The very first day of the MEVZA women’s national team tournament in Hungary, Dunaújváros showed that the U19 Czech national team is considered one of the stronger in this tournament. In the first game they defeated their southern neighbors, Slovakia, without dropping a set. Nevertheless, in the afternoon program they lost to Slovenia with a final score 1:2, despite a smoothly taking the first set. It was the Slovenian team though who continued with betterdefense, made fewer service mistakes, and alsoscored nine aces in three sets, while the Czechs only one. At the same time, Slovenian outside hitter Neli Goršek was extremely successful in her hitting, and ended up scoring 18 points, which made her the most efficient player on the floor. Slovenian national team continued their momentum in the second match by winning against Israel without dropping a set, Taja Gradišnik Klajnšcek and Manja Jerala each contributed 12 points for their team.
Hungary achieved their first victory after winning two consecutive sets against Austria, who was then able to take the non-decisive third set. They were better on defense, especially in the block, while Austria made significantly too many mistakes – in total 20 in three sets. In their second match-up, Austria had to admit the close defeat against Slovakians, once again with the 1:2 being the final score. After a tie at 1:1 and a 21:13 lead in the third, the Austrian team almost had the win already secured. However, the lead, as well as 16 points by Selina Bauernfeind were not enough, as Slovakia showed perseverance and took the win with an incredible comeback.
Croatia achieved a seemingly easy win against Israel, as the opponents were only competitive until the eighth point in every set. Croatia recorded a hitting percentage above fifty percent, which is the highest score among all teams after the first competition day, with captain Natalia Tomic scoring 17 points. In the last game of the day, Croatia also defeated the hosts from Hungary without losing a set. Despite a statistically better hitting percentage, Hungary was weaker in all other volleyball elements.
Croatia finished the first competition day on top of the rankings with the maximum point score, in front of Slovenia in second place with only a point less. They are followed by Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia with one win each, while Austria has two points in the sixth spot ahead of Israel with no points yet.
Photo Credit: Volleyball Federations of Hungary and Croatia