Slovakia with a great set against Belarus, the favourite Turkey too strong for hosts Croatia at #EuroVolleyU19W

Turkey and France qualify for #EuroVolleyU19W semis?

CEV, Luxembourg. Turkey and France secured on Monday their spot in the semis of #EuroVolleyU19W after claiming their second victory in as many matches they have contested in Pool II in Osijek. On Wednesday, these teams will lock horns for the top spot in the group ahead of the semis and medal matches coming up later this week. Over to Pool I in Zenica, Belarus and Serbia claimed their second wins and will fight with Poland – who had a rest day on Monday – for a spot among the top four of the competition. The event is taking place in compliance with strict hygiene and health protocols and it is the first international Volleyball competition held since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. 

Pool I in Zenica (BIH) 

Slovakia vs. Belarus 1-3 (25-20, 24-26, 19-25, 21-25) 

On Monday late afternoon, Belarus came back after losing the first set of their matchup with Slovakia to emulate Poland – as these teams have a perfect record of two wins in as many matches in the competition this far. 

Volha Palcheuskaya, head coach of Belarus: “This was a very difficult match for us. After yesterday’s victory over Serbia in our first match in the championship, we knew we should have beaten Slovakia today.” 

A triple block by Team Belarus in their victorious performance against Slovakia 

Ondrej Spisak, assistant coach of Slovakia: “We won the first set, where we played well. Thanks to the excellent tactics prepared by the head coach, we performed well, but the concentration of the players did not last that long. There were individual mistakes, and you could see a lack of discipline in the game of some players. We can praise our performance in the first set, but we cannot be satisfied in the end because we lost.” 

Serbia vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-13) 

Serbia did not show any mercy towards the hosts to improve their win-loss record in the competition to 2-1. 

Ivan Milenkovi?, assistant coach of Serbia: “We were the favourites in this game, and we started the first set a little tight and nervous. However, later when the girls relaxed, everything worked just fine and we deservedly won 3-0. It is up to us to try to beat Poland and reach the semi-finals. That match is decisive. Whoever wins goes further in the tournament.” 

Goran Savi?, assistant coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Serbia came in a little under pressure. We really played well in the first set, where we even had a chance to score at 23-23 with an attack. Later, in the second and third sets, our game suffered because of bad reception. Therefore, the other elements worsened as well and our defeat was inevitable.” 

Pool II in Osijek (CRO) 

Croatia vs. Turkey 0-3 (15-25, 22-25, 19-25) 

Turkey secured on Monday their second straight victory in Pool II where they are yet to drop a set. On the other hand, hosts Croatia suffered their second straight loss after previously accepting a 2-3 defeat at the hands of France. 

“It was a difficult match for both teams, but we managed to play our game and win. We are so happy for this hard-fought victory and we are looking forward to the next match,” said Turkish player Sude Naz Uzun. 

“A well-deserved victory for Turkey. Our players respected them a little too much and did not show their best side. Now we have to turn to the next game, which is against Bulgaria. I can only hope they will beat France today, so that we can fight against them for a spot in the semi-finals,” Croatia head coach Saša Ivaniševic commented. 

Elif Su Ericek of Turkey finding a way through the Croatian block 

“I must congratulate the Turkish team, who are probably the favourites to win this championship. We fought hard but their experience prevailed. I hope we will have a much better game against Bulgaria, eventually securing our qualification to the semi-finals,” said Croatian player Karla Antunovic. 

“The Turkish players were better than us. We could have been a little more determined at times, but we did our best. Now we are preparing for the Bulgaria match, giving our best effort to win that game,” concluded Croatian outside hitter Dijana Karatovic.

France vs. Bulgaria 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-21) 

France emulated Turkey to claim their second victory in as many matches and with that, a spot in the semis coming up later this week in Zenica as well. 

“We were ready for this match, we analysed a lot of videos and practiced a lot, but maybe we did not have luck in some important situations. Now we will prepare for the match against Croatia, I believe in my team and I am staying positive,” Bulgaria head coach Gabriela Ayshinova said. 

“It was a great victory for us, I can only be proud of my players because Bulgaria has a very good team. We grabbed the place in the semi-finals, so tonight I am a very proud and happy man,” France head coach Fabrice Vial commented. 

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