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13/04/2014 21:06
Scotland wins historic European title in Small Countries Division
2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Luxembourg, Luxembourg, April 13, 2014.  Scotland won the gold medals in the CEV Small Countries Division for the first time in history!  The national junior team of the northern country finished unbeaten its participation in the 2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men and triumphed with the title. On the last competition day, the Scotts defeated rookie Wales by 3:0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-16).  In the last match at d’Coque competition hall the home guys from Luxembourg defeated Northern Ireland by 3:0 (25-17, 25-18, 25.16) to claim the silver medal leaving the Irish with the bronze.

As expected, the Scottish squad was able to cruise to a straight-set victory against their fellow islanders from Wales.  Despite some good blocking efforts from the competition debutants, coach Thomas Dowens’s players maintained control on the court throughout the first set and their prolific spiking, garnished with 3 aces, led to a 25-18 win of the set.  The second set was a bit more competitive with Wales taking an early 5-2 lead.  After 6-6 the Scotts re-took the initiative, but their opponents were able to level the score several more times in the set, the last one at 20-20.  Stepping up its performance in both serving and blocking, Scotland was eventually able to win the set by 25-20.  The story of the third set was very similar.  Having put some pressure on Scotland with some excellent serving, Wales managed to gain a 3-point advantage at 12-3, but it once again it did not last very long.  With a couple of long runs, the Scotts managed to break far away in the score and never looked back to win by 25-16 and rejoice victorious.

Despite playing only in the first two sets of the match, Scotland’s Ross McKelvie became the game’s top scorer with 14 points.  Thomas Dacey scored 11 to become Wales’s most prolific player.

“I am absolutely elated,” said coach Dowens upon receiving the gold medal.  “I think the young players have worked really hard for the last 22 months in a program that was very demanding and they have come good.  They were a young squad with six players young enough to compete again in two years’ time.  For the others the progress should continue with the men’s national team.  Wales are developing, Northern Ireland are developing, and the games against them were a bit untidy, but I think the game between Luxembourg and Scotland was excellent.  The level was really, really good.”

The tournament ended with what was a battle for the second place between Luxembourg and Northern Ireland.  The first halves of the sets were quite competitive with both teams enjoying some support from the stands at d’Coque and some good blocking helping the Irish stay afloat.  In the second halves, however, the home guys managed to establish their domination and break away to solid leads.  Their tallest player Kamil Rychlicki made a special contribution to this victory to top the scorers’ chart of the match with 23 points.  His tally included 2 aces and also the 2 kill blocks with which he closed both the first and the second sets.  Peter Stewart was Northern Ireland’s best scorer with 12 points.

The three-day event at d’Coque finished with a memorable awarding ceremony with the participation of all four teams.  The much anticipated trophy was handed to Scotland’s captain by CEV Vice President Jan Hronek and Small Countries Division President Margaret Ann Fleming.  Several individual awards were also given out:

Most Valuable Player (MVP):  Ross McKelvie (SCO)
Best Scorer:  Kamil Rychlicki (LUX)
Best Spiker:  Kamil Rychlicki (LUX)
Best Blocker:  Jason Smith (NIR)
Best Libero:  Stuart MacKenzie (SCO)
Best Receiver:  Jakub Kolos (NIR)
Best Setter:  Max Funk (LUX)
Best Server:  Marc McLaughlin (SCO)

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches.

News nr. 89 of 105
13/04/2014 23:00:00
At the roots of Scotland’s gold-medal performance...
12/04/2014 22:46:00
Scotland reaches out for Small Countries Division gold

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