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08/04/2015 13:30
Angelina Lazarenko, imposing MVP of the U18 women's European Championship
2015 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Plovdiv, Bulgaria, April 8, 2015. The 2015 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship – Women which came to a close last Sunday in Plovdiv crowned the Russian girls as the new young queens of the sport, after a thrilling final match that closed a sensational event. The competition held in the cities of Plovdiv and Samokov also served as the presentation of one of the most promising stars of European Volleyball: Angelina Lazarenko.

The Russian player was elected MVP of the tournament after delivering a series of outstanding performances and establishing herself as the leader of the new U18 European champions. During almost two weeks of competition, the middle blocker who will turn 17 next week drove Russia to the continental title in a remarkable display of offensive power and intimidation over the net, shining in all six victories that her team achieved in the tournament. “I really like Volleyball, it is my passion and my life, so (this success) is very important for me,” stated the 1.92 meters tall player.

Lazarenko became the main reference of her team in attack and in block and took the responsibility of heading the Russian squad in the most complicated moments of the their matches. During the preliminary pool round, the middle blocker registered an impressive tally of 63 points, 11 aces and 18 blocks in the five clashes she contested. It is noteworthy that during the 18 sets played in this first phase of the competition, Lazarenko recorded an outstanding 53% success rate in attack, a number that denotes her efficiency towards the opposite side of the court, and the staggering challenges that her actions triggered in her rivals. Lazarenko’s numeric mark of success increased during the final matches of the competition, as she signed on a total of 32 points, six aces and four blocks, with 71.5% of offensive efficiency in the two decisive clashes with Turkey and Serbia.

These performances, and her surprising level of proficiency throughout the tournament propitiated her election as Best Middle Blocker and MVP of the competition. “I don’t know yet if these recognitions will change my life at all. I just try to do my best on the court and I just want to keep on training as hard as I can,” commented the Russian star, who inititated her journey in the sport when she was nine years old, “in a sports school in Russia.”.

At 1.92 meters tall, Lazarenko was one the “towers” of the tournament, together with Dutch player Eline Timmerman and Belgian middle blocker Silke Van Avermaet - both also standing at 1.92 - and slightly behind Turkish Zehra Günes, at 1.94 and 1.96 meters-tall Sabrina Krause, from Germany. After her successful and awards-packed participation in the competition celebrated on Bulgarian soil, the future looks bright for the Russian rising star. “I would like to succeed in the Russian Championship and then I would also like to play abroad,” commented the young and timid athlete, who enjoys the quiet life when she is not wearing the Volleyball shirt. “I like to take long walks, to see my friends and I like to relax when I am not in the sports hall.”

So brilliant it is her prospect as star in the making that despite her young age, the middle blocker was capped to join her national team in the 2014 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Women. The attention she is receiving after the competition in Bulgaria is consequently opening plenty of doors for the MVP, so much so, that when asked if she sees a nearby debut in the much decorated senior national squad of her country, the imposing middle blocker just smiles and coyly replies: “Why not?”     

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05/04/2015 20:30:00
Russian girls are the new U18 women's European champions!

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