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06/09/2014 19:48
Russia on top again with European U20 gold!
2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Brno, Czech Republic, September 6, 2014.  Russia is the new champion of Europe in the U20 men’s category!  Head coach Sergey Shlyapnikov’s squad emerged victorious from the final match of the 2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship – Men.  After an impressive 3:0 (25-16, 25-16, 28-26) over tough fighter Poland in Brno, the Russians from this generation added one more gold medal to the titles from the 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship - Boys and the FIVB Volleyball Boys' U19 World Championship 2013.  This is the 18th title for Russia (including those of the former Soviet Union) in the history of the junior men’s European championships.

The gold medals and the cup were handed to the Russian team by CEV Vice President and President of the Jury Banu Can-Schürmann and the President of the Czech Volleyball Federation Zdenek Hanik.

At the beginning of the awarding ceremony Banu Can-Schürmann and Jury Secretary Riet Ooms thanked the organizers by presenting special CEV memory plates to Robert Urbanek, Vice President of the Czech Volleyball Federation and OC President from CVF, and to Tomas Singer, Vice President of the Slovak Volleyball Federation and OC President from SVF.

Russia vs. Poland 3:0 (25-16, 25-16, 28-26)

Poland held up through 11-12 in the first set.  At that point Russia’s great serving and blocking started extending the advantage to go as wide as 25-16 at the end of the set with Ilia Vlasov hitting through the middle for the last point.  The Russians used the momentum to dominate on the court from the very beginning of the second set.  After an amazing series of serves by Kirill Ursov, Russia went up by 10-2 and then maintained a steady lead through the end when Dmitriy Volkov put the ball on the floor for 25-16.  The third set was by far the most interesting one.  The Polish offensive line rose up for a final battle.  The courageous performance by the central European team in this set was enough for them to be in the lead almost throughout the set and then to save three match points for Russia.  But in the end, two unforced errors – in serving and in setting, presented the victory to Russia at 28-26.

Russia’s 13 kill blocks against none for Poland made the big difference in this match.  Poland’s Bartosz Bucko was the best scorer of the game with 16 points, followed by teammate Aleksander Sliwka with 13.  Victor Poletaev was Russia’s most prolific player with 12 points.

Aleksander Sliwka, captain of Poland:  “We fought as hard as lions, many viewers in the hall were supporting us, we have to thank them, but the Russians were better and reached the gold medals. It is a huge success for us and I am proud of our team.”

Pavel Pankov, captain of Russia:  “Everything was very good.  We did everything to win this tournament and it happened!”

Jacek Nawrocki, head coach of Poland:  “We played badly in the first two sets, we were not good at serving.  The Russians played on high level during the match and I have to congratulate them.  We started to play in the third set and it was too late.  But anyway it is a huge success for all Polish youth volleyball.”

Sergey Shlyapnikov, head coach of Russia:  “We played strongly and very well throughout the whole tournament excluding the match with Italy and the third set in the final.  We won and this is good.”

Click here for results, statistics, photos and more...

Click here for live photogallery from Brno.

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06/09/2014 20:18:00
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