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29/08/2016 19:00
Serbia and Hungary survive a five-setter - Russia still unbeaten
2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Györ, Hungary, August 29, 2016. The spectators in attendance on the third competition day at the CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Women witnessed some exciting matches, when Serbia as well as hosts Hungary survived a five-setter to celebrate some magical moments in Györ. In the end Russia extended their winning streak by beating Italy in four sets. 

You can follow the Championship also on Facebook and Twitter, with the official hashtag to be used for all of your posts and tweets being #EuroVolleyU19W!

Serbia vs. Germany 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 25-11, 28-30, 15-7)

Germany caught a good start to the match but as the set progressed Serbia imposed their rule and won it 25-19.

The soulful German fans cheered their team on, and the girls received strength from this, as they led by four points at the first time-out of the second set. Before the second technical time-out, Serbia pulled themselves back into it and equalised through Katarina Lazovic at 21-21. However, Serbia lost their way as Germany racked up the points, winning 25-21.

After suffering this setback, Serbia hit back and took a ten-point lead after the first time-out in the third set. They gave Germany little hope of back-to-back sets as they prevailed 25-11.

There was a technical issue which delayed the start of the fourth set but the teams appeared unaffected. Serbia led by one or two points for the most part, but Germany changed gear in the middle of the set. They led by two points towards the end and despite being 23-21 down, Serbia equalised. It was a tense end and after Germany missed four set balls, they took the sixth to win 30-28.

In the final set, Serbia dominated again, and after the sides changed ends, they led by four points. In the end, Jovana Kocic hit the first of their seven match points at 15-7 to secure their second win of the tournament.

Marijana Boricic, Serbia coach: “I want to congratulate my girls. I feel we could play all day long. It was a very long match with five sets. I am disappointed, because we could not win 3-1. Maybe we deserved it. In the third set, we won 25-11, and after the first technical time-out in the fourth set, we led 8-5 and my girls stopped, they thought it was enough. I want to congratulate Germany too, because they fought hard, they have a very good defence.”

Jan Lindenmair, Germany coach: “We are disappointed, because my players fought hard in this game. It was really good attacking Volleyball. At the end, Serbia were a little more relaxed at the important moments and they made less mistakes.”

Belarus vs. Hungary 2-3 (20-25, 17-25, 25-16, 26-24, 7-15)

Although Belarus led at the beginning of the first set, Hungary equalised at 11-11, and after putting on a fight like a real team does, they turned the score around after Réka Szedmák's ace. Belarus took advantage of their opponent's mistakes, and edged ahead again, but after 18-18, Kata Török served three aces in a row and Hungary won the set 25-20.

The game was really balanced in the second set. Initially Belarus led by a point, but after Hungary rallied back the hosts led by three points at the second time-out. The difference grew further towards the end of the set with Török's and Zsófia Kalotai's spikes making it 25-17.

At the beginning of the third set, the host team took the lead and led by five at the first technical time-out. The break was useful and productive for the Hungarian team, because they equalised soon after with a five-point winning run, thanks to Gréta Kiss's aces, among others. However, in the middle of the set, Hungary had another downturn, and Belarus won the set confidently, 25-16.

The fourth set was dominated by Belarus until the point where they led 4-0, when Hungary coach András Horváth asked for a time-out and subsequently Hungary closed in. After the second time-out, there were more Hungarian mistakes, and the difference was five in favour of Belarus, but Hungary scored five points in a row and equalised yet again. They had a match ball, but Belarus took three points, which meant a set victory for them of 26-24.

Hungary dominated in the last set, the result was 8-2 at the side switch, and they won the match confidently. To the delight of the assembled Hungarian fans they cruised to a massive 15-7 and they celebrated with the many local supporters at the end of the match.

András Horváth, Hungary coach: “It is a precious victory, because this Belarusian team played a close match with Italy. The girls did what I asked them to do. I am proud of them, but do not have to stop, especially with two more matches to come.”

Hanna Klimets, Belarus opposite: “It was a hard match and we lost again as we did yesterday. We were very tired, because we played five sets against Italy, too. We tried to get the maximum out of this match. I don't know how can we win, but we will do everything to achieve this goal in the next match.”

Russia vs. Italy 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16) 

As expected, the game between Russia and Italy started on a balanced level. Both teams delivered a tight fight, while Italy went up to a five point advantage at 19-14. Russia responded with five points in a row and kept the advantage until the end of the set, with captain and outside-spiker Maria Vorobyeva who scored the last point to 25-23.

It was a shocking result for Italy that had huge problems to recover. Russia led the score 9-1 and 20-13 and got closer to improving the set-advantage to 2-0. Italy bounced back and made seven consecutive points to tie at 20-20. It seemed that the momentum was on the side of the Azzurrine but again Russia overpowered their opponents in the crunch time and won the second set with the same score of 25-23. Although the Italian girls were able to snatch the third set with a huge advantage of nine points at 25-16, they never were in the position to equalise the game and lost the fourth 25-16 and with it the match 3-1.

Anastasia Stalnaya, Russia outside-spiker: “This game was very hard for our team and we tried to play strong to show the Russian character.  We have a very strong team and want to finish the pool on top of the charts.”

Luca Cristofani, Italy coach: “We played a good match and fought for every point. Russia is the strongest team at the moment and deserved the win. We need to recharge our batteries tomorrow, so it´s good to have a free day.”

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