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01/10/2017 09:00
Final showdown in Baku with continental crown at stake!
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Baku, Azerbaijan, October 1, 2017. The D-Day has finally come – with the last two matches on schedule for the 2017 edition of the women’s EuroVolley set to determine the podium of the historic competition co-hosted by Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Netherlands and Serbia will vie for their second European title in history – after they achieved this feat on home soil in 1995 and 2011, respectively. The ‘grand finale’ of the tournament will be a repeat of the matchup these teams contested only a week ago in Ganja – which Serbia won 3-0. Hosts Azerbaijan and Turkey will fight for bronze with the home stars pursuing the first-ever European Championship medal for their country as Turkey hope to add more to the silver and bronze they won in 2003 and 2011, respectively.

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The Netherlands vs. Serbia


•    The Netherlands and Serbia (including its predecessors) will meet for the 10th time at the European Championship.
•    Serbia won five of the previous nine meetings, including each of the last two.
•    The last time the Netherlands beat Serbia (Serbia and Montenegro at the time) in the competition was in a classification match for fifth to eighth place in 2005 (3-0).
•    Serbia won 3-0 earlier this tournament in the group stage on 23 September. Tijana Boškovic scored 27 points in that match.
•    The Netherlands' last victory over Serbia at a major tournament came at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 3-2 in the preliminary phase.

The Netherlands

•    The Netherlands have reached the final at the European Championship for the second time in a row and for the fifth time in total.
•    The Dutch won their first and so far only European title in 1995 (3-0 against Croatia). They lost the final in 1991 (Soviet Union), 2009 (Italy) and 2015 (Russia), all in straight sets.
•    The Netherlands will claim their sixth medal at the European Championship (also bronze in 1985), equalling Italy for fifth-most decorated nation in the competition.
•    The last time they won a major tournament was the 2007 World Grand Prix.
•    The Netherlands reached the final after a 3-2 win against Azerbaijan in the semifinals. It was only their second win in their last nine five-setters in the competition.
•    The Dutch have lost only one match so far this campaign, the 3-0 defeat against Serbia in the pool phase.
•    Lonneke Slöetjes (104) and Anne Buijs (100) have both reached 100+ points for the Netherlands in the tournament.

•    Serbia will contest their third final at the European Championship. They won their only title to date in 2011 (3-2 versus Germany).
•    They lost their other final, 3-0 to Italy in 2007, and claimed third place in 2015 and 1951 (as Yugoslavia).
•    Serbia are currently on their longest winning streak in the competition (6).
•    Since their only European title in 2011, Serbia have claimed third place at two editions of the World Grand Prix (2013, 2017), second place at the 2015 World Cup, second place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and an additional third place at the European Championship (2015).
•    Serbia have won four of their five matches in this campaign in straight sets, with the 3-1 win against Belgium as the only exception.
•    Tijana Bošković leads her team in scoring at these championships, on 101 points.

Azerbaijan vs. Turkey

•    Azerbaijan and Turkey will meet for the fifth time at the European Championship, with Turkey winning all previous four matches.
•    Against no other opponent have Turkey played more matches in the tournament without ever losing.
•    Azerbaijan have also faced Italy in four European Championship matches without ever winning.
•    All of their previous four matches came in the group phase (including second group phase).
•    At the 2015 European Games, Azerbaijan lost both of their matches against Turkey in front of a home crowd (3-0 in preliminary round, 3-2 in semi-finals).

•    Azerbaijan could claim their first ever medal at a European Championship tournament, as their previous best result was a fourth place on their debut in 2005.
•    This was the third time that Azerbaijan played the semi-finals of a major tournament, after the 2005 European Championship and the 2015 European Games. On both occasions, they lost both their semi-final and the third-place play-off (2005 vs Italy and Russia, 2015 vs Turkey and Serbia).
•    The last host country to win the bronze medal at the European Championship was Poland in 2009.
•    Azerbaijan have won at least two sets in each of their five matches at this tournament as they won their first four and lost 3-2 versus the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
•    Polina Rahimova is top scorer at this European Championship with 132 points - she has averaged 7.33 points per set.
•    She has scored 11 points from aces and 111 from spikes, both more than any other player has.

•    Turkey will play the third-place play-off at the European Championship for the third time, after 2011 (3-2 win v Italy) and 2015 (3-0 defeat v Serbia).
•    That bronze medal from 2011 is one of their two medals, after a silver one in 2003 when they hosted the tournament.
•    The only team that lost the third-place play-off match at consecutive European Championships (since the introduction of that match in 1987) was Italy in 1991-1993.
•    Turkey could suffer consecutive straight-set defeats at the European Championship for the first time since 2015, when they did not win a set in the semi-finals and third-place play-off.
•    The last time they reached the podium of a major tournament was in 2015 at the European Games in Azerbaijan (winners).
•    Eda Erdem Dündar has scored a competition-high 25 points from blocks.

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01/10/2017 15:51:00
Turkey claim #EuroVolleyW bronze to silence Baku crowd
30/09/2017 20:30:00
Serbia rout Turkey to challenge ‘Oranjes’ in battle for #EuroVolleyW gold

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