Kladovo, Serbia, April 3, 2013 – Germany and Russia went one step closer to achieving their goal of playing in this year’s FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Thailand as they advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 CEV Girls’ Youth Volleyball European Championship. Germany managed the impossible by beating Serbia 3-2 on Wednesday to finish third in Pool II. Russia also secured their top-eight ticket while The Netherlands and France had to pack their bags and go home.
Russia 3, France 1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19)
Russia downed France to book their ticket to the top eight teams at the European Championship.
Russia’s Angelina Sperskayte topped the scores with 18 points, including five aces.
Even though the French had only pride to play for in their last Pool II match, they gave Russia a hard time, especially at the start. Russia jumped to an early 6-2 lead in the first set but France quickly found their rhythm with excellent attacks and four blocks. Juliette Fidon helped her side wrap up the first set at 25-20.
Russia managed to make adjustments and organise their play after the three-minute break and succeeded in containing the French offense, with only Lara Davidovic and Fidon making occasional attacks on the wings. Taisia Konovalova stepped up for Russia and contributed several inspiring serves to maintain the Russians’ lead.
Svetlana Serbina helped her side move to a 6-0 lead early in the third set with more blistering serves. France had no answers in the third and fourth set as Anastasia Lopatina and Sperskayte both scored in double figures, going on a scoring rampage at the expense of a suffering French defence. Russia only allowed a few attacking manoeuvres from the French as they covered all attacking points at the net and on the floor to take the match easily.
As Russia’s coach Yury Shchuplov said, “We did our job today-that’s it. However, it’s a shame that we haven’t played before like we did today.”
In his review of the match, France’s coach Serge Marouteau said, “We made it too easy for our opponents. We gave Russia several chances to score, while on our side we committed too many mistakes.”
Turkey 3, The Netherlands 0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15)
Turkey subdued a fairly harmless Dutch team in straight sets in their last pool match as the Turks kept a clean sheet with a 5-0 win-loss record.
Ada Germen and Pelin Aroguz topped all scorers with nine points each for Turkey.
Turkey took an easy first set against their European rivals, unleashing their usual game while not allowing The Netherlands to counter-attack.
Despite the tandem of Tessa Polder and Daphne Knijff confusing the Turkish blockers on their attack in the second set – alternating hitting on each side – Turkey adjusted their block to stamp out the Dutch tactic. Turkey’s attackers took the opportunity to turn the tables at 16-16 and never looked back.
Turkey were wary of another Dutch comeback in the third set and although there were several attempts by The Netherlands to extend rallies, Turkey ensured they always came out on top, leaving the fate of the Dutch team in the hands of hosts Serbia and Germany.
“It was important to win today and go to the final phase in Bar with a clean sheet. Now, we’ll focus on the semifinals to continue our winning streak,” said Turkey coach Catma Sahin.
Germany 3, Serbia 2 (25-18, 25-12, 24-26, 25-27, 15-7)
Germany edged out hosts Serbia in Wednesday’s last match to finish third in Pool II while The Netherlands had to pack their bags and go home.
Julia Schäfer was the game’s top scorer with 17 points, while Maja Dordevic earned 16 points for Serbia.
Germany jumped out very determined and fought heroically for their last chance for a top-eight ticket. On the other side, Serbia’s head coach Marijana Boricic gave some players a rest. The very young Serbian “reserve” players did their best but were unable to prevent Germany easing into a 2-0 set lead.
Inspite of an eight-point German lead in the third set, Serbia came from behind to delight the home crowd with some spectacular volleyball. Serbia gained momentum and didn’t look back until the end of the fourth set.
Serbia continued their impressive comeback in the third and fourth sets and led 5-3 in the deciding set. But Germany, who were in no mood to lose, responded with a 12-2 run to conclude the hard-fought duel in their favour.
"It was a fortunate situation for us to play our last match with the Serbian team who had already qualified for the semis. We seized our chance and that’s the only thing that counts tonight,” said Germany coach, Jens Tietböhl
Serbia head Coach Marijana Boricic: "I’m very happy to have made it to the semifinals. It secures us a ticket for the FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship coming up later this summer in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.”
The preliminary phase of the 2013 CEV Girls' Youth Volleyball European Championship is split into two pools of six teams with the top two from each pool advancing to the semifinals. Pool I comprises hosts Montenegro, Italy, Slovenia, Greece, the Czech Republic and Poland. Pool II sees hosts Serbia up against Russia, Germany, France, Turkey and The Netherlands.
The tournament’s final ranking will determine the six teams that will represent Europe at this year’s FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Thailand, as well as the eight nations taking part at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht.
The matches of preliminary Pool I as well as all semifinal and final matches are available live and for free at www.laola1.tv.
Pool II matches are streamed on the official website of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia at http://eng.ossrb.org.
For quotes and additional info, please visit www.cev.lu.
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