France's Thomas Nevot celebrates a 3:2 victory over Italy that guarantees to this side a place in this year's U19 Boys World Championship in Mexico
Laktaši, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 20, 2013 – The teams of France and Turkey qualified for the 5th place classification final of the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys coming up on Sunday thereby securing the last two European quotas for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship in Mexico. France outplayed Italy in a dramatic start of Saturday’s competition as the crowd at the splendid sports palace in Laktaši enjoyed a thrilling five-setter.
In the second semifinal 5-8, Turkey overpowered Austria by 3-1 to join the French on the plane to Mexicali and Tijuana. Italy and Austria will have to look for some consolation by making it at least among the participants of the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival in the Netherlands as the road to Utrecht goes through a victory in Sunday’s 7th place classification final. Italy vs. France 2:3 (21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 11-15)
France became the fifth European team to secure a place in the World Championship after a well-disputed game against Italy that proceeded in five sets. A fantastic 30 points from France’s Timothee Carle made him the top scorer of the match while Tiziano Mazzone was Italy’s most prolific player with 19 points.
With Aaron Koubi serving, France was able to string 6 consecutive points to overturn the score from 8-10 to 14-8 in the first set and never looked back. The French blocking efforts paid off with 6 points before the offense managed to squeeze the ball between the Italian block and the net for the final 25-21.
The two teams switched their roles for the second set as initially it was the French who were in the lead, but around midway through the set the Italians managed to overtake control. The Italian block was almost impenetrable to score as many as 8 points in the set while Tiziano Mazzone was putting one ball after the other on the floor in offense as well. Captain Sebastiano Milan scored only one point in this set, but it was the most important one. His successful block shaped up the final 25-23 to tie the score in the match.
Set 3 saw several changes in the lead before Timothee Carle’s serves gave the Italians some hard time as the score turned from 16-14 Italy’s way to 21-16 in favor of France. Carle was also very prolific in offense and he smashed the ball to finish it off at 25-20.
The fourth set was a real thriller as it boasted frequent changes in the lead and some great defensive actions on both sides of the net. At 22-22 it was really anybody’s set, but this “anybody” was actually the team of Andrea Tomasini. The Italians took the following three rallies as a two-man block by Alberto Polo and Ferdinando Della Volpe closed the set at 25-22.
The tie-breaker was all about France. With Timothee Carle on fire, scoring point after point for his team, Slimane Belmadi’s boys were well on their way to the World Championship as they dominated throughout the set to win it by 15-11 and reserve their seats on the plane to Mexico. Turkey vs. Austria 3:1 (27-25, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24)
With only one vacant seat left on the plane from Europe to Mexico, Turkey and Austria had to race for it in the second semifinal for the 5th place. Turkey was able to get on board first as it managed a difficult 3-1 victory over the inspired opponent. Austria’s Paul Buchegger topped the scorers’ chart of the game with an impressive 29 points. Yasin Aydin was most prolific for the winning side with 20 points.
The first set saw a very interesting development of the score as the tough-disputed rallies produced many ups and downs for both sides. As the Austrian serving made life difficult for Turkey’s receivers, it was the Turkish blocking that did not make it any easier for the Austrian spikers. While Paul Buchegger was the usual scoring machine for Nina Sawatzki’s team, the Turks took advantage of the abundant mistakes of the opponents to eventually take the edge for the final 27-25 as Melih Siratca spiked off the block to close the set in Turkey’s favor.
Turkey’s successful blocking and Austria’s unforced errors continued to be the main weapons of Ali Kazim Hidayetoglu’s team in the second set. It was even only through the first technical time-out after which the Turks broke away to win the set by a convincing 25-18.
As the plane for Mexico had already started its engines on the runway, but the Austrian boys had not yet checked in, they came out on court very concentrated for the third set. They greatly reduced the number of mistakes and while the Turkish block was still very hard to break through, the score was relatively tight through 14-14. Then Buchegger showed off his talent for serving and after 7 points in a row Austria was well on its way to win this set by 25-21.
Turkey responded by taking a 7-3 lead in the next set, but this did not last long as Austria tied at 8-8. The following moments proceeded under the control of the Austrian boys. As they managed a 3-point lead and maintained it through 19-16, Ali Kazim Hidayetoglu had to sweat it out through the rest of the set under the threat of a tie-breaker. His team evened the score at 20-20 and gradually the set went into overtime. Vahit Emre Savas put the ball on the floor for the final 26-24 and fell into the arms of his coaches.
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