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Top 16 signed and sealed in Eurovolley 2019

Egor Kliuka tries to beat the Slovenia block of Alen Pajenk and Tine Urnaut as defending champions Russia remain undefeated after pool play at the 2019 European Volleyball Championship. (Photo: CEV)
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 19, 2019 - Serbia, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Ukraine and the Czech Republic Thursday night all joined France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, Slovenia, Turkey and Finland in advancing to the last 16 of the 2019 Men's European Volleyball Championship which continues in the four countries jointly hosting the event.

Pool play wrapped up on Thursday, determining the pairings for the knockout stage which begins over the weekend.

Round of 16:
• France v Finland, Saturday in Nantes
• Italy v Turkey, Sunday in Nantes
• Russia v Greece, Saturday in Ljubljana
• Slovenia v Bulgaria, Saturday in Ljubljana
• Serbia v Czech Republic, Saturday in Antwerp
• Belgium v Ukraine, Saturday in Antwerp
• Poland v Spain, Saturday in Apeldoorn
• The Netherlands v Germany, Saturday in Apeldoorn

The Round of 16 is followed by quarterfinals on 23 and 24 September, semifinals on 26 and 27 September and the bronze medal match on 28 September and the final on 29 September.

Defending champions Russia topped their pool on a 5-0 record on Wednesday, on track to retain the title they won two years ago after beating Germany in the final.

Also undefeated are France, Serbia and Poland, who all topped their respective pools.

In their first ever appearance at a European Championship, Montenegro challenged the Czech Republic on the closing day of pool play, but were eliminated after the Czechs picked up the fourth set to secure the point they needed, despite losing the match overall.

And Spain also secured a last-minute place after beating already qualified Germany in four sets to edge Slovakia on match points.

Previously, in the bizarrest of twists, Greece joined the last 16 when Romania (already knocked out) beat Portugal in four sets and the Greek side prevailed in the three-way tie with just a single setpoint's diferrence (386-432 for a ratio of .893) to (386-433 for .891) over the Iberians.

• More information on the CEV website.

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