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Bulgaria surprise World Grand Prix bronze medal winner Serbia on first day of EuroVolley 2013

 
3.500 fans supported their heroines in Zurich's beautiful Hallenstadion
Zurich, Switzerland, September 6, 2013 - The 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship for women, the first of four continental championships in September where the winners qualify for the women's FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, started on Friday. The tournament is co-hosted by Germany and Switzerland.

Defending champion Serbia fell short against courageously fighting Bulgaria in a remarkable five-set thriller (25-23, 25-13, 22-25, 28-30, 13-15). In an exciting match, Serbia dominated throughout most of the game but Bulgaria never gave in and turned the game around in a heroic fashion. In the “Sport- und Kongresshalle” in Schwerin, Northern Germany, 1.211 spectators saw a very entertaining match with many turning points, and Bulgaria being the more fortunate of the two very good teams.

In Pool D’s second match of the opening day, the Czech Republic overpowered Poland in extremis 24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12. The Czech Republic claimed their first victory in Pool D after defeating a strong Polish team in five sets. 1.372 spectators witnessed a very close match up with excellent volleyball from both teams. Best player of the day was Andrea Kossanyiova of the Czech team with superb spikes from the left.  

In Pool A, host Germany outclassed underdog Spain in straight sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-17). In front of 4.800 enthusiastic fans in Halle’s Gerry Weber Stadium, the German team dominated the Spaniards and thus confirmed their ambitions for a medal. In the second match of Pool A, Turkey edged the Netherlands in a dramatic game 3:2 (25-15, 25-16, 27-29, 24-26, 15-12).      

Co-organizer Switzerland experienced a hard time against Italy, one of the favourites of the tournament. The Azzurre made short work of the home squad by beating the local heroines in straight sets (25-13, 25-11, 25-13). 3.500 spectators saw a quick opening game of the 2013 CEV European Championship - Women in Zurich. In Friday’s second Pool B duel, Belgium booked an important 3:1 win (22-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17) against neighbour France.

In Pool C, Croatia and Russia successfully opened their 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship campaign. Croatia proved too strong for Azerbaijan (25-15, 25-23, 25-21) while Russia kept the upper hand against Belarus (25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-14).

The winner of the CEV Volleyball European Championship will qualify for the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup featuring a total of six teams per gender with the hosts Japan being joined by the continental winners from Asia, Europe, NORCECA and South America with an additional country selected by the FIVB. Africa do not have an automatic spot in the tournament after finishing the 2012 Olympic Games as the lowest ranked confederation amongst the five.

The World Grand Champions Cup is a quadrennial round-robin competition for men and women. The last edition of the tournament was in 2009 with Brazil coming away with the men’s title for the second consecutive time after remaining unbeaten while in the women’s tournament, Italy picked up their first ever crown. Japan will host the next edition, with the women’s event set to take place from November 12 to 17, 2013 and the men’s from November 19 to 24, 2013.

CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women
Records of the last five editions

2011 in Italy/Serbia: Serbia (gold), Germany (silver), Turkey (bronze)
2009 in Poland: Italy (gold), the Netherlands (silver), Poland (bronze)
2007 in Belgium/Luxembourg: Italy (gold), Serbia (silver), Russia (bronze)
2005 in Croatia: Poland (gold), Italy (silver), Russia (bronze)
2003 in Turkey: Poland (gold), Turkey (silver), Germany (bronze)

CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women
All-time medal table

1. Russia (17 gold / 4 silver / 3 bronze), 2. Poland (2/4/5), 3. Germany (2/5/3), 4. Italy (2/2/2), 5. The Czech Republic (1/4/4), 6. The Netherlands (1/2/1), 7. Bulgaria (1/0/2), 8. Serbia (1/1/1), 9. Croatia (0/3/0), 10. Hungary (0/1/3), 11. Turkey (0/1/1), 12. Romania (0/0/1). 12. Ukraine (0/0/1).

World Ranking – Women (participating teams)
4. Italy, 6. Russia, 7. Serbia, 9. Germany, 11. Turkey, 13. Poland, 18. The Netherlands, 22. The Czech Republic, 31. Croatia, 31. Bulgaria, 36. Azerbaijan, 39. Belgium, 39. Belarus, 42. Spain, 42. France, 109. Switzerland.

For further information visit www.eurovolley2013.org and www.cev.lu for a detailed match schedule of the prelims.



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