F I V B  FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE VOLLEYBALL
PRESS RELEASE 30.03.2005

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Serbia & Montenegrin Girls fail to meet expectations

Riga/Tallinn, March 30, 2005 - With one more round to go in the Final Round pool play of the Boys' and Girls' Youth European Championships, where for the first time the twelve teams are divided into four pools of three teams each, many national formations are already sure of having qualified for the knock-out quarterfinal round.

In the Boys' competition in the Latvian capital of Riga the Russian and Polish under 19s have both beaten the German squad in breathtaking tiebreakers with no luck for the Germans who will now fight for the ninth place, whereas defending champion Russia and Poland move on to the last eight. The match between Russia and Germany was an extremely spectacular clash where the German team played three sets of fantastic Volleyball taking a 2:1 set lead. However, at the beginning of the fourth set Russia started to serve much better, finally winning the match 3:2. "This group is extremely strong", German coach Stewart Bernard stated. "We played strategically well, but when the Russians performed their jump serves we weren't able to react appropriately. They are simply too strong for us."

In another Wednesday's match Italy nailed Estonia in Pool B (3:0), leading the Italians as well as the Bulgarians, who defeated Estonia on Tuesday, through to the quarterfinals. In Pool D Serbia & Montenegro booked a straight set victory over Slovenia. Host Latvia didn't start the Boys' Youth European Championship as wished losing their clash against Slovakia in a tiebreak set (3:2). Not even the support of the 1'250 Volleyball fans in the Daugava Arena could help the home team to victory. "I have the feeling we did everything well", Latvian captain Karlis Volodins stated, "That's why it is so frustrating that we still lost."

The biggest surprise in the Girls' competition came from Pool B where defending champion Serbia & Montenegro were knocked out after having lost to Germany in straight sets and then to the Czech Republic in a five set thriller. Having lost to Russia 3:0 in Pool A, host Estonia will need to beat the current pool leader Italy 3:0 on Thursday in order to retain chances of pulling through. "Although we were leading in the match against Russia", stated Estonian national team player Kärt Kelder, "we weren't able to retain this important lead, most probably due to our lack of experinece in international matches."

In Pool D Hungary and Austria will fight for the remaining qualification place against each other following their straight set defeats against the Ukraine, who are definitely through to the quarters.

Given that Croatia as well as the national Girls' youth team from Belarus both beat Turkey 3:0, Thursday's match between these two teams will be the decider for who will meet the Ukraine (number one in Pool D) and who will meet the number two of Pool D (either Austria or Hungary) in the quarterfinal round.

After Thursday's last four preliminary matches the best two teams of each group will proceed to Friday's quarterfinals for which Russia, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, France and Serbia & Montenegro are already qualified in the Boys, whilst Germany, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Croatia and the Ukraine have made it through in the girls' tournament. Both events, in Riga as well as in Tallinn, will come to a conclusion on Sunday.

Youth European Championships 2005
Boys Final Round in Riga (Lat)

Match results
Pool A GER - POL 2:3 28-26, 21-25, 25-20, 16-25, 13-15 128 mins
RUS - GER 3:2 27-25, 22-25, 20-25, 25-14, 15-9 117 mins
Pool B EST - BUL 2:3 15-18, 21-25, 25-22, 27-29, 11-15 113 mins
ITA - EST 3:0 25-11, 25-17, 25-16 63 mins
Pool C SVK - FRA 0:3 22-25, 27-29, 19-25 75 mins
LAT - SVK 2:3 17-25, 29-27, 17-25, 25-23, 13-15 126 mins
Pool D SLO - ESP 3:1 23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-17 100 mins
SCG - SLO 3:0 25-22, 25-23, 27-25 79 mins

Match schedule (local time)
Thursday, 31 March 2005
12.00 Pool A POL - RUS
14.30 Pool B BUL - ITA
17.00 Pool C FRA - LAT
19.30 Pool D ESP - SCG

Friday, 1 April 2005
12.00 A1-B2 1st quarterfinal
14.30 C1-D2 2nd quarterfinal
17.00 B1-A2 3rd quarterfinal
19.30 D1-C2 4th quarterfinal

Saturday, 2 April 2005
17.00 Q1-Q4 1st semifinal
19.30 Q2-Q3 2nd semifinal

Sunday, 3 April 2005
17.00 Bronze medal match
19.30 S1-S2 Final

Girls Final Round in Tallinn (EST)
Pool A RUS - ITA 0:3 20-25, 18-25, 18-25 77 mins
EST - RUS 0:3 18-25, 26-28, 14-25 75 mins
Pool B SCG - GER 0:3 17-25, 21-25, 21-25 70 mins
CZE - SCG 3:2 19-25, 25-17, 18-25, 28-26, 15-11 127 mins
Pool C TUR - BLR 0:3 19-25, 18-25, 22-25 70 mins
CRO - TUR 3:0 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 73 mins
Pool D UKR - HUN 3:0 25-17, 25-17, 25-22 75 mins
AUT - UKR 0:3 16-25, 21-25, 19-25 72 mins

Match schedule (local time)
Thursday, 31 March 2005
12.00 Pool D HUN - AUT
14.30 Pool C BLR - CRO
17.00 Pool A ITA - EST
19.30 Pool B GER - CZE

Friday, 1 April 2005
12.00 A1-B2 1st quarterfinal
14.30 C1-D2 2nd quarterfinal
17.00 B1-A2 3rd quarterfinal
19.30 D1-C2 4th quarterfinal

Saturday, 2 April 2005
17.00 Q1-Q4 1st semifinal
19.30 Q2-Q3 2nd semifinal

Sunday, 3 April 2005
15.30 Bronze medal match
18.00 S1-S2 Final

More on the web at www.cev.lu


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