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05/07/2017 21:39
Turkey's win against Serbia the standout moment on day three of #EuroVolleyU17M
2017 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Konya, Turkey, July 5, 2017. Turkey’s dramatic win against Serbia was the highlight on the third day of play at the CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship – Men, as the Konya Municipality Sports and Congress Center once again hosted some thrilling matches, featuring some of the continent’s best young talent.

Bulgaria vs. Greece 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-15)

Bulgaria made it three wins from three with a solid display against Greece in the day’s opening game. The Greek side were looking for back-to-back wins after beating Finland yesterday, but they were undone by Bulgaria who strengthened their position at the top of the pool.

Coach Dragan Ivanov refused to get carried away as he gave his thoughts after the match. “No matches are easy here at this tournament, the hardest match is the next one,” he said. “Today we blocked well and that was key for victory.”

Czech Republic vs. Russia 1-3 (23-25, 18-25, 25-19, 17-25)

After defeat in their opening match against Italy, Russia have responded well with back-to-back wins. On what was already a day of celebration for their statistician who was celebrating his birthday, Russia managed to avoid the tiebreak despite “losing concentration” in the third set.

Coach Konstantin Brianskii praised his side but was not getting carried away. “Yesterday was our first win and now we have two,” he said. “We are playing well but we must keep going.”

Finland vs. the Netherlands 2-3 (25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 23-25, 8-15)

Netherands coach Arnold van Ree was understanding of his side’s performance after beating Finland in five sets in Pool I. The Dutch beat hosts Turkey late last night before taking on a good Finnish side today and they were pushed all the way.

“I hoped to take energy from yesterday, but it was a physically and emotionally tough game,” van Ree said. “The players need this experience. We could have lost 3-0 today because our alertness was a bit down. Volleyball can be a real sucker of a game sometimes.” He was also pleased that tomorrow is a rest day for everyone. “For every team it’s perfect we have a rest day tomorrow. They may look tough but inside they need rest,” he concluded.

Spain vs. Belgium 0-3 (22-25, 17-25, 16-25)

Belgium qualified for the second round after beating pointless Spain in straight sets in Pool II. Spain pushed hard in the first set but Belgium pulled away in the latter two as their dominance grew. Speaking afterwards, Belgium coach Wim De Boeck was delighted at his side’s progress, for the experience of his young players, if nothing else.

“We play two extra matches now in a bigger hall and we will see after the Russia and Italy matches,” he explained. “My players are hungry for success. The rest day is very important because the guys are very tired being so young. Now we eat, drink and the players know what to do.”

Turkey vs. Serbia 3-2 (22-25, 25-14, 32-34, 25-19, 19-17)

In the best game of the tournament so far, Turkey managed to squeeze past Serbia in a tiebreaker in Pool I. In a draining match for players and fans alike, Turkey hit back twice before taking the two points in the final set. A visibly tired Turkey coach, Hüseyin Düzceler spoke of his delight at the victory in a high octane affair.

“I’m so happy that we won today with great play. Serbia played perfect Volleyball throughout. In the third and fourth set the players were tired but we did it. The Bulgaria match will be very important so tomorrow we must sleep.”

Serbia coach Ognjen Bulic said: “My players were encouraged at the end of the third set, but they are kids. We didn’t play our game in the first set but won and then in the fifth set we made many mistakes which is why we lost.”

Belarus vs. Italy 3-1 (25-22, 13-25, 25-21, 25-21)

Italy lost their winning start to the Championship after going down to Belarus who won their second consecutive match in Pool II. The first set was tight, but despite Italy hitting back strongly, two set wins by the same scoreline secured maximum points for the side coached by Aliaksei Kavaliou.  

Kavaliou said: “The team played well and I felt good about the victory. I’m glad we beat Italy and I think it will bode well going forward in the competition. Speaking about the time off on Thursday, he continued “Tomorrow we have training and we want to see the city of Konya so we will do some sightseeing.”

The teams have a rest day on Thursday before the fourth round of pool matches takes place on Friday.

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