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Denmark cause sensation by making EuroVolley 2013 Playoffs

The Danish players had something special to celebrate on Sunday in Odense as they qualified for the Playoff round of the 2013 European Championship
Odense, Denmark, September 22, 2013 – Denmark’s fairy tale came to reality on Sunday as the home heroes edged Belarus 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 25-20, and 15-11) to make the Playoffs coming up on Tuesday in Aarhus as they finished pool play in third place at the 2013 CEV VELUX Volleyball European Championship – Men.

In the end, Odense turned into the place where the Volleyball players of the host country could make a miracle happen – similarly to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale where the ugly duckling eventually matures into a beautiful swan. Later in the evening Italy surprisingly lost to Belgium 2-3 (23-25, 19-25, 25-18, 27-25, and 9-15) to finish second in the group and re-start their European campaign on Tuesday in Aarhus playing there the third ranked side of Pool C, the Netherlands. Belgium, on the other hand, got first place in the group to advance directly to the 1/4 finals coming up on Wednesday.

In Herning, venue of Pool C, it was practically all or nothing for Slovenia and the Netherlands. Three points would have sent Slovenia directly to the quarterfinals while three Dutch points would have made sure the Oranjes qualify for the Playoffs. And in the end it was the Netherlands that came out winners 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-22, and 25-23) to play Italy in the next round. Later in the evening Serbia cruised past Finland in straight sets (25-20, 25-23, and 25-15) to claim second place in the group and get the right to play Denmark on Tuesday in the Playoffs. Though they lost that game in straight sets, the Finns still finished on top of the charts to enjoy an extra day of rest before re-starting their European adventure on Wednesday in the 1/4 finals.

On Sunday Germany completed their duties in Pool D by beating the Czech Republic in straight sets (25-13, 25-23, and 25-20) to secure first place in the group and advance directly to the 1/4 finals. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, with no points and after three consecutive defeats said goodbye to the VELUX EuroVolley 2013. Russia finished second in the group after edging Bulgaria 3:1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-14, and 25-19) to continue their campaign in the Playoffs and play Slovakia. Bulgaria was also promoted to the next round scheduled for Tuesday in Gdansk to cross there the ways of hosts Poland.

France completed their run in prelim Pool B of the 2013 CEV VELUX EuroVolley with an impeccable record after scoring their third consecutive victory, this time edging Turkey 3:1 (25-21, 25-23, 18-25, and 25-23). With this result France cemented their leadership in the group thereby being promoted directly to the 1/4 finals scheduled for Wednesday while Turkey – after three straight defeats – is eliminated from the competition. Poland got back on track after losing to France on Saturday and by beating Slovakia 3:1 (26-24, 20-25, 25-19, and 25-22) finished the prelims in second place to play Bulgaria on Tuesday in the Playoffs. Slovakia was nevertheless happy with their third place and in two days will go for a mission impossible taking on Russia in the next round.

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