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14/06/2019 21:57
Three spots at stake for Golden #EuroLeagueW Finals as pool play ends
CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019

Luxembourg, June 14, 2019. There is a lot to play for on Saturday in the last round of the CEV Volleyball Women’s European Golden League 2019 – with three spots up for grabs to contest the Final Four due to take place next week in Varaždin, Croatia. Ukraine and Czech Republic fight for the top spot in Pool A, while Belarus and Spain lock horns in Pool C with a ticket to the Finals at stake. Croatia lead the way in Pool B with four wins, but Hungary, who sit in second place, are still in for a spot in the Final Four as well. Make sure you follow all of the action through the CEV’s very own OTT platform EuroVolleyTV as the League Round reaches its climax!

Pool A

Czech Republic vs. Sweden

•    The Czech Republic still has a chance to advance to the Final Four.
•    Sweden has not yet won a match in this year’s Golden European League and they have only taken one set from five matches.
•    Andrea Kossanyiova from the Czech Republic (87 points) is currently the second best scorer among all teams, only two points shy of Ana Escamilla from Spain.

Ioannis Athanasopoulos, head coach of Czech Republic: “My players fought as much as possible in our last match in Slovakia. We were a little bit nervous but played very well and I am happy we managed to win. On Saturday we need to defeat Sweden and we will see how the situation develops in regards to qualifying for the Final Four.”

Jonna Wasserfaller, captain of Sweden: “Our last opponent Ukraine served and blocked good in the match and unfortunately, we could not find the right rhythm of the game. It was better during the third set and now we have to take these good things to the last match against the Czech Republic.”

Slovakia vs. Ukraine

•    Slovakia played a highly exciting match against Czech Republic on Wednesday, but after wasting a set point in the fourth set and eventually suffering a 1-3 loss, they are no longer in contention for a spot in the Final Four.
•    Ukraine lead the way in Pool A with four victories and one loss – they need one more win to secure their place in the Finals.
•    The long-term captain of the Slovak national team Jaroslava Pencova will be able to play again after overcoming some minor health problems.

Marco Fenoglio, head coach of Slovakia: “We have already lost the opportunity to get to the Final Four, but we would like to end the competition with a victory and we will do our best against Ukraine for sure.”

Barbora Kosekova, captain of Slovakia: “We had ambitions to advance to the Final Four, and we have played better and better in the last matches. Unfortunately, it was not enough in the end, but in the last match we will do anything needed for the victory.”

Pool B

Croatia vs. France

•    Final Four hosts Croatia play France in their last match in the pool.
•    Croatia suffered their first setback in the competition earlier this week when they lost 2-3 to France in Harnes. Croatia will be trying to make amends for that setback when playing their last match at home before the Final Four.
•    France sit in fourth and last place in the pool with one win only.
•    Croatia’s star player Samanta Fabris did not play much at the beginning of the season but despite this, she is the fifth-best scorer in the competition on a tally of 74 points.

Hungary vs. Austria

•    It is a Volleyball party at the sports hall of the National University of Public Service, Budapest. A double-gender event will be taking place at the arena where the Hungarian and Austrian men’s and women’s national teams will be locking horns on the same day.
•    The two teams will face each other again, three days apart, after Hungary’s 3-0 win away in Graz.
•    These two teams have played each other five times in nine years – resulting in four Hungarian wins and one success for Austria.
•    Hungary could secure a place in the Final Four with a victory in case Croatia drop at least a point against France on home soil.

Rita Bokorné Liliom, player of Hungary: “We would like to play in the same spirit as we did during our last match against Austria. We always deliver our best performance when we are in trouble so I hope that we can finish with four victories in the pool. It is not sure that it will be enough to qualify for the Final Four but we will do our job to keep our chances alive.”

Pool C

Finland vs. Azerbaijan

•    Finland claimed the first match against Azerbaijan 3-1 in Baku, which is the only win for the Finns in the competition this far. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, are yet to win a single match.
•    Finland and Azerbaijan have played seven times against each other and Azerbaijan have won five times.
•    Finland need at least one point to keep Azerbaijan behind them in the final standing of Pool C.

Tapio Kangasniemi, head coach of Finland: “It will be a tough match. Azerbaijan have improved their game during the Golden League and I am sure they will play better than they did in the first match against us. They are a very straightforward and physical team. We will play as well as we can to take another win in the Golden League.”

Laura Pihlajamäki, captain of Finland: “We have not played as well as we hoped before the Golden League, but our game is getting better all the time. Azerbaijan have no wins so far and I am sure they come to the play very aggressively. In the first match, we played the ends of the sets better than they did and eventually won.”

Spain vs. Belarus

•    After the men’s match earlier this week, Las Leonas del Vóley will play for the first time in Alicante, for an all-important match. Pabellón Pitiu Rochel accounted for a full house and a great atmosphere supporting the Spanish team last Wednesday when the men played against Croatia.
•    There is much at stake, i.e. first place in Pool C as well as a ticket to the Finals due to take place next week in Croatia.
•    Belarus claimed a 3-1 victory at home earlier this season, coming back strong after losing the first set to Spain.
•    Ana Escamilla will try to keep her position as the top scorer in the competition. Three of the top ten scorers in the European League – Escamilla, Jessica Rivero and Helia Gonzalez – are Leonas del Vóley.
•    All the proceeds from the match will go to support a humanitarian cause.   
•    Prior to the match, a Pequevoley event will be taking place for more than 400 young players, who will come to see their idols.
•    One of the keys of the match will be the block. The two best blockers of the competition will be standing at the net – Aina Berbel of Spain and Hanna Kalinouskaya of Belarus.
•    Both teams will fight for victory, but they will also have an eye on Croatia and the results from the other groups, as they could have the option to qualify for the Finals as the best runners-up across all three pools.

Helia González, player of Spain: “I hope that we will continue along the same line of performance, and that we will be able to achieve, in front of our fans, the victory that will allow us to make it to the Final Four.”  

Tatsiana Markevich, player of Belarus: “We really want to win. For us, it is very important. We know Spain play better at home, and we expect a great atmosphere with a lot of people making Spain even stronger.”

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News nr. 8 of 25
15/06/2019 20:01:00
Czech Republic, Belarus and Spain complete Golden #EuroLeagueW Final Four line-up
12/06/2019 23:00:00
Golden #EuroLeagueW drama continues as the Final Four roster is yet to emerge

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