Croatia wins over Slovakia for 7th place, while Turkey takes drama-filled final at #EuroVolleyU19W

Croatia celebrates in the MEVZA duel with Slovakia for the final 7th place at EuroVolleyU19W

CEV – European Volleyball
HOS – Croatian Volleyball Federation
SVF – Slovakian Volleyball Federation

Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After a truly dramatic final, filled with twists and turns, Turkey emerged as the eventual gold medal winners of this year’s #EuroVolleyU19W. The young ‘Sultans of the Net’ edged Serbia 3-2 (25-17, 16-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-8) to secure their country’s second title in the competition after a previous generation had stood on top of the podium in 2012 – when the event had taken place in Ankara. Belarus completed the podium, as they took bronze after nailing a 3-1 victory over France (25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 27-25) to equal their best result in this age group – another bronze medal from the 2002 edition of the tournament. 

Turkey – the winners and gold medalist of EuroVolleyU19W

Turkey vs. Serbia 3-2 (25-17, 16-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-8)

On Saturday, these two teams had claimed a much-desired ticket to compete at next year’s U20 World Championship, but there was now continental gold to fight for and the final was the perfect climax of a memorable tournament. Turkey came back from a 1-2 deficit to claim the title, with their outside hitter Ipar Ozay Kurt receiving the prize for the Most Valuable Player of the competition. The Turks finished the tournament with one setback only – their loss to France during the Pool II matches played in Osijek, Croatia. 

Sahin Catma, head coach of Turkey: “This is a great victory and it represents a truly special achievement for our national team and for the whole of Turkey as well.”

Silver medal winners Serbia 

Milan Grši?, head coach of Serbia: “In general, we can be happy with what we have achieved at this tournament – a silver medal as well as qualification for the next edition of the World Championship. However, we believed that we could seize the gold medal. Congratulations to Turkey on winning the title, and to our girls, the staff of the national team, and to the Volleyball Federation of Serbia on securing yet another medal. These girls have made history.” 

Belarus vs. France 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 27-25)

Belarus finished the tournament on a truly impressive record, with their only loss coming in Saturday’s semi-final with Turkey. This is only the second medal for Team Belarus in the history of the U19 Women’s European Championship, to go with their bronze from 2002. France, on the other hand, failed to secure their very first podium finish, thus equalling the fourth place achieved back in 1992 and 1996. 

First coaching job crowned with a medal for the former setter of Team Belarus, Volha Palcheuskaya 

Volha Palcheuskaya, head coach of Belarus: “This was a great end to the tournament for us. We tried to do our best, to play the best we could. We had some problems with the block because the French players jumped very high and spiked strong, but my girls were outstanding and in the end, I believe that we won deservedly.”

Fabrice Vial, head coach of France: “I am disappointed. This fourth place at the European Championship is not good for us. I hope we can do better next year. Congratulations to Belarus, on the victory and the medal – they played great.” 

In the classification matches in Osijek, Poland defeated Bulgaria 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-17) to claim fifth place, while Croatia beat Slovakia 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-10, 25-20) to celebrate their first victory in the tournament and finish their journey in seventh place. 

Final standing 

1.    Turkey*
2.    Serbia* 
3.    Belarus 
4.    France 
5.    Poland 
6.    Bulgaria 
7.    Croatia 
8.    Slovakia 
9.    Bosnia and Herzegovina 

*Qualified for the 2021 edition of the FIVB U20 Women’s World Championship
**Italy, Russia and Germany had withdrawn from the tournament prior to the start of the competition