Estonia, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland complete CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women teams
Luxembourg, January 9, 2019. After a busy night of action, it was Estonia, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland who completed the line up of 24 teams who will take to the court in this summers premier European Volleyball event. With 20 teams already sitting comfortably and looking forward to the drawing of lots later this month, it was these four who came out winners from their respective matches to take a place at the Finals. Switzerland (pictured left) return again after co-hosting the event with Germany in 2013, while it is the first time a women s team has reached European Finals in a ball sport in Estonian history. Catch up on all of the action on EuroVolleyTV.
Israel vs. Slovenia 0-3 (17-25, 12-25, 23-25)
Iceland vs. Belgium 0-3 (4-25, 7-25, 6-25)
Albania vs. Croatia 0-3 (15-25, 8-25, 14-25)
• Already qualified Croatia came through in straight sets for an easier than expected victory against Albania, leading from start to finish.
• The away side were commanding in all areas and concluded their sixth and final match of the qualification in just 59 minutes.
• Croatia’s Bozana Butigan was the best player and top scorer in the game scoring 14 points, including 11 winning spikes. For Albania the best scorer was Antoneta Molla, with 10 points.
• Whilst this was the first match of a busy day across Europe, Croatia guaranteed top spot in Pool B, collecting the maximum 18 points from their six matches and only dropping two sets in the group. Albania are now confirmed as finishing in fourth place, failing to record any set wins through the qualification.
Daniele Santarelli, head coach of Croatia: “I am very happy with my team, we played well and managed an easy victory against Albania. We expected a different game today, but for us it was quite easy to win these points. We have reached our goals, being in the first place of the group, so for us now starts a new challenge. I want to congratulate my players for everything they have done during these matches and tell them to not be satisfied with this, but to look for more in the future.”
Altin Martiri, head coach of Albania: “We did not play well today, maybe this was the weakest match of the qualifications for us. We know that we are a team “under construction”, with young players which are wearing the national team s jersey for the first time. We still have to work hard in the future, to create a new and strong team. I think the girls learned plenty of lessons from these games and will do much better in the future”.
Switzerland vs. Austria 2-3 (25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 21-25, 15-17)
• Austria may have won this Pool B showdown, but by taking the first two sets it is Switzerland who secure the ticket to the EuroVolley 2019.
• In a fantastic atmosphere, the Swiss team played their very best volleyball in the first two sets – pushed on by an excited crowd of 1,150.
• Laura Künzler, captain of the Swiss Women’s National Team, was back after her injury and her contribution was crucial - she scored 15 points, and many of the important ones.
• Maja Storck from the home side was the top scorer in the match, scoring 27 points.
• While the most valuable player of the Austrian team was undoubtably Nikolina Maros with 20 points.
• While a 3-0 or 3-1 victory would have been enough, Austria came up short and finished in third place.
Laura Küenzler, team captain of Switzerland: “Before this match we were all very emotional, but then we won the first two sets and we were so happy that we actually qualified for the European Championship. The next two sets were a little bit disappointing, as we did not play as good as we could. In the final set, we managed to get back into the match but in the end, we did not have enough left. Overall, the qualification is what counts and I’m really proud of our young team.”
Svetlana Ilic, head coach of Austria: “Switzerland kept more calm in the decisive moments and did better job. I want to congratulate them for the qualification to the EuroVolley, for sure they deserved it. It’s hard to find the right words, because now we are more emotional than rational. I clearly saw during the game when we were too short, especially after the injury of our first middle-blocker. Our team is young and were not prepared for this kind of stress.”
Norway vs. Ukraine 1-3 (22-25, 25-18, 22-25, 11-25)
Montenegro vs. Greece 0-3 (17-25, 21-25, 12-25)
• The travelling side secured their sixth straight 3-0 victory with a comprehensive win over Montenegro further cementing their place at the top of Pool C.
• This was the first qualification match to be played in the competition hall Mediteranski Sportski Centar in Budva attracting over 300 fans.
• This result sees a repeat of their first encounter, with Montenegro failing to win a single set against group leaders Greece.
• With a young team Montenegro are rightly confident for the future, lead by recently appointed young coach, Nikola Masonicic.
• The best player of the match was Olga Strantzali (pictured below) who scored 18 points, including 13 spikes and five aces, as outside-hitter.
Olga Strantzali, player of Greece: “I am very happy about the game, we won quite easily. We played a very good team but we made it look easy. I am really excited for the European Championship this summer.”
Nikola Masonicic, head coach of Montenegro: “I want to congratulate the Greek team. They played very well. We played good in the first two sets, but in the 3rd one the Greek team showed why they are the best team in the pool.”
Denmark vs. France 1-3 (25-22, 20-25, 15-25, 12-25)
Portugal vs. Georgia 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-12)
Finland vs. Estonia 1-3 (20-25, 25-15, 14-25, 17-25)
Sweden vs. Czech Republic 0-3 (20-25, 24-26, 18-25)
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Romania 2-3 (17-25, 25-19, 25-21, 17-25, 9-15)
• The sports hall "Lukavac" was filled to the last place with the best attendance in the history of Bosnian women s Volleyball. A fantastic atmosphere was maintained right through the match by the 1,230 fans.
• It was a "winner takes it all" situation going into the match and going the distance it was the away side from Romania who secured a spot at EuroVolley this summer.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina missed the opportunity to advance to the European Championship for the first time in their history.
• The best scorer of the match was Dajana Boskovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the sister of Serbian superstar Tijana Boskovic, scoring 27 points through the match.
• For Romania, the best performance was by Ioana Maria Baciu, who scored 26 times - including 25 spikes.
Nikolay Ivanov, head coach of Romania: "It was a very difficult match for us. We played in a great atmosphere, it was very nice. This is a very important victory for us. We played well in the tie-break and won. That led us to the European Championship and I m happy about that."
Goran Nesic, head coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina: "I don’t know what can I say at this moment, it s hard for us. We were close to the victory, in the end I can say that we won ourselves. I congratulate Romania and we are waiting for some new opportunity to go to the next European Championship."
Spain vs. Latvia 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-22)
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