Russia advance to EuroVolleyU18M finals without dropping a set
Luxembourg, January 6, 2018. The quest for spots at the finals of the 2018 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship - Men resumed on Saturday with matches in all seven qualifications pools taking place in different cities across the continent. Russia managed to finish their campaign in Pool F with an impeccable 9-0 set record to book a spot in April’s finals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Latvia vs. Greece 1-3 (15-25, 25-22, 14-25, 18-25)
Greece defeated Latvia in four sets to score their second win in Pool A and get very close to topping the final standings. Once again led by Dimitrios Mouchlias, who scored 29 points, Greece overwhelmed Latvia at the net, both in attacking and blocking, and, other than in the second set, never faltered for a minute.
“We improved today, compared to yesterday, but we do not stop here," said Greece s head coach Stefanos Nanas after the game. "I don t care if we need one, two or ten sets tomorrow against Spain. We want the win to make our fans happy."
Pool B - CHERKASY (UKR)
Ukraine vs. Turkey 0-3 (16-25, 16-25, 17-25)
Pool D - PLOIESTI (ROU)
Serbia vs. Belarus 0-3 (9-25, 21-25, 16-25)
Pool F - ANAPA (RUS)
Russia managed to go through their entire Pool F qualification campaign without losing a set and secured a spot at the finals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as the pool winners. Poland finished in second place saving their chances to advance as well.
Russia vs. Poland 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-23)
The two teams started a real battle on the court. Russia took an early 8-5 advantage with spikes by Stanislav Antonov and Omar Kurbanov. Poland replied with the spikes by Jakub Czerwinski and Jakub Strulak, but Russia kept the margin. Poland tried to regroup, but Russia washed off all their efforts. Poland’s Michal Nowakowski appeared on the court and served long to end the set at 25-18 Russia’s way. The teams were trading points in the beginning of the second set with neither team gaining the edge. Polish errors allowed the Russian team to gain a 12-9 advantage and keep the distance to 16-13 due to good serving by Korney Enns and spikes by Stanislav Antonov. Poland split several Russian blocks to tighten the game. However, Enns picked up the set for Russia at 25-20. In the third set Poland found more fresh energy to an 8-6 lead with attacks by Filip Roque De Oliveira and Bartosz Slawinski. Russia faced some difficulties with reception and Poland kept the distance - 13-11. Russia levelled the score at 16-16 due to spikes by Enns and both teams started to fight for every point through 22-22. They showed a great desire to win the set, but it was Kurbanov who finished the match at 25-23 in favour of Russia.
Mikhail Nikolaev, coach of Russia: “It was a very difficult game, but we played well. I am satisfied with the result.”
Omar Kurbanov, player of Russia: “Poland are a very strong team, but we won the game. I am very happy now.”
Sebastian Pawlik, coach of Poland: “Russia are a very good team. They played better today and they won.”
Bartosz Slawinski, player of Poland: “We made too many stupid mistakes. We lost many easy points. We are very disappointed with the result.”
Pool G - KIENBAUM (GER)
Belgium vs. Estonia 3-0 (25-19, 29-27, 25-19)