Poles, Finns, Slovaks, Czechs, Croats and Belarusians earn tickets to Bulgaria-Italy 2015
Luxembourg, Luxembourg, June 2, 2014 - The second round of qualifications for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men has finished and six more participants in next year’s Final Round in Bulgaria and Italy have become known.
A total of 13 of the 16 finalists have now been determined. Six other teams emerged as participants in the last qualification round to fight for the last three remaining spots.
As organisers, the Bulgarian and the Italian national teams qualify automatically for Euro 2015. The five other teams that finished among the top seven of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Russia, Serbia, France, Germany and Belgium have also reserved their places in next year’s finals.
Another six countries won their second qualification round pools to accompany the above seven among the finalists in Bulgaria and Italy. These are Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia and Belarus.
The top two spots in each of the six pools were hotly contested, which comes to explain why none of the teams managed to gain a full set of 18 points from the six matches played and even Finland, the only unbeaten team in this campaign, had to seal two of its victories after tie-breaker fifth sets. Even the Polish team, one of Europe’s and the world’s volleyball powerhouses, could not win all of its games and had to surrender in a five-set battle against Slovenia.
Pool E was by far the most competitive one, illustrated by the mere five points difference between the top and the bottom teams in the final standings. Winner Croatia piled up only 12 points from the four victories and two losses, followed by the Netherlands, which gained 10 points from three victories and three losses to get through to the next qualification round.
In addition to the Dutch, the five other pool runners-up – Slovenia, Portugal, Estonia, Spain and Sweden – will get one last chance to earn the right to participate in Bulgaria and Italy. In home and away matches in the third and last qualification round, slated between May 22 and 31 of 2015, Slovenia will encounter Portugal, Estonia will face Sweden, while Spain will lock horns with the Netherlands.
The Final Round in Bulgaria and Italy will take place from October 9 to 18, 2015.
Click here for more info on the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men.