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Men's Volleyball CEV European Championship 2017

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VolleyRuller96    136
5 minutes ago, dareza said:


I really don't know what is wrong with your team sports in last 2 years.:facepalm:and why Bieniek played only in last set. This guy is very talented.

Well, Bieniek is injured - Not seriously but the coach doesn't think he should play very much until the play offs. What I don't understand is why Fefe did not make almost any substitutions. In Serbian team, even when they were winning the coach was swapping players quite often. The subs I remember were only Łomacz and Kaczmarek - and they both worked really well. IDK, one of our main player said he doesn't remember so physically challenging exercises during trainings as during Ferdinando de Georgi's era, so maybe they are too tired... but then again, there should be more substitutions...


Also I agree about our team sports - our handball team is terrible, basketball and volley are only decent. Ironic, as before 2014 we used to say that all our national teams should be an example to football team, and now it seems quite the opposite :p

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VolleyRuller96    136


Russia make strong start in Pool C while Slovenia overcome Spain


Krakow, Poland, August 24, 2017. Russia and Slovenia lived up to the expectations as they rallied to comprehensive 3-0 victories in their respective matchups with Bulgaria and Spain to open the programme of the LOTTO EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017 Pool C at Tauron Arena in Krakow.

Bulgaria vs. Russia 0-3 (23-25, 20-25, 19-25)

This game was highly anticipated, for both Russia and Bulgaria are said by many to be the strongest teams in Pool C. Bulgaria however had hardly anything to say as they were overpowered in most areas of the match and lost this lopsided duel in three straight sets.

Russia began to race ahead right from the beginning of the game, partly due to Maxim Mikhailov‘s difficult serve. Their lead was as big as five points (7-2) but after the technical break Bulgaria started to reduce the gap.  Bulgaria actually took the lead at 20-19 and really seemed to take control of the set but Russia also did not surrender easily and it is they who managed to close out the first stanza with 25-23 on the scoreboard.

Russia seemed to be on fire after surviving some difficult times in the 1st set and again they led by a noticeable margin at the technical break (8-4). Rozalin Penchev gave all his best both in attack and in defence as he fought for every ball but could not bring Bulgaria a tie they needed. Russia used wisely their assets and in difficult situations the setter, Sergey Grankin, played Russian attacks through the middle, where Iliyas Kurkaev and Artem Volvich delivered. As Bulgaria could not come close to their rivals, the set was ended by a Russian block with 25-20.

After the ten-minute break Bulgaria returned to the court with more focus and kept the score close as Nikolay Penchev was showing off his spiking skills. Russia claimed a considerable advantage after a point series caused by Grankin and his formidable serves (17-14). This seemed to break Bulgaria’s spirits as the Russians kept their lead untouched even though Tsvetan Sokolov and Rozalin Penchev attacked furiously and their team desperately tried to regain momentum. Dmitrii Volkov’s ace seemed to deprive Bulgaria of any hope that was left and Grankin’s single block closed out the game at 25-19.

Rozalin Penchev led Bulgaria with 17 points. Maxim Mikhailov and Dmitrii Volkov topped the Russian charts with 12 points each.


Bulgarian opposite Tsvetan Sokolov said: “We had a chance in the first set but in a couple of plays we weren’t aggressive enough. Teams like Russia never forgive mistakes and destroy the teams that make them. Before our next match everything needs to be better.”

Nikolay Nikolov, Bulgarian middle blocker: “We couldn’t show our skills and all the things we are capable of on the court. One of our main assets is the serve but today, just as in the World League, it was more of a problem – we started to serve better in the end but it was just too late. Even though Russia played very well in every element of the game I don’t think they were much better than us. They won a couple of decisive points and it gave them a victory today.”

Russia’s coach Sergey Shlyapnikov commented: “In every aspect of the game my players were better than the Bulgarians. We made less mistakes. But we must remember that it’s our opening match of the European Championship. I’m happy with the victory and think that it’s an important first step. My team now will play a difficult match against Slovenia, a surprising silver medallist two years ago. We don’t know what the Spaniards are capable of.”

Sergey Grankin, the captain of Russia: ”The result in this match against Bulgaria is obviously great for us but this success doesn’t guarantee a ticket to the playoff phase yet. Personally, I’m satisfied with our level today but maybe the coaches and supporters are waiting for more. Our team will now play against Slovenia and we don’t expect it to be easy.”

Spain vs. Slovenia 0-3 (25-27, 15-25, 16-25)

The second game of Pool C playing in Kraków featured Spain and the defending silver medallists from Slovenia. The underdogs from Spain fought bravely in the first set but they failed to take the chance to win it, subsequently losing 0-3.

Spain showed no respect for their opponent right from the beginning of the match and they managed to pile up a three-point lead at the first technical break (8-5). Slovenia seemed to be a little bit distracted as they struggled both in offence and in defence. Spanish opposite Andres Villena caused Slovenia much trouble but eventually the Slovenian block started to function and they cut their deficit down to two points. Tine Urnaut gave his team a much needed boost attacking from the wing (18-19) and eventually Slovenia tied it all up at 19. Alen Šket paved Slovenia’s way with a couple of kills from the left wing and his crucial ace gave Slovenia their first set ball at 24-23. The set ended with a Spanish fault resulting in a 27-25 win for their opponents.

Slovenia began the second set by racing ahead early and a block by Šket made it 7-3 in their favour. Alen Pajenk’s serve caused a lot of problems for Spain and the point series made the advantage quickly rise to six points (9-3). Spain just could not get back into the match – actually they fell more and more behind (9-19). They struggled to find a way to trick the Slovenian block and the lopsided set was closed out by Tonček Štern’s kill (25-15).

Spain tried to keep it close in the third set but Šket’s ace made it 11-7 for Slovenia. Pajenk got a couple of spikes for himself and Slovenia sailed safely to the victory – a block-out play by Šket ended the game at 25-16 and 3-0.

Tonček Štern was a Slovenia’s leader with 17 points. Andres Villena, the brightest member of the Spanish team, scored 14 points.


Slobodan Kovač, coach of Slovenia, said: “The start of the European Championship is difficult for everybody. At first it didn’t go well for us because our efficiency failed – after a good reception we couldn’t finish the first attack. But then our block and serve pushed really hard. I think we played on a good level and generally I’m satisfied with how my team performed.”

Alen Pajenk, middle-blocker of Slovenia: “We knew it was going to be hard because Spain played very well in their previous tournaments. We prepared thoroughly for this game. However, the first set was a little bit hard for us because they fought for every ball. In the second and third sets we just pushed with our serve and block and it was enough to win.”

Spain’s coach Fernando Muñoz commented: “We prepared for this game to start the competition with a victory. We began very well, we were concentrated, we played perfectly in attack. We lost the first set because we gave Slovenia a chance to come back into the game. We let our opponents take advantage of our problems in reception. Our solutions just didn’t work. In the next matches we must find our moment, but we know that we will face very strong teams. We must play better during the whole game, not only in the first set.”


Pool C returns on Saturday with Russia playing Slovenia and Bulgaria taking on Spain.

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VolleyRuller96    136

3.JPGFinland secure opening EuroVolley win despite letting two-set lead slip against Estonia

Gdańsk, Poland, August 24, 2017. Finland got off to a good start at LOTTO EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017 by beating Estonia 3-2 (25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 22-25, 15-9) in the first Pool A match at Ergo Arena in Gdańsk.

Finland started well in the first set, but could not pull away from Estonia despite leading for most-part. They had the advantage at both of the technical time-outs and were 16-14 up thanks to a great serve from Sauli Sinkkonen. The win was secured by Niklas Seppänen after a great spike at the net, but it was Olli-Pekka Ojansivu’s point-scoring that did the damage as he top-scored with five.

After a teamtalk from coach Gheorghe Cretu, Estonia hit back in the second set and led 8-4 and later 13-11. However, Finland soon got their game together again and went ahead at 19-17. The two were level again at 21-21, but Finland surged ahead and got the job done by winning 25-22.

A topsy-turvy third set went the way of Estonia as they grabbed themselves a lifeline. Finland raced into a 4-1 lead, and led by three at the first technical time-out. The teams exchanged points in the play that followed and were level at 17-all. After that, Finland established a two-point gap, but were once again pegged back to 23-23. A challenge call went in Finland’s favour to give them match point, but they failed to take it and Estonia managed to come from behind to prevail 27-25.

Finland collapsed in the fourth set and let Estonia run away with things. They were 18-11 down and Robert Täht continued to score highly for Gheorghe Cretu’s team as he put points on the board. Finland closed the gap, but Estonia forced the first tiebreak of EuroVolley by winning 25-22.

In the final set, Finland managed to recover after throwing away a two-set lead and led by three at 8-5. They continued to lead thereafter and secured the five-set win with a great kill from Markus Kaurto.


Tuomas Sammelvuo, Finland coach: “We never thought the game was won, it was point-by-point. We always spoke about focussing on every moment. We gave Estonia the momentum and their defence was amazing at the end of the fourth set. We came back towards the end of the fourth set and it was crucial for us to play the fifth like we played. I’m proud of my players because no matter what happens they never give up. It has to be like this for Finland. We have to play as a team. The fans will be big for us against Serbia and Poland. Some of these players have never been to a tournament like this and I hope we remember these moments.”

Eemi Tervaportti, Finland captain: “We started good and our service worked like we planned. We defended well and then maybe after two-and-a-half sets we thought maybe the game would finish in our favour. You can never win easily, we gave them the chance and they used it. In the fifth set we decided that we will not lose. We started playing our own game and it worked.”

Robert Täht, outside hitter of Estonia: “The fact that I scored the biggest number of points doesn’t mean that the rest of the team meant less in the game. Volleyball shows that one or two good sets are never enough. We have quite a few things to improve before the game against Serbia. This will be a tough one but we are ready to step up and fight.”


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VolleyRuller96    136

214330__CGF1537.JPGSerbia silence record-breaking crowd to start #EuroVolleyM campaign in style


Warsaw, Poland, August 24, 2017. Serbia silenced 65,407 fans on a historic night for European Volleyball – as the visitors stole the show from hosts Poland to start their EuroVolley campaign in Pool A with a resounding 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) to make amends for the heavy loss they had suffered three years ago at PGE National Stadium in Warsaw. The support from a record-breaking crowd was not enough for the Red-and-Whites to deliver a consistent performance – and Poland will have to erase memories from this game when playing Finland and Estonia in Gdansk in their remaining matches in Pool A.

Anyone sitting at PGE National Stadium could not resist but get goose bumps in such a terrific ambiance – with that red-and-white ‘triumph’ reaching its climax when more than 65,000 people in attendance sang Poland’s national anthem a cappella to account for another spine tingling moment in a truly memorable night for European Volleyball.   

The crowd had something to celebrate right at the very beginning of this historic match with Bartosz Kurek scoring an ace before the hosts claimed a three-point lead at the first technical time-out. Serbia, however, came back after the break and found the right solutions to stand the demanding challenge of playing before such knowledgeable, yet partisan audience. Serbia looked determined not to experience another setback after their tough 0-3 loss at the hands of Poland in the opening match of the 2014 World Champs at this very same venue. Despite the many attempts made by the Red-and-Whites to make up for their deficit, which revived the spirit of the crowd, Nemanja Petric sealed a 25-22 win for the visitors.


Poland obviously regrouped during the break as they stormed to an early 5-2 lead in the second set and shortly held on to it (8-5). The noise made by the Polish fans just got louder as the organisers had prepared special actions to involve the audience at every break – but back to the game, Serbia closed in in what seemed to be a repeat of the first set, eventually making it 10-all after finishing off a spectacular rally. Serbia’s block looked solid as a rock – and as Poland seemed to get back on track with an ace by their captain Michal Kubiak, a challenge overruled the initial decision by the referee to propel a 22-20 lead for the visiting team. Poland fought back to 22-23 but Serbia doubled their lead in the match (25-22) to silence the Polish crowd for a second time. 


The game resumed after a 10-minute break and Poland had a mountain to climb to avoid a disappointing start to their #EuroVolley campaign. Despite the raucous support from the crowd, the hosts trailed early in the third (3-5) as well, and the fans passionately made an extra effort to boost the morale of their team when head coach Ferdinando De Giorgi stopped the game by the score of 13-10 for Serbia. The visitors, however, widened their advantage to five points at 16-11 – and at this point, a little miracle was needed to prevent Poland from suffering a heavy loss. The hosts fought back to 18-all – and the audience finally had something to cheer about, with 65,000+ fans cheering for the ‘Biało-czerwoni’ as loud as they could. Serbia, however, showed no mercy – and nerves of steel as well and for the third time silenced the crowd – this time once and for all by cashing a resounding 3-0 victory to start their #EuroVolleyM campaign in emphatic style.


Michal Kubiak, captain of Team Poland: “I would like to thank all the people who have organised this event and all the fans, who made sure that we will never forget this day. The reality is that we lost this game and Serbia deserve our congratulations, because they simply played better. However, this loss does not affect our chances for the rest of this tournament, even if it did not start the way we wished it to be. We all hope that in Gdansk we will achieve better results.”

Ferdinando De Giorgi, Poland coach: “I would like to congratulate Serbia, because they played at a very high level and certainly deserved this victory. I would like to thank all those who have worked for this great show, something truly incredible for European and world Volleyball. Serbia played very well and they used all of their assets. We did not give up, but in the most important moments of the match, we did not use our chances. We have the opportunity to improve the level of our game in the next matches. Nevertheless, we keep our heads up and we want to approach the next match with the right confidence.”


Dragan Stankovic, captain of Team Serbia: “This is a huge victory for us. However, it is just the first match of the tournament and we need to look ahead and remain focussed on the next ones. We played good Volleyball, but we can play even better and I hope that we will raise our level of play throughout this championship. It was hard to play in front of 65,000 fans, who were all cheering for the opposition. Poland started very well, but I think that a crucial moment came in the middle of the first set, where we were down by three points; we did stick together as a team and we managed to change the course of the game. A 3-0 victory is a very good result but we will try to forget it for a moment and focus on the next opponent.” 

Nikola Grbic, Serbia coach: “Yesterday I said to my players that they had to concentrate on what happens on the court, everything else doesn’t matter. I told them that emotions were the only difference between experienced players, who had already performed under such exceptional circumstances before, and the younger ones. They all had to deal with the same pressure – the pressure stemming from the result, or the importance of the match. A younger player is sometimes overwhelmed by the importance of such a match and by the crowd and he ends up losing concentration. I am extremely happy with the way my players coped with the situation. The result and quality of our game is just the consequence of that. I realised that my players were ready when looking at them in the locker room. There nobody was laughing, speaking about something else, listening to music and that was a very good signal for me, because I knew that they would play well. The result is something else, but the approach to the game was good. I am satisfied with their performance, concentration and the energy they showed on the court. This is our strength and we can beat any opponent thanks to this asset. However, now we have to focus on the next match, somehow forgetting this amazing game.”


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VolleyRuller96    136

The referees of the game between :CZE and :SVK  are almost as awful as polish commentators for the match :sick: they already commited big errors THREE TIMES, and it's only 13-9 in first set :facepalm:

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VolleyRuller96    136

YEEESSS 30-28for :SVK :cheer: I want an actual surprise after yesterday's boring games :d Go Slovakia, don't be like Estonia!

Also, Turkey is leading Netherlands 2-0 already :yes

Edited by VolleyRuller96

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