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16/04/2017 20:03
12 teams to fight for #EuroVolleyU17M crown after completion of second-round qualifiers
2017 U17 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Luxembourg, April 16, 2017. After completion of the second round of qualifications on Sunday, we know the 12 teams set to fight for glory at the inaugural CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship – Men, which will be taking place in early July in Konya. Next to hosts Turkey and the winners of last year’s zonal first-round tournaments (i.e. Greece, Russia, Czech Republic, Finland and Italy), the teams emerging on top from their respective second-round pools – Bulgaria, Serbia, Belgium, Netherlands and Belarus – qualified together with the best second-placed team across all pools – Spain. The Finals will take place in Konya from July 3-11, 2017 and will crown the first ever European champions in this age group.  

Pool B in Bar (MNE)

Croatia rallied to a 3-0 victory (25-19, 25-23, 25-22) over hosts Montenegro on the last day of competition at Topolica sports hall in Bar. Croatia opened the game cruising to a 4-1 lead before Montenegro responded to close in at 5-4; Croatia, however, set the tempo of the game for the remainder of the first set (8-5, 16-8, 19-12) before Montenegro scored three points in a row for 19-15. This comeback by the hosts, however, did not change the course of the set as Croatia pulled out a 25-19 win.

Montenegro claimed an early lead in the second set (4-2, 5-3) but Croatia responded promptly to edge ahead at 8-6 and 12-8. The visitors extended their advantage to six points at the second technical time-out and held on to it up to 21-16. However, great serves from Nemanja Perunicic helped Montenegro reduce their deficit to one point only (23-22) before Croatia scored two in a row to double their lead in the match.

The score remained close up to 4-all in set 3 but Croatia edged ahead at the first technical time-out (8-6). The Croatian boys kept that same advantage at the second mandatory break and they remained focussed until the end to celebrate a 3-0 win (25-22).

“Personally, as a coach, this is my first international competition with the national team,” said Croatia head coach Marin Ivanic. “We did not expect too much because the boys came together only two days before this tournament. Of course, the match with Serbia was a lot more difficult but tonight I expected more from Montenegro because I think they have players who can play better than they did. The biggest accomplishment for me is this victory; however, I really enjoyed the spirit and attitude shown by my players, who looked more relaxed and positive than yesterday and this paved the way towards our victory.”

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