DOL provides exciting preliminary phase of women's European Championship
The hosts of Germany and Switzerland were assigned to two preliminary Pools that are certainly going to provide all Volleyball fans with the right thrills right from the start of the Championship. Germany will be confronted in Halle/Westphalen with 2011 bronze medalists Turkey, Spain and the Netherlands while Switzerland will play in Zurich the 2007 and 2009 European champions of Italy, plus Belgium and the winner of the third qualification round starring France and Ukraine. The 2010 world champions of Russia will play in Dresden and have Azerbaijan as their toughest competitor while Pool D – headed by Poland and set to take place in Schwerin – includes also the 2011 gold medalists of Serbia.
The composition of the preliminary Pools reads as follows:
Pool A in Halle/Westphalen: Germany, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands
Pool B in Zurich: Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine/France
Pool C in Dresden: Russia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Belarus/Slovakia
Pool D in Schwerin: Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania/Czech Republic
The teams were drawn at “Sonnenberg Convention Centre” in Zurich by football star Inka Grings, a former member of Germany’s national team who currently plays for FC Zurich as CEV President André Meyer was in attendance together with CEV Vice President and Jury President Jan Hronek and representatives of the participating teams as well as of the hosting countries and cities.
“We were assigned to a tough Pool; last year we made it to the final match and we’ll see what we can achieve as we play in front of our fans” said German captain Margareta Anna Kozuch.
“I am happy with the result of the DOL and can’t wait to play the European Championship here in Zurich” stressed Swiss national player Kristel Marbach.
As already pre-announced, Germany, Switzerland, Russia and Poland were set as Pool headers and after that the draw performed by ESOC President Pierre Mulheims followed. The starting field will be completed next June via the third qualification round starring a series of home and away matches that will assign the last three spots available for the competition.
The winners of the four preliminary Pools advance directly to the 1/4 finals scheduled for September 11 to play there the winners of the Playoffs starring the second and third ranked teams of the various groups. The Playoffs and 1/4 finals will take place in Halle/Westphalen and Zurich while semis and finals, scheduled for September 13-14, will be hosted in the splendid scenario of the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, where Europe’s Volleyball queens will be crowned.
Germany and Switzerland are co-hosting the XXVIII European Championship and this is the third in history – after 2007 and 2011 – that the women’s final round is being organized in two countries.