Eurovolley Pool A: Italy and France secure 1/8 final spots!
Italy write down third consecutive victory at the 2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship, even if they dropped another set in Pool A (Montpellier, France). However, they beat also Romania on Day 4 and kept the perfect record in the tournament (3-0): 3-1 (25:15, 25:14, 23:25, 25:14). By winning this match, in which their head coach Gianlorenzo Blengini gave a chance to 12 of 14 registered players, Italy secured a place in the eighth-finals. In the remained two matches in the pool, Italy will fight for the best possible ranking prior to the next stage. Ivan Zaytsev was top scorer again, scoring 27 points (4 aces). Robert Adrian Aciobăniţei scored 10 points for Romania, that is with a score of 0-3.
Matteo Piano, Middle-Blocker for Italy:
“It was a good game with both teams fighting hard, not always the best quality but it was up and down. Romania pushed us and we felt this pressure in the third set. Now we have a rest day, then we have Bulgaria who are a bit like us but for sure we need to improve.”
Laurentiu Lica, Romania’s captain:
“We showed more courage today, it might have been better, but we are happy to have won our first set of the tournament. We knew that it would be very hard to beat France, Bulgaria and Italy… We are now expecting hard fights on the last two games, we will try our best tomorrow to beat Greece.”
In the same pool, France continued their superb campaign. After beating Romania and Greece, they dominated Portugal in their third match at competition: 3-0 (25:11, 25:20, 25:23). With 9 points and no set conceded, France are leading Pool A and secured the eighth-final ticket ahead of facing their main rivals, Bulgaria and Italy. Stéphen Boyer was the top scorer again for the co-hosts with 17 points, while Kévin Tillie made 82% attack (9/11).
Jenia Grebennikov, France’s libero:
“It was very important for us to win this game 3-0. We played really good in the first set, but after this Portugal started to play better. Both Bulgaria and Italy are good teams and we look forward to those matches. We all have a lot of friends in both sides, so it will be interesting.”
Alexandre Ferreira, Portugal’s captain:
“I feel sad about the result of course, but I think at this moment France are playing really well whereas we still need to work on a lot of things. Yet we hope we’ll come up with something better in the last two games. I don’t want to find any excuse.”
Barthélémy Chinenyeze, France’s middle blocker:
“I’m happy that I was called in to play yesterday, to really get into the competition, and today I played too so pressure is off. The Bulgarian middle blockers might be tough to handle but we fear nobody.”
2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship, pool stage – Day 4:
POOL A (Montpellier, France)
Romania – Italy 1-3 (15:25, 14:25, 25:23, 14:25)
Portugal – France 0-3 (19:25, 18:25, 19:25)
POOL B (Brussels & Antwerp, Belgium)
Spain – Belgium 0-3 (17:25, 21:25, 14:25)
Serbia – Slovakia 3-0 (25:19, 25:20, 25:21)
POOL C (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Belarus – Finland 3-2 (13:25, 17:25, 30:28, 25:22, 15:13)
Turkey – Slovenia 0-3 (28:30, 16:25, 23:25)
POOL D (Rotterdam & Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Netherlands – Poland 0-3 (19:25, 18:25, 19:25)
Czech Republic – Estonia 3-0 (25:18, 34:32, 28:26)
Source and Photos: CEV.