What a match in Pool A in Kraków, Poland. Ukraine defeated Portugal in a dramatic game lasted five sets, partially 18:25, 25:23, 25:21, 26:24, 11:15.
Ukraine now are third with a record of 2W-1L, while Portugal stay out of the top four with 1W-2L. Dmytro Viietskyi was the top scorer of the match with 20 points, while Marco Ferreira made 15 on the other side of the net.
Dmytro Viietskyi, opposite of Ukraine: “It was a hard match for us. At the beginning we played well, but after the second set we lost our focus and concentration. In the third part we made many own mistakes and then Portugal started to play better and better and this way we went into the tie-break. But a good thing is that our team managed to focus on the fifth set and that we earned this important win.”
Filip Cveticanin, middle blocker of Portugal: “We had a difficult start being down 2-0, but we were able to come back. Then unfortunately we had some moments when we lost concentration and we were also missing some experience, because we have a young team, we made some rookie’s mistakes which should have happened in critical moments and decided about our loss.”
On the same Pool, Nowakowski steps in with 9 blocks to help the hosts Poland avoid upset vs Greece.
Poland played the third match in the competition and scored its third victory after an unexpectedly difficult match ended 3-1 (25:15, 25:22, 20:25, 26:24).
After successfully completing the most difficult task in the group stage (defeated Serbia 3-2) yesterday, the head coach of the world champion Vital Heynen decided to check the form of some of his backups, but it nearly turned into failure. In fact, when he saw that the match might go in an unexpected direction, the Belgian expert sent León, Kurek, and Drzyzga to the court. Piotr Nowakowski staged a superb display, as he set up as many as nine blocks, and was also the top scorer for Poland with 20 points (73% in attack, 11/15). And we know that it’s very rare that a middle blocker finishes a match as the top scorer. Paweł Zatorski had 71% reception (28 digs, one error, 43% excellent).
Nikos Zoupani notched 19 points for Greece.
Aleksander Śliwka, outside hitter of Poland: “I’m very happy that we won this game. In this edition of EuroVolley many favourites have already dropped points and sets, or even suffered defeats like Slovenia or Russia. So the most important thing is the result on the scoreboard that gives us three points. Tomorrow is another game and we definitely will learn the lesson from today and I hope that we will get better and better.”
Stavros Kasampalis, setter of Greece: “I feel very proud of my teammates and myself, because we almost managed to cause a big surprise against one very big team. Every player of Poland is a legend, so this is a very big thing for the Greek team. I think it was a mistake with this challenge in the end of the last set, but this is volleyball, this is life, we have to forget about it and be proud of our performance.”
POOL A STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇵🇱| Poland 8
🇷🇸| Serbia 7
🇺🇦| Ukraine 4
🇧🇪| Belgium 4
🇵🇹| Portugal 3
🇬🇷| Greece 1
Bulgaria recorded a dramatic five-set victory over the Czech Republic in Ostrava’s Pool B: 3-2 (25:10, 23:25, 18:25, 26:24, 15:11).
Silvano Prandi’s side took the first set against the pool host with an impeccable score, but then lost the next two. In the fourth set Czech Republic were so close to take down the rival and make one more sensation (they beat Slovenia in the opener) but they dropped 15-10. Martin Atanasov stood out on the winning side with 31 points, including five blocks, while Todor Skrimov served four aces. Lukáš Vašina scored 20 points for the Czech Republic and made 81% reception (31 digs, one error, 61% excellent).
Jiri Novak, Czech coach: “We have to win whatever we can after yesterday’s defeat. We weren’t far away from three points today but it were Bulgarians stars who took the responsibility and gave it everything. After the first set we didn’t believe that it is possible but we played well. This is our team which can go quickly up or down, depends on emotions and today they were on the right side. After all it was a good match.”
Todor Skrimov, Bulgarian spiker: “Sometimes this happens that you easily win the opening set and thanks to that your opponent plays better. It is a question of psyche and now I am not sure where it went wrong for us. I am glad for those two points because we could lose 1:3. It was not the first time when I took a risk and today it went well for us when I scored those three aces. I know I have a quality serve and I can do it repeatedly. So I tried it, there was no time to wait.”
Italy earned the second victory by beating Montenegro with a score of 3-0 (25:17, 25:20, 26:24). They played on a level that was not a high level, but was sufficient for another three points, despite Montenegro was close to extending the encounter to, at least, four sets, given it had 22-19 in the third set. Daniele Lavia and Giulio Pinali scored 14 points each for Italy, while Simone Anzani set up five blocks. Miloš Ćulafić scored 15 points on the losing side.
POOL B STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇮🇹| Italy 6
🇧🇬| Bulgaria 5
🇨🇿| Czech Republic 4
🇸🇮| Slovenia 3
🇧🇾| Belarus 3
🇲🇪| Montenegro 0
In first match of Pool C in Tampere, Finland, and in what was also first match of the day, Turkey destroys the rivals from North-Macedonia, who still hunts for first EuroVolley win.
Turkey dominates the match in all elements (blocks 4 vs. 9, 6 by Vahit Emre Savas, aces 4 vs. 10), despite North-Macedonia got a flash start in the first set and took 0-3 lead.
Turkey is now the closest of all teams to secure first place in the playoffs. Adis Lagumdžija top-scored again the winning side with 16 points.
“It feels great to have three wins from as many matches. It was good to have a day off to regroup and rethink, as well as to analyse our mistakes from the previous matches and identify where to improve. We now have to play against the Netherlands and I can only expect a tough match, as they lost to Russia only at the tiebreak. We know them well. The last match will be with Finland and I expect a full house – it will be amazing for us as well to play in front of such crowd,” said Adis Lagumdzija, Opposite of Turkey and top scorer of the match with 16 points, including 3 aces.
On the same Pool, Russia has finally shown the face that resembles the team of such renown, beating Finland in its third match at the competition despite they came to CEV EuroVolley 2021 without several big names. They lost the opening set but then trampled over the neighbor in the next three, partially 22:25, 25:15, 25:23, and 25:17, being top-scored by Egor Kliuka (18 points). Antti Ronkainen notched 15 for the Nordic nation. It should be mentioned that Finland has not taken down Russia in 11 years!
Tuomas Sammelvuo, Head coach of Russia: “It feels great to be playing this tournament here in Finland, in front of this crowd – and I hope that this tournament can somehow re-start the development, growth and promotion of the Volleyball game in my home country. As for my team, we obviously have a lot to work on – but we cannot speak of those who are not here – and only work with those players we have, hoping to stabilise our game.”
POOL C STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇹🇷| Turkey 9
🇳🇱| The Netherlands 7
🇫🇮| Finland 6
🇷🇺| Russia 5
🇪🇸| Spain 0
🇲🇰| North Macedonia 0
After yesterday’s fantastic 3-2 win against Slovakia, Pool C hosts Estonia were hoping to please the home crowds again in today’s match against Germany in front of 5.000 spectators. However the rivals, one of the pool favorites, left the hosts disappointed, claiming an easy win in straight sets (25:19, 25:16, 25:21) and took a big step towards the Round of 16.
Gyorgy Grozer was the top scorer of the match with points,while Renee Teppan two points behind for the hosts.
Gyorgy Grozer, Opposite of Germany: “We are going step-by-step, finding our game but today we did really well. It was also great to play in front of the crowd after a long time, I really enjoyed it!”
Renee Teppan, Opposite of Estonia: “We tried to fight but perhaps our energy level today was not where it needed to be in order for us to keep up with teams like Germany until the very end. They were just too strong for us today.”
Whoever questioned the ability of France to recover both physically and mentally less than a month after the Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics games was wrong as, for now, they are responding to challenges in EuroVolley with ease, achieving another straight-set victory, this time against Croatia. Despite his absence in the third set, Jean Patry led the Olympic champion with 13 points, while Jénia Grebennikov had 92% reception (12 digs, 42% excellent), and Trévor Clévenot made 75% attack (12/16, one error). Leo Andrić scored 16 points for Croatia, while Ivan Zeljković made 77% reception (22 digs, 50% excellent).
Jean Patry, Opposite of France: “Today we played our game, with seriousness but also with pleasure. Having fun is important for us, it is our characteristic. If we want to play well, we need to have fun and take pleasure in every point.”
Tsimafei Zhukouski, Captain of Croatia: “I think we showed good Volleyball in some moments, and proved that we can play against a team like France as well. Some of our players got rest before important matches ahead, but we have many younger players and for them, it’s a great experience to play against Olympic champions.”
POOL D STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇫🇷| France 6
🇩🇪| Germany 6
🇱🇻| Latvia 4
🇪🇪| Estonia 2
🇭🇷| Croatia 2
🇸🇰| Slovakia 1
| CEV EuroVolley 2021 | Day 5 | September 5, 2021
| POOL A 📍 Kraków (POL)
Portugal – Ukraine 2-3 (18:25, 25:23, 25:21, 26:24, 11:15)
Greece – Poland 1-3 (15:25, 22:25, 25:20, 24:26)
| POOL B 📍 Ostrava (CZE)
Czech Republic – Bulgaria 2-3 (10:25, 25:23, 25:18, 24:26, 11:15)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
Italy – Montenegro 3-0 (25:17, 25:20, 26:24)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
| POOL C 📍 Tampere (FIN)
North Macedonia – Turkey 0-3 (22:25, 12:25, 15:25)
Russia – Finland 3-1 (22:25, 25:15, 25:23, 25:17)
| POOL D 📍 Tallin (EST)
Estonia – Germany 0-3 (19:25, 16:25, 21:25)
France – Croatia 3-0 (25:15, 25:16, 26:24)
| September 4, 2021
| September 6, 2021