Estonia one step closer to qualifying, Belgium and Greece extend CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women winning streaks
Luxembourg, January 6, 2019. Estonia beat Sweden, therefore denying any further hopes for the Scandinavian country, while moving themselves closer to qualifying for the historic #EuroVolleyW finals. Belgium and Greece already have a ticket to the finals in their pockets since August, but nevertheless they continued their dominance by claiming victories over Israel and Norway respectively.
Belgium vs. Israel 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-14)
• The Belgian Yellow Tigers continued their impressive winning streak – they have not dropped a set in the five EuroVolley qualifier matches they have played this far.
• Britt Herbots (BEL) with 17 points and Polina Malik (ISR) with 11 were best players in their teams.
• Spectators had filled up the De Lange Munte in Kortrijk in anticipation to see their team play. With Belgium already qualified to the finals, Israel still has hopes to book their tickets, if they record a home victory against Slovenia on Wednesday.
Britt Herbots, the top scorer of the match: “We were looking for the rythm in the beginning of the game, while we had no preparation to these matches. We served too often in the same way, so that our opponent had time to take the reception. But from the middle of the second set, we controlled the game and you saw how this team had pleasure to play together.”
Giuseppe Cuccarini, head coach of Team Israel: “We made some stupid mistakes at the end of the first set by 23-23 and also in the beginning of the second set, it went well for our team, but at 7-9 coach Vande Broek asked for a time-out and from that moment we broke down completely. I have to congratulate the Belgian team that showed their quality and the reason why they qualified for the European Championship so early.”
Greece vs. Norway 3-0 (25-20, 25-13- 25-22)
• Greece cruised past Norway with remarkable ease.
• Even when coach Naranjo brought on his subs for the third set, Greece found the way to turn the score around and seal the win.
• Greece retain an absolutely perfect record after five matches, at the top of the pool standings without having dropped a single set so far in the competition.
• Evangelia Merteki with 14 points and Olga Strantzali with 12 (including three aces each) were those to lead Greece’s scoring. Captain Ragni Steen Knudsen scored 11 times for Norway.
• More than 1,000 fans filled Markopoulo Municipal Sports Centre to watch the game, as hundreds more failed to gain entry in the already packed venue.
Guillermo Naranjo Hernandez, head coach of team Greece: “I am proud of this team and the players that I called and played so well. In a very short time we achieved so many important things. The fans got the chance to see what we have done and hailed our efforts.”
Matt van Wezel, head coach of Norway: “Congratulations to Greece. They played better. We are on a new starting point and have a long way to go to reach a higher level.”
Estonia vs. Sweden 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23)
• There were around 2,500 spectators present at the venue, which is a record for any women s match in Estonian Volleyball history.
• Estonia had a very shaky start and lost the first set, but managed to recover and win the next three.
• In case Estonia beat Finland in the last match of the qualifiers on January 9, they will become the first-ever Estonian women’s ball game team in history to make it to the Final Round of the European Championships.
Andrei Ojamets, head coach of Estonia:“The first set was terrible, the numbers were the worst I have ever seen. But I told my players they can be much better and with some substitutions we managed to get the game going. In my long coaching career I never thought it would be possible to play in front of thousands of people with the women s national team. This change has been incredible!”
Jonas Svantesson, head coach of Sweden: “There was a lot of pressure for Estonia and that showed in the first set. We are also not used to play in front of a full house like we had here. But we started really well and took the chance when Estonia was a little bit shaky. The game changer was the reception I think, where Estonia improved after the first set. We knew we needed to keep them off the net because they have strong attackers and at the beginning we managed to do that.”
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Information by cev.lu