Last day of Pool stage has been completed today. In first matches of the day, in Pool B Skrimov send Bulgaria to playoffs with 8 aces, while Germany sends Slovaks home in Pool D. On the same Pool, an undefeated France saddens crowd in Tallinn, destroying Estonia’s hopes of reaching Round of 16 while, back to Pool B, Italy ended as undefeated team too.
In the first (and decisive) match of the day in Pool B in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Bulgaria trembles, but wins in four sets against a combative Belarus who, after suffering in the first two sets, ended respectively 25:13 and 25:18, finds their rhythm and conquers a very balanced third set 24:26, and then leads also part of the fourth. However, the favorite Bulgaria reacts, and manages to take the whole loot, qualification to the next stage of the competition included.
Todor Skrimov was the most prolific player with Bulgaria’s jersey with 23 points, 65% in attack as well as 8 aces (of Bulgaria’s 12). Captain Tsvetan Sokolov also contributed with 18, while Uadzislau Babkevich was the top scorer on the other side of the net with 17 points.
Tsvetan Sokolov, Bulgaria’s opposite: “It was difficult for us but I am very happy. It was one game – all in. If we lost, we would go home. Fortunately we have won and we stay in the tournament. We fought really hard in the end and were rewarded for it.”
Viktar Beksha, Belarusian coach: “First two sets it was a game on one goal. They risked a lot and were good in it. We had a bad reception. However Bulgarians believed too early that they won and we used it as our advantage. We improved our defence and attack. Unfortunately in the fourth set (19:16) we made many unforced mistakes and lost this game.”
On the same Pool, Italy remained invincible in the group stage, as they downed also Pool B’s host the Czech Republic 3-1, partially 25:20, 25:21, 23:25 and 25:22.
The match was of significance just due to the fact that the host could jump up from fourth to third place in the standings, but they remained fourth. Giulio Pinali top-scored the winners with 22 points, including five aces and as many blocks, while Mattia Bottolo had 73% reception (11 digs, 64% excellent).
FINAL POOL B STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇮🇹| Italy 15
🇸🇮| Slovenia 9
🇧🇬| Bulgaria 8
🇨🇿| Czech Republic 7
🇧🇾| Belarus 6
🇲🇪| Montenegro 0
Slovakia lost to Germany in Pool D in Tallinn, Estonia, missing its last opportunity of securing a playoff spot.
Nothing but the victory against the team coached by Andrea Giani was suitable for Slovakia and it fought hard against the favorite, equalizing to 2-2 after trailing 0-2 in sets but gave away the last vacant spot in the pool to either Latvia as, of course, Estonia succumbed to France. Partially it was 20:25, 17:25, 27:25, 27:25 and 9-15.
The match between Slovakia and Germany was far from the level of competition: combined, these two teams made as many as 57 service errors – Germany 32 and Slovakia 25. György Grozer is back on the court and top-scored the winners with 24 points.
Filip Gavenda, Opposite of Slovakia: “We had only one goal for today which was to win, so of course we are disappointed. The tournament is now finished for us, but that’s life.”
Tobias Krick, Middle blocker of Germany: “Of course, we wanted to take a straight set victory this time, but Slovakia played well and maybe we were not quite as focused as we should have been. We have shown against France that we can play really well and we are hoping to show that again in the next stages of the tournament.”
On the last match of the same Pool, France saddened 4,000 local fans.
The Olympic champion swept Estonia in straight sets (25:18, 25:17, 25:19) and prevented it from advancing to the eighth-finals. Estonia needed a three-point worth win to squeeze into No.4 in the pool. And, as a result of its failure, Latvia remained fourth and will go to the playoffs.
Trévor Clévenot scored 13 points for the winners, who finished the group stage undefeated with a 5-0 score and by conceding only one set!
Jean Patry, Opposite of France: “Last game was amazing because we haven’t played in front of so many people for more than a year. We have had a long summer with a lot of preparation, so we are a bit tired, but luckily we have a really good group and we can change players if someone needs a rest during the tournament.”
Oliver Venno, Opposite of Estonia: “Today we had nothing to lose but a lot to gain, so we tried to focus more on our game than on the opponent. But we struggled a lot with the reception, their serve was just too good for us today.”
FINAL POOL D STANDINGS – updated on this day
🇫🇷| France 15
🇩🇪| Germany 11
🇭🇷| Croatia 8
🇱🇻| Latvia 5
🇸🇰| Slovakia 4
🇪🇪| Estonia 1
| CEV EuroVolley 2021 | Day 9 | September 9, 2021
| POOL B 📍 Ostrava (CZE)
Bulgaria – Belarus 3-1 (25:13, 25:18, 24:26, 25:22)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
Czech Republic – Italy 1-3 (20:25, 21:25, 25:23, 22:25)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
| POOL D 📍 Tallin (EST)
Germany – Slovakia 3-2 (20:25, 25:17, 25:27, 25:27, 15:9)
Estonia – France 0-3 (18:25, 17:25, 19:25) NOT AVAIBLE
| September 8, 2021
| September 11, 2021 @ ERGO ARENA Gdańsk/Sopot
• Russia – Ukraine
• Poland – Finland
Source: CEV – Photos: CEV, volleytimes