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Russia march on in Euro U19s

Russia's attack was too much for Italy's defence
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 24, 2017 – Russia continued to take an early grip on Pool I in the Final Round of the 2017 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Men, by making it three wins from three, against Italy in Gyor, Hungary on Monday. 

The top six teams will qualify for the FIVB Volleyball U19 Boy’s World Championship that takes place in Bahrain from August 18-27. 

Both Russia and Italy held unbeaten records before the match, but Russia were merciless in their 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-17) victory. 

Vladislav Spiridonov topped the scorers’ charts with 16 points, while Diego Cantagalli’s 10 points made him Italy’s leading scorer. Russia setter Egor Krechetov was named MVP.

“It was a very, very important match,” Russia coach Andrey Nozdrin said. “Our pool is really strong. We are fighting for a medal - for first or second place. Tomorrow we have a free day so we can prepare for the following matches.”

In the other matches in Pool I, defending U19 world champs Poland recovered from defeats to Russia and Italy to beat Hungary 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-14). Belgium enjoyed their second win of the tournament, 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) over Bulgaria. 

In Pool II in Puchov, Slovakia the Czech Republic beat the host nation 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 20-25, 15-12) to keep up their unbeaten run. 

Three players from the Czech team – Jan Svoboda, Lukas Vasina and Marek Sotola – scored 15 points each, though it was Slovakia’s Samuel Jurik who topped the charts of the match with 17 points.

“We played well in the first set,” Czech Republic coach Jiri Zach said. “In the second we had luck, but when the Slovaks kept the pressure on us, we just collapsed. In the fifth set it was all about experience.”

France had to dig deep to defeat Romania 3-2 (25-27, 25-16, 25-21, 23-25, 19-17), while Turkey beat Finland 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20). 

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