Poland come back from two sets down to secure ticket to 2018 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Friday 6th of July 2018

As per the results of the Drawing of Lots held in Utrecht in early May, the Final Round will start with pool play as follows:

Pool I: The Netherlands, Germany, Belarus, Finland, Portugal, Czech Republic 
Pool II: Belgium, Italy, France, Turkey, Russia, Poland

Pool J in CZE

Greece vs. Romania 3-1 (25-27, 25-19, 25-21, 25-15)

•    The last day of the third round of qualifications for #EuroVolleyU20M started with a match featuring the teams of Greece and Romania. 
•    The first set was a balanced one until the end, but eventually the Romanian players grabbed that part after long rallies and good Volleyball, showed by both sides. 
•    Greece responded in the best possible way in the second set winning it by 25-19 and continued to play very well also in the next parts, taking total control of the game.
•    Konstantinos Kapetanidis from Greece topped the charts scoring 23 points.  

Panagiotis Lakasas, head coach of Greece: “Unfortunately we lost the first match in this tournament against Czech Republic and because of this loss, we couldn’t progress to the Finals. However, now I am happy about our second victory and that we could finish the tournament in a good way.”

Ovidiu Costin Darlaczi, captain of Romania: “I am not satisfied with our game today. We need to train more and more in order to be able to compete against this kind of teams.”

Serbia vs. Czech Republic 0-3 (12-25, 19-25, 17-25)


•    Czech Republic, who had already secured their spot at the Finals of #EuroVolleyU20M on Day 2 of the qualification tournament, entered the court on Sunday for their match vs. Serbia without any sign of stress or pressure. 
•    Playing at home with supporters that created a great atmosphere for them, the Czech players did not give any chance to their opponents to take the lead and dominated the game from the beginning to the end. 
•    This was the third straight sets win for the hosts, as in the previous two days they had won with the same result against Greece and Romania. 
•    The best scorers (both with 14 points to their names) were Marek Šotola and Lukáš Vašina from Czech Republic.

Jan Svoboda, head coach of Czech Republic: “We wanted to finish the qualification with a victory and I am very happy that we managed to do so. It is not easy to play on a good level, knowing that you are already qualified; it might have happened that my players would lose focus, but this was not today’s case and this is why this result is so important to me. Now we have only ten days to prepare for the #EuroVolleyU20M Finals and we will do our best.”

Vladimir Vasovic, head coach of Serbia: “The Czech players were better today and we wish them good luck at the U20 European Championship.” 

Pool I in POL


Israel vs. Latvia 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 25-17, 25-22)

•    In the opening game of the last day of the qualifier to the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU20M, Israel won 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 25-17, 25-22) vs. Latvia and finished the tournament in third place. 
•    The first set was a close affair, with both sides showing good skills. However, Israel took the initiative in the end of the set, playing much better in attack. The main weapon of the Israeli team was Ido David who finished the set with eight points out of twelve attacks. 
•    Israel seemed to have lost their rhythm in the second set. The Latvian players used that to their advantage, while the Israelis registered only a mere 19% success rate in attack. 
•    In the following sets, however, Israel regrouped and started scoring again. 
•    Ido David top scored for his team with 22 points and 42% success rate in attack. 
•    Israel got three points and finished third, while Latvia didn’t manage to get a single point in Pool I in Zyrardow.

Janis Jansons, captain of Latvia: “This game was really tough for us, because we were feeling a little nervous. We wanted to win, but the pressure was too big. However, I am extremely happy about how the whole tournament went, because I am a new player in our team and I joined the group only two weeks ago. Playing in this tournament was a big challenge to me, but anyway I am happy about the skills that I was able to show.” 

Idan Bahar, libero of Israel: “We maybe have a different goal than the other teams competing here. In Israel, Volleyball is not such a popular sport and we are the first team playing at an international level in this age group since years. We wanted to show our skills and we were trying to “play” with Volleyball and enjoy it. We know that we lost two games, but we also won one, at the end. For us the most important is that we finished this season with a victory and this does pay back our hard work. The tournament was very professionally organised, on a top level. I am happy that we could be a part of this event!” 

Spain vs. Poland 2-3 (25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 11-15)

•    In the “Match of the night” the host team Poland locked horns with Spain. 
•    Both teams were fighting for a much coveted ticket to the Finals of #EuroVolleyU20M in The Netherlands and Belgium.
•    In the first two sets, the Spaniards were the dominant force and didn’t even give a chance to Poland to react. The Polish players tried to respond, but Spain were too strong at that stage. 
•    In the third set the Spanish players still were playing better than the home side and the Polish fans, cheering up in the sports hall, started to lose their hope. However, the hosts managed to get themselves back and come back. What gave them wings to fly was the moment when they scored seven points in a row with only one made by Spain instead. 
•    The Polish players looked relived at the beginning of the fourth set and thus, they obviously felt stronger than before. Poland seemed to be getting on the right track, while Spain couldn’t cope with the pressure and couldn’t find back to their initial rhythm. 
•    In the tiebreak Poland could keep the concentration, being inspired until the very end by their fans and this helped them secure the much wanted promotion to the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU20M. 

Ricardo Maldonado, coach of Spain: “At first I want to congratulate Poland on their qualification to the Final Round. We did everything we could. We started the match very well, but they changed their tactics and we could not play on the same, high level any longer. In the third set, we started to think that our job was done and we lost focus. Moreover, our libero suffered an injury and that distracted a little my players as well. Anyway, we have to learn to keep our concentration in such moments and that is a lesson for us to take. The Polish players, on the contrary, kept cool until the very end.” 

Wiktor Rajsner, middle blocker of Poland: “The game was extremely tough but we eventually did it! The atmosphere was amazing and the support we got from the fans was just great! We are feeling extremely happy! Of course, we were feeling the pressure but we kept our concentration and won the tiebreak. Next to the technical skills, the most important was heart, head and character – and I believe that we have all of them.”   

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