In Pool A, Montpellier, France, Bulgaria started their participation in the European Championship in a perfect way. Silvano Pandi’s team defeated neighbors Greece in straight sets (25:22, 25:16, 25:20). They had slight problems only in the first set when Greece had a 10-7 lead. Tsvetan Sokolov was the top scorer for the winning side with 17 points, while Svetoslav Gotsev made 4 winning blocks.
Silvano Prandi – Bulgaria’s head coach
“The only important thing is to win. The result is good, better than expected. Now we think for the next match and I am pleased that no body was injured and that the team played well. But tomorrow is another day.”
Georgios Petreas – Greek Captain:
“We go inside the court with good vision, trying to get something from the game. Some small details gave the first set to Bulgaria so I think we have to push in three sets and not just in one. We have to be tough on ourselves to prepare for the matches we have to win later on.”
On the same Pool, as expect, Italy and France have opened the EuroVolley with the victories.
The 2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship began for Italy National Team according to expectations. The team coached by Gianlorenzo Blengini resumed where it stopped in the FIVB International Olympic Qualifier, in which they earned a promotion to the Tokyo Games.They destroyed Portugal in the second match of Day 1 in Pool A by a 3-0 (25:21, 25:10, 25:22).
Ivan Zaytsev lead Italy to the win by scoring 18 points through 71% excellent attack (15/21), while Lourenço Martins was Portugal’s top scorer with 14 points.
Ivan Zaytsev – Italy’s opposite
“We’re happy. We struggled to find some rhythm at the beginning, but we got better. Now we’re going to rest and get prepared for tomorrow.”
Miguel Tavares – Portugal’s setter
“Italy is a very professional team compared to us. We prepared only for three weeks when they played together all summer and already qualified for the Olympics. It was good to tie the score from time to time, but we’re still amateurs at that level. Our Federation should help us more.”
The host of the tournament, France, have scored the win at the start of the European Championship. Romania didn’t have a chance, losing the game in three sets 3-0 (25:19, 25:14, 25:16). Stephen Boyer had a good performance, scoring 18 points, while Kevin Tillie contributed with 11 points. On the other side, Adrian Aciobanitei ended the match with 12 points.
Stephen Boyer – France’s opposite
“As for every first game of a competition, it’s important to play with a smile, really enjoy it. As a team, we played well. I’m happy for the crowd tonight and for our good start.”
Laurentiu Lica – Romania’s captain
“They play well at home, that’s why it was difficult for us to play our best volleyball. We’ll try to improve in the upcoming matches, possible winning our first set, and then more. We’re looking forward to playing against Portugal and Greece.”
France Coach – Laurent Tillie: “We always think that the first match in a competition is tougher than the others, so we were very focused and I liked it. We had some great points with incredible defense which kept us in the match.”
Ciprian Matei – Romania’s outside hitter
“It was a difficult game for us because we played against the home team, our first game in a Euro in 24 years. We made a lot of mistakes and I think that is why France won.”
2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship, pool stage – Day 1:
POOL A (Montpellier, France)
Bulgaria – Greece 3-0 (25:22, 25:16, 25:20)
Portugal – Italy 0-3 (21:25, 10:25, 22:25)
France – Romania 3-0 (25:19, 25:14, 25:16)
POOL C (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Turkey – Russia 1-3 (13:25, 25:23, 17:25, 15:25)
Finland – North Macedonia 3-1 (25:23, 25:22, 23:25, 25:21)
Slovenia – Belarus 3-0 (25:17, 25:14, 25:19)
Source and photos: CEV