Germany, Russia and Turkey begin European Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament with victories
Speaking after her team's Pool A match against the Netherlands, Germany captain Margareta Anna Kozuch said: "There were a lot of ups and downs today. I think that both teams played well, and I am really happy that we won and got the result we were hoping for, as the Netherlands are a really strong team. We had a fine balance in the team; when I was down, the rest of the team was up, so we managed to keep a good balance throughout the match."
In the first match in Pool B, Poland won the first two sets before Russia regrouped to claim three. Russia's top scorer Tatiana Kosheleva said: "We were not playing well at all in the beginning of the match, but we are big girls and we are able to come together and rise as a team. I am glad that the team showed what it takes to win at the right time. We became a unit. We began to serve better and gradually straightened our game. We won as a team and I am pleased that everybody lifted (their performance) together. The third set was the turning point for us. We were 22-21 behind, but managed to turn it around. From here it was easier, as Poland obviously looked tired and disappointed they were unable to close the match in three sets."
In the third match of the day, tournament hosts Turkey defeated Croatia 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-17) in Pool A. Top scorer Neriman Özsoy said: "I am very happy that we won the first match of the tournament. To win the first match feels like we are already halfway getting the job done. So it was the best possible start of the week for us. This does not mean that we can rest. Tomorrow we face Germany who are a really good team. It is going to be a tough match, and we need to concentrate. In tournaments like these you cannot afford to make any mistakes."
Turkey will play Germany at 19.30 local time on Tuesday in Pool A. In Pool B, Italy will take on Russia at 14.00 and Belgium meet Poland at 16.30.
Click here for the match schedule.
Click below for the full match statistics on the CEV website: