Serbia, Spain, Poland and Czech Republic off to a good start in the third round of the qualifications for 2018 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Saturday 30th of June 2018

Luxembourg, June 29, 2018.  The third round of qualifications for the 2018 #EuroVolleyU20M started on Friday as this is the last chance for the teams of Latvia, Spain, Poland, Israel, Romania, Serbia, Czech Republic and Greece to proceed to the finals. The eight teams are divided into two groups (Pool I and Pool J) and only the pool winners will qualify for the Final Round in the Netherlands and Belgium that will be held from July 14 to 22.  Day 1 was successful for Serbia who claimed a 3-1 victory over Romania and for Czech Republic, who collected three points in Pool J as well, after storming to a 3-0 shutout of Greece. In Pool I Spain congratulated themselves with a straight 3-0 win vs. Latvia, while Poland were better than Israel, also grabbing a 3-0 win, thus making a first step towards securing their ticket to the Final Round.

Pool J in CZE

Romania vs. Serbia 1-3 (19-25, 25-20, 15-25, 16-25)

•    Bouchalky sports hall in Žďár nad Sázavou hosts the third round of qualification for #EuroVolleyU20M.
•    The Serbian team started better and won the first set at 25-19.
•    Romania won the next set, but then the players headed by Vladimir Vasovic took control of the game without meeting any further difficulties for the remainder of the match and eventually closed it in their favour at 3-1.
•    Davide Kovac from Serbia became best scorer, putting 18 points to his name.

Vladimir Vasovic, head coach of Serbia: "The most important thing is that we won today. It is not important the way we did it, but the victory itself. The first game is always difficult in every tournament and I hope we will be better tomorrow."

Ovidiu Costin Darlaczi, player of Romania: "We could play better, but it wasn’t a bad game from our side, so I am quite satisfied. Of course, winning the match would have been much better."

Czech Republic vs. Greece 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-22)

•    In the second match of the day the Czech players coached by Jan Svoboda locked horns with Greece.
 The first set belonged clearly to Czech Republic (25-15) while the following part was a tied one until the end with both sides constantly exchanging the lead. Yet again, the Czech players were better in the decisive moments for 25-22.
•    During the third set, the play was more balanced, but Czech Republic managed to take the control in the end and eventually emerged victorious.
•    Marek Šotola (Czech Republic) with his 14 points became best scorer of this match.

Jan Svoboda, head coach of Czech Republic: “I am satisfied that we managed to control this first match. The opening games during qualification tournaments are our “weak moments” and we are always nervous. That is why I am glad that today we can congratulate ourselves with a straight 3-0 win. We saved our forces and we will be fresh against our next two opponents who are also very strong.”

Panagiotis Lakasas, head coach of Greece: “Today we did not play a good game, our team was very stressed. We had problems in reception and also our serve did not work fine. Czech Republic won deservedly.”

Pool I in POL

Latvia vs. Spain 0-3 (14-25, 15-25, 20-25)

•    In the first game of the day in Zyrardow, Spain beat Latvia 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-20) and took three points for the standing of Pool I.
•    The first part belonged completely to the Spanish players, who played very well in attack and block. They also used the mistakes made by Latvia’s team to their advantage, what was helpful towards securing a comprehensive win.
•    In the two remaining sets, Spain showed the same good level and made the difference especially with their solid performance from the end line, eventually recording as many as six aces.  
•    Spain’s Alvaro Gimeno Rubio top scored in the match with 14 points.
•    On Saturday, the Spaniards will play against Israel.

Poland vs. Israel 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20)

•    In the second game of the Pool, Poland didn’t have any serious problems vs. Israel, controlling the match from start to end.
•    Both teams played extremely well in block, but the Polish players could count on their high effectiveness in attack (56%) and on as many as five aces as well.
•    Poland were excellent, avoiding making errors and this, eventually, was their main weapon.
•    Bartosz Firszt and Remigiusz Kapica top scored for Poland with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Ido David recorded 14 for Israel in their losing effort.
•    In their second match, Poland will play vs. Latvia.

Bartosz Firszt, captain of Poland: “We played three good sets, but we were losing our concentration in the end of each part and I think that this was our biggest problem. Anyway, we won and we made a first step towards reaching the Finals of #EuroVolleyU20M. Tomorrow we will play with Latvia and in games like this one, the most important thing is to stay focused and use your head, not only technical skills. We have to be concentrated and play our way with our good level of Volleyball.”

Yehonatan Mal, captain of Israel: “It wasn’t our match. We didn’t play as good as we wanted to, so we feel a little disappointed. We have to keep our heads up and try to play better. Next game we will play against Spain and it will be a tough one too. We played in the past against them and we lost, but tomorrow we will try to start better than we did today, with a lot of energy and do our best.”

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