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30/07/2016 00:09
Italian show continues at #EuroVolleyU17M qualifier
2017 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Ostuni, Italy, July 29, 2016. Italy confirmed their status of major force to be reckoned with at the qualifying tournament for next year’s CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship – Men which is being staged in Ostuni. Italy routed Belgium in three sets to claim their second win in as many matches and in their final match of the single round robin coming up on Saturday will play Spain that on Friday downed The Netherlands 3-0 to celebrate their first victory in the tournament. The competition will draw to a close on Sunday with the finals for first and third place. The eventual winners will secure their promotion to the Final Round of the inaugural European Championship for this age group. All matches are live streamed on the official website where a lot of useful additional information is made available as well.  

Spain vs. Netherlands 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-19)

Spain coach Benjamín Vicedo said: “We were the same team as yesterday but the heart beat faster. We were more focussed and determined, the boys definitively enjoyed the match. Something made the difference in their morale. They played point to point, giving it all, trying not to miss any chance they had. Something could change and it did eventually. Yesterday, it had been the first time to perform at such level for any team. Stress and some fear too were understandable. I am happy with the result and with my players’ attitude. But not to forget what is to come tomorrow. Italy is a tough team, the strongest in this group. We will try to keep the same spirit of today: that’s the key approach to choose.”

Netherlands coach Niels Ringenaldus: “It’s the first time for my players at such international level and as a team. We still need time to find the right spirit and strategy. We are still testing the best one. I have already tried to turn things around with several substitutions. We need a lot of training to grow and get more united. Patience is the key strategy. Almost all the athletes have no experience. Today, we had to face a tough opponent like Spain. We tried our hardest and still learned from this experience which will be beneficial ahead of the next qualification tournaments we will play in the future. We will keep going on committed, with our heart and soul.”

Review a video of the match right here

Belgium vs. Italy 0-3 (16-25, 18-25, 23-25)

Italy coach Mario Barbiero: “We played a good match, we were much focussed today as well. There were still some errors - not to forget we talk about a young national team - but we will improve. The match against Spain tomorrow will be a tough one but we will live it as an experience to grow. We do hope to be playing the final on Sunday, maybe facing Belgium. It will be a hard match, no doubt. I am very proud of my players, they are sensing the team effort and showing good Volleyball. Compared to yesterday, we did improve our serve and block. We didn’t lack consistency, that’s important. The warm support of the crowd was incredible: the atmosphere adds something more to this amazing experience. I believe the boys feel it and show it on the court. Being in the national team for the first time arouses strong emotions. It is a first step both for our athletes’ growth and the youth Volleyball environment as a whole.”

Belgium coach Wim De Boeck: “Italy is very strong and has a physical way of playing, no doubt. We tried our hardest as we did yesterday. We did not make many mistakes but that did not prevent them from winning. We tried to improve our defence and I am satisfied with the attitude of my players. We do not forget what is to come tomorrow: Spain. To stand a chance of claiming a spot in the final, we need to keep the same focus we showed today and try to reduce the number of mistakes we made.”

Review a video of the match right here

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