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17/06/2018 22:07
Sweden crowned champions of Silver #EuroLeagueW after victory on home court
2018 CEV Volleyball Silver European League - Women

Nyköping, Sweden, June 17, 2018. Sweden were crowned Silver European League champions after defeating Austria 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17) on Sunday. The Swedish team were supported by the local crowd in Arenor Rosvalla as they finished the competition with a total of six victories. Their opposite hitter Isabelle Haak was named MVP of the competition. In the bronze medal match Albania proved a difficult a tough opponent for Estonia, defeating the Baltic team in straight sets. Albania admitted they were satisfied with their result as reaching the Final Four was already an achievement for the group. Sweden will be promoted to the 2019 Golden European League. 

Gold Medal Match: Sweden vs. Austria 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17)

  • A great defence by Anna Haak and an attack by her sister Isabelle allowed Sweden to take the first lead in the match, further developed to 5-2. Srna Markovic tied the score at 5-5 with an ace and Austria went ahead for 6-5 with the next action. Sweden called a time out, as Austria had scored six points in a row. The Austrians carried on their lead into 12-7, but Sweden began to gain more points to make it 10-12 after an attack of Rebecka Lazic. An exchange of spikes between Markovic and Anna Haak moved the score to 15-12 for the visitors, as the game continued with Austria being a few points ahead of the hosting team. Sweden tied at 19-19 after two ace serves by Jonna Wasserfaller and followed with two more points for 21-19. Austria defended a first set ball for Sweden with a block on Lazic, but Isabelle Haak finished the set 25-23.
  • Lazic put Sweden 3-2 ahead at the start of the second set. The lead soon increased to 9-5 after a block of Josephine Tegenfalk and an attack of Isabelle Haak. The hosting team continued their momentum, forcing Austria to call a timeout at 11-5. The Austrians slowly decreased the gap, coming to 13-11 after an attack of Katharina Holzer. Markovic helped Austria to stay 15-14 behind, but Sweden responded with a block against her next attack, staying one step ahead of their opponent. The Austrians tied at 17-17 but Isabelle and Anna Haak helped the home side towards a 19-17 lead with a spike and an ace. The Swedish team kept control over that part of the set. Isabelle Haak gave her team a series of set balls at 24-20 with a strong attack, but Katharina Holzer saved the first one with a spike off the block. Anna Haak finished the set with a second attempt at 25-21.
  • The third set began with a tough fight on both sides, but Austria soon began to grow their advantage to 15-9, forcing Sweden to call a timeout. Srna Markovic led Austria, who calmly kept their advantage at 18-11, forcing Sweden to make some errors. Holzer added a successful service to make it 22-14 and a setball came with an attack out by Isabelle Haak. Jonna Wasserfaller defended the first set ball, but Austria won the set 25-16 after a tip from Anna Maria Bajde.
  • In the fourth set, Isabelle Haak and Katharina Holzer exchanged spikes, with Sweden being 3-2 ahead. The fight became very tight, with teams going point by point until 10-8 for Sweden, when the home team blocked Markovic. Linda Andersson followed with another strong block to keep Sweden 13-11 ahead. Their lead grew slowly but surely to 19-13 with Isabelle Haak at the service line, allowing her team to take full advantage of her strong serves. Anna Haak made it 20-13 with an overkill. Sweden played like they were on fire with a match point coming after an ace of Wasserfaller at 24-16. Isabelle Haak finished the game with an attack for 25-17, claiming the first ever gold medal for Sweden in the European League.
  • Isabelle Haak was the top scorer in the gold medal match, with 38 points.

Quotes

Isabelle Haak, opposite of Sweden: “We played very well in this Final Four. We had a good performance throughout the semifinal match. Today, except for some balls in the third set, we kept our focus against Austria. All of the players showed a good level and I am happy that we finished with the gold medal. This has been our goal.

We are a young team, so we have a lot of room to develop further as individuals and as a team. We are not that experienced yet, but I believe we will get there soon!”



CEV President Aleksandar Boričić presenting Swedish captain Jonna Wasserfaller with the trophy for the winners of the Silver European League

 

 

Bronze Medal Match: Albania vs. Estonia 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-21)

  • Albania began the game with a 5-2 lead, forcing Estonia to call a timeout when the score turned into 7-3. Erblira Bici continued their good performance at the service line until 10-3, when the Albanian positive streak finished with their own error. A double block on Arjola Prenga brought the Estonians closer to 11-7, but Prenga found her way through the block in another action, keeping Albania at a five-point lead. Her team did not lose their focus or control over the game, increasing the gap to 22-11 and ultimately winning the opening set 25-14. 
  • Estonia responded in the second set, going ahead at 9-7, but Albania fought back, levelling at 11-11 and taking a 12-11 lead after an ace from Arjola Prenga. The score turned into 15-13 and 19-15 for Albania forcing Estonia to call two timeouts in a short period of time. Sava Thaka put another block against the Estonians, getting a set ball for Albania at 24-15. The Estonians defended two set balls, but Albania eventually grabbed the set 25-17.
  • Feeling the pressure to use their last chance, Estonia opened the third set with a 4-1 lead, with Albania immediately calling a timeout. The Albanians kept their patience and bounced back from 4-8 to 8-8. The game continued point by point - Kertu Laak took Estonia 15-12 ahead with two spikes, but their own errors and a spike and ace of Erblira Bici put Albania in front at 17-16. An exchange of aces and spikes moved the score to 21-19 for Albania. An error by Estonian Kristel Moor allowed Albania to maintain the gap at 23-21, with a block by Sava Thaka bringing Albania their first match point. Cindy Marina finished the match with an ace at 25-21 and Albania celebrated with the Bronze medal. 

Quotes

Altin Martiri, coach of Albania: “We achieved our goal already by advancing to the Final Four of the Silver European League. Albania is a small country and we still develop and throughout the entire competition we won six out of eight matches and now the bronze medal as well, which is a great result. It wasn’t difficult to prepare for today’s match after our loss to Sweden, because we approach every game at a time. Today we were more successful and this resulted in us claiming the third place.” 

Most Valuable Player
Isabelle Haak (SWE)

Dream Team
Setter: Josephine Tegenfalk (SWE)
Opposite: Isabelle Haak (SWE)
Outside hitters: Arjola Prenga (ALB) and Anna Haak (SWE)
Middle blockers: Sava Thaka (ALB) and Nina Nesimovic (AUT)
Libero: Sophie Wallner (AUT)

Final standing
1. Sweden*
2. Austria
3. Albania 
4. Estonia 

*Promotion to 2019 Golden European League

For further details click here.


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