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25/04/2019 20:52
Home sides victorious in #EuroVolleyU16W qualifiers
2019 CEV U16 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Luxembourg, April 25, 2019. The race for a spot in the Final Round is heating up at the #EuroVolleyU16W qualifiers. Romania added a second victory to their name in Pool C after edging the Czech Republic at the tiebreak to go with yesterday’s 3-1 victory over Latvia. Serbia and Greece started their campaign in Pool A in the best possible way – just as the Netherlands and Bulgaria did in Pool E.  Ukraine were the eventual winners of the sole match scheduled for Pool D – a 3-2 battle with Estonia. The winners of the five second-round qualifiers will make it to the Final Round due to take place in July in Italy and Croatia.

Pool A in Ub (SRB)  

Hungary and Greece opened the #EuroVolleyU16W qualifier in Ub with an exciting encounter. Hungary started the match looking good in all aspects of the game and deservedly won the first set. However, after that, the Greek players delivered an almost impeccable performance. They left their rivals scoring only 10 and 15 points in the second and third set, respectively. In the fourth set, the Greeks started with an 8-0 run and at that stage, fans somehow already knew how the match would end. It was a 3-1 (21-25, 25-10, 25-15, 25-15) win for Greece after 87 minutes of play. Evdokia Martha Anthouli was the best player of the match scoring 24 points for the winning team. On the losing side, Anna Ligart stood out with 11 points.

Konstantinos Gkountas, head coach of Greece: “They are still children so the quality in this match went up and down. However, I have a good team, good players, we prepared well for this match and they executed everything very well on the court. I am satisfied.”

Gabor König, head coach of Hungary: “I do not know what happened, I honestly don’t. Maybe we were afraid of winning this match, because after such a great first set, we could certainly have done it. However, my players did not do the things we agreed upon and I do not have a rational explanation for this.”

Hosts Serbia played Cyprus in the second match of the day. It was an uneven encounter, by all means, between friendly teams, who insisted to take a picture all together before the start of the match. As for the game itself, Serbia was far too superior and the final score of 3-0 (25-10, 25-11, 25-8) after only 55 minutes of play demonstrates it in the best way. The player of the match was Stefana Pakic of Serbia who scored 12 points. On the other side, Panagiota Nikolaou scored eight times for the Cypriots.

Zeljko Scepanovic, head coach of Serbia: “Right from the start it was obvious that the difference in quality was great. As we expected, tomorrow we will play a deciding match with Greece so we must immediately focus on that and do everything in our power to be as ready as we can be in this moment. We prepared well for this tournament and I trust my girls.”

Costas Panayides, head coach of Cyprus: “I think that Serbia has the best team in the tournament. We did our best against such a strong side, and I hope that in the next couple of days we can show a better performance.”

Click here for a live gallery of the competition.

Pool C in Ploiesti (ROU)

Slovakia and Latvia opened the programme of the second competition day in Ploiesti. The pre-favourites from Slovakia caught a flying start to the game leading from start to end of the first set (8-2, 16-7, 25-11), taking also advantage of some mistakes made by the opposition. Latvia put up more of a fight in the second set as their coach Ilmars Pulins tried to ‘shake’ his girls a bit. However, Slovakia have too much experience on their side and they eventually won the second set quite comfortably as well (25-12). Slovakia played very relaxed in the third set, thus cruising to a well-deserved 3-0 victory (25-11, 25-12, 25-14), their first in Ploiesti as Latvia on the other hand suffered their second setback.