are very important three points ahead of the game with Denmark.”
Viktar Hancharau, head coach of Belarus: “I am very disappointed. Today we acted badly in defense and reception. I am not happy for the wing spikers’ actions. I had to make a replacement, the girl came off the bench and played well, but the number of our own mistakes did not allow us to take advantage in the game.”
Click here for more details on the 2nd Round of qualifications, including match statistics and photos.