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01/04/2017 21:50
Turkey, Bulgaria and Italy take the lead in Pool I
2017 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship – Women

Arnhem, Netherlands, April 1, 2017. As the ball of the 2017 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship – Women started flying in Arnhem, the rising stars of European Volleyball enjoyed their international debut in the first day of the tournament. Pool I brought out some exciting results with Turkey, Bulgaria and Italy celebrating their first victories.

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 #EuroVolleyU18W!

 Germany vs. Turkey

The Turkish girls demonstrated their strength with a strong service game from the beginning of the match that ended with a massive deficit for Germany at 0-3 (19-25, 14-25, 15-25). The team of coach Jens Tietböhl didn’t find a way to handle the “flurry of blow” and struggled with a bad reception over the entire match (40%). Turkey played with a lot of confidence and were led by opposite Ebrar Karakurt with 18 points and outside spiker İlkin Aydin who scored 12 points.

Turkey coach Onur Çarıkçı was very happy with the victory: “That was really a good start for my team. The girls had a strong service to put Germany under high pressure. I knew that they have problems with the reception and that this could be our way to success.”

A disappointed German coach Tietböhl said: “You cannot win a game without your reception. We made too many mistakes and the Turkish team played on a higher level. The game against Italy will also be a challenging one.”

German opposite hitter Emma Cyris added: “I have never seen such service pressure so far. That was the key point for the Turkish success today. Of course, we need to be better in the next matches. We have to improve our communication as well as our reception, if we want to win a game.”

The Netherlands vs. Bulgaria

It was a shocking defeat for the Dutch girls, while Bulgaria celebrated a 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22) win in their opening match of the European Championship. The Bulgarian block made the difference in the key moments. The young Lionesses stopped 12 of their opponent's attacks to turn the score several times. A bravely fighting host had even a better reception (51% to 47%), but a variety of unforced errors cost them a positive start in front of their home crowd.

The Bulgarian outside spiker Maria Yordanova topped the scoring charts with 21 points to set a first signature at the European Championship.

The Bulgarian coach Strahil Balov remarked with a bright smile on his face: “My setter did an excellent job and bluffed the Dutch block many times. We played with a great fighting spirit and I was also surprised that we had such a good service.”

Dutch Tam captain Sarah van Aalen said: “We made too many unforced errors at the important moments. Bulgaria did well and made less, which was the major difference I think.”

Her coach Julien Van de Vyver said: “Bulgaria did really well today, they deserved to win. They have a few players that have a lot of power, power that lacked often on our side. We do have potential, but almost no experience on major tournaments like this. However, the tournament is young, we still have chances.”

Russia vs. Italy

Italy won their first match of the tournament in Arnhem and stormed to an impressive 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) victory over Russia. The Azzurrine had an excellent service and produced 12(!) aces that secured their lead in every set. Even though the Russian team gained seven blocks, it was never enough to stop the strong Italian attack composed of opposite hitter Terry Ruth Enweonwu (19 points) and outside spiker Elena Pietrini (16 points).

Russian coach Alexander Karikov expected a strong Italy: “We knew that Italy is a very strong team. We couldn’t handle their strong service and failed to score the easy points. But tomorrow is a new day, where we want to win our first game.”

Luca Cristofani, Italy coach: “We are very happy, but we know that the tournament is very hard and long. It was only the first match. Tonight we played a good volleyball, although we had some up and downs. I´m just satisfied.”

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