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Last four teams book tickets to EuroVolley quarterfinals

 
Croatia celebrate their thrilling five-set win over the Netherlands
Zurich, Switzerland, September 11, 2013. With Croatia (World No. 31), Belgium (39), France (42), three outsiders advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals at 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. In Tuesday’s playoff round, World No. 4 Italy (3-1 versus Poland), Turkey (3-0 against Belarus), Croatia (3-2 versus the Netherlands) as well as France (3-2 against the Czech Republic) claimed the last four quarterfinals spots.  

In Tuesday’s first playoff match at Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle/Westphalia, Turkey booked their ticket for the quarterfinals by sweeping Belarus 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-17). In front of 2.900 fans, Seda Tokatlioglu topped the scorers with 20 points, followed by teammate Bahar Toksoy with 14 kills. Turkey head coach Massimo Barbolini: “We played a good match with strong serves and solid blocking. With today’s win, we reached our first goal at EuroVolley 2013.”

In the second playoff match at Gerry Weber Stadium, Croatia overpowered the Netherlands in a thrilling five-set thriller (23-25, 25-11, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12) to claim their well-deserved quarterfinal ticket at 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship for women. Mira Topic was the best scorer of the game, contributing 18 points for Croatia’s hard-earned win. Sanja Popovic added six block winners to the Croatian triumph. Croatia captain Sanja Popovic: “It was a hard game. Both teams were equal all the way long. At the end, very small details made the difference.”

In Zurich’s playoff round, world No. 4 Italy proved too strong for Poland (25-22, 25-22, 25-13) while France overcame the Czech Republic after an outstanding comeback (20-25, 9-25, 25-23, 25-23, 20-18). The Italians answered the critics of their home press with a straight-set win over Poland. The Polish squad could not deal with Italy’s power and organization, thus never finding their way into the game. Italy’s Valentina Diouf and Valentina Costagrande scored 15 points each while Maja Tokarska booked 10 kills for Poland. Italy middle-blocker Valentina Arrighetti: “We needed a strong reaction after our loss against Belgium. I am sure everybody saw our answer tonight. I am happy with the performance of our team. Our win was the result of strong teamwork.”

World No. 42 France defeated the Czech Republic in a dramatic five-set thriller 20-25, 9-25, 25-23, 25-23, 20-18. Two sets down, the team of head coach Fabrice Vial saved four match balls before seizing their second chance to conclude the hard-fought duel 20-18 in their favour. France middle-blocker Christina Bauer: “Tonight’s game against the Czechs was a roller coaster of emotions. There were those two awful sets and then we completely changed. We played much more aggressively. I’m certainly happy about my personal performance, but even more for helping my team in this situation by tying the game after four Czech match balls.”

The competition continues on Wednesday with eight teams battling for the four semi-final spots.

Quarterfinals:

Germany v Croatia
Russia v Turkey
Be
lgium v France
Serbia v Italy

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 (Gold/Silver/Bronze)
1. Russia (17/4/3) 
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 playoff round.



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