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27/04/2019 20:29
Russia, Romania and Greece proceed to #EuroVolleyU17M Finals
2019 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Luxembourg, April 27, 2019. Russia,  Romania and Greece secured their spots in the Final Phase of #EuroVolleyU17M as on Saturday they emerged victorious from their respective matches. On the last day of the qualification tournament in Anapa, Russia won 3-0 over Slovakia, finishing with three victories out of three matches, topping the charts in Pool A. Romania outclassed Denmark 3-1 in Pool D, while in the qualification tournament in Herceg Novi, Greece proved to be the best team in Pool E and booked their tickets to Sofia, Bulgaria where the 2019 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men will take place later this summer. Portugal and Serbia also finished on a positive note in Pool B in Belgrade with the Portuguese players already qualified for the Finals.Who will grab the last two tickets for the Finals will be decided on Sunday, as the situation is still unclear in Pool C where Ukraine and France will be in a battle for the first place. The best runner-up across all pools will also proceed to the Finals.

Pool A in Anapa (RUS) 

Two 3-0 victories were delivered in the third and last day of the qualification tournament held in Anapa.

Hungary and the Netherlands entered the court in the first fixture on Saturday with the Dutch team emerging victorious in straight sets (25-14, 25-18, 25-17). It was hard to decide who was better in the beginning of the first set, but eventually the Netherlands took the initiative and were leading with a six-point difference. Step by step the Oranjes made the difference bigger. Hungary tried to respond in the second set, but the Dutch players showed great level of concentration and didn’t let their opponent cause any serious surprises, maintaining the positive score in their favour (10-6).  Hungary’s head coach Akos Szücs tried to change the way things were developing by taking a timeout and it seemed that his decision worked for a while as his players returned more confident on the court for 12-12. However, this boost of confidence did not last enough to bring a different score and despite the three points in a row made by the Hungarians in the last minutes of the set, the Netherlands closed it in their favour. The Dutch were unstoppable in the last set and thus seized the final victory. 

Akos Szücs, head coach of Hungary: “The mentality of the team was pretty bad. All of the players were thinking about going home. And we are really sorry that we lost this match because now in this period, we are switching coaches. Congratulations to the Dutch team, they played well.”

Arne Hendriks, head coach of the Netherlands: “After two losses, each one at 0-3, it becomes difficult to play the last match with energy and well-focused. I think my boys played very well, putting a lot of effort in serving. They deserved this win.”
In the second match of the day, the hosts from Russia took what they were looking for and after a 3-0 win (25-17, 25-19, 25-20) vs. Slovakia could congratulate themselves with qualifying for the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU17M. Despite the not so strong touristic season in Anapa, the sports hall Volleygrad Vityazevo was filled with fans, cheering for their favourites, creating a great atmosphere. The Slovakian team started good in the beginning of the match, scoring four points in a row, making Russia doubt for a while in their abilities. However, the Russian side could “wake up” easily from that episode and took the initiave, also after some mistakes by Slovakia, for eventually taking the first set. A brilliant block by Nikolai Zubov brought Russia to the 16th point (16-10) in the second set and with inspiration and great spirit, the Russian side won it. The spectators in the sports hall witnessed some long and interesting rallies in the beginning of the next set, with Russia maintaining their advantage, mostly because of great blocks. Slovakia’s team didn’t give up easily, chasing their opponent all the way, but thanks to great support from the fans, the Russians could claim the victory, qualifying for the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU17M.

Branislav Hanusek, captain of Slovakia: “We made a lot of mistakes, our game was getting worse and worse. Our reception wasn’t working good and we could not attack.”

Vladimir Khromenkov, head coach of Russia: “Well, this is a very pleasant victory and, honestly speaking, we assumed that it would end like this. The only thing, the key, was to understand that the two previous easy victories were not a reason to think that we are very strong. At this age every opponent is very dangerous. I guess we were a little bit stronger, but the technical elements, shown by our opponent, really made us worried. Technically, the team of Slovakia is very good and we had to work with maximum concentration. Our team coped with the pressure.”
Pool B in Belgrade (SRB) 

Portugal and Serbia finished the qualification tournament in Belgrade with convincing victories in matches without any importance, since the Portuguese team had already booked their ticket for the Finals on Day 2. 
Portugal easily grabbed the victory over Sweden at 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-18), while the hosts of the tournament, Serbia, finished in style, overpowering Latvia with a straight-sets win too (25-13, 25-18, 25-14). Nuno Marques of Portugal put 18 points to his name and became best player of the first match of the day. In the second match, Branko Kopitić scored 13 for Serbia.

The Portuguese boys qualified for the #EuroVolleyU17M Finals without losing a single set. Serbia, on the other hand, missed their chance to proceed to the finals of the Championship as best second ranked team, so they leave this tournament with a consolation win over Latvia. 

A live gallery from both Ub (#EuroVolleyU16W qualifier) and Belgrade (#EuroVolleyU17M qualifier) is available here.
Pool C in Zaporizhzhia (UKR)
Ukraine  claimed a 3-2 victory vs. Belgium on Saturday (21-25, 19-25, 25-17, 25-10, 15-13) in the first match of the day, while their main opponent France outclassed Israel at 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-17). On Sunday the two teams will enter the court in Zaporizhzhia to decide who will be grabbing the ticket to the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU17M. One day before the important match, both France and Ukraine have two wins out of two matches, but the French team have six points, while the Ukrainians - five. 
Pool D in Ploiesti (ROU)
Romania finished their campaign on home soil in style, rallying to an emphatic 3-1 victory over Denmark (25-19, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22) to secure their progression to the Final Round. Romania set the pace from start to end of the opening set even though they also made some mistakes – as Denmark did. Their show continued in the second set as well with their opposite Alin-Florin Ion and middle blocker Vasile George Breban helping them secure a 25-23 win. Denmark came out strong in set three with outside spiker Marius Stenmann Hansen that sealed the set at 25-19. The fourth set, on the other hand, was a copy of the opening one, with Romania claiming an early lead (8-5 and 16-14) and Denmark not able to get any closer. 
Constantin Burungiu, head coach of Romania: “We deserved this victory. I have a fantastic group of players. They prepared well and I want to congratulate them for this fantastic achievement.”
Pool E in Herceg Novi (MNE)

In the first match of the third day of competition in Montenegro, Belarus was better against Austria. The players headed by Aliaksei Kavaliou stood definitely better on the field, showing good class for a 3-0 win (25-13, 29-27, 25-23). Belarus emerged victorious easily in the first set, but then the game became more competitive as Austria showed will to fight in the next two sets. The Austrian side was leading at times with five points ahead, but Belarus could resist.  Aliaksei Ilkevitch scored 20 points for Belarus, while for Austria Michael Czerwinski helped the most with his 11 points.

In the second match of the day, Greece easily grabbed a 3-0 victory (25-12, 25-16, 25-16) over the hosts of the tournament from Montenegro. The Greek players showed they were the best in this group and will be locking horns with the best teams in Europe in the Finals of the competition.  
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News nr. 13 of 31
28/04/2019 22:16:00
France secure #EuroVolleyU17M spot, Belarus continue as best runner-up
26/04/2019 22:22:00
Portugal stun Serbia to secure ticket to #EuroVolleyU17M Finals

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