The first competition day of the 2014 WEVZA Tournament U-18 Men which is being held in the Pisuerga Sports Hall of Valladolid ended with the victories of France, Germany, Italy and Spain over Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal respectively. The group A is lead by Italian team, the only squad who was able to win in straight sets. French side overcame Sweden in a good performance. In the group B, Germany and Spain ensured the victory in four thrilling sets, that are the prelude to an exciting championship.
France 3 – Sweden 1 (25:17, 18:25, 25:19, 25:20)
The first match of the WEVZA Tournament starring France and Sweden was very close. The Swedish claimed an early advantage, but the best serve and spikes of the French players allowed them to win the first set 25:17. The equality was restored in the second set. A good performance by the Swedish team, with a great performance in block, stopped the French opposition.
France show its best moments in the third set. Excellent at all angles, surpassing the Swedish block and giving a high rhythm to the match, thus ensuring the set by 25-19. The fourth period was really close, with minimum differences broken after 18 all. France fought hard and with four points in a row to get the victory 25:20 after a successful block.
Olivier Audabram, French Head Coach, said: “It´s a beautiful thing to start the Tournament with a victory. The boys worked perfectly as a team, this is a successful job. I´m very happy with the performance of the substitutes, they have played at a high level”
Swedish Head Coach, Aldis Jaundzeikas, said: “This was our first game, and for many players was the first match at this level. We have to know how to play. We started very well but for moments, we lost focus, and made some mistakes in a row. I think we did a pretty good job and this is really good for us”.
Germany 3 – The Netherlands 1 (18-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-21)
Germany and Netherlands played a typical first match of a championship, with many nervous and several mistakes. The two first sets went one for each team and showed a good performance by Dutch team in the initial set, and the reaction for Germany in the second one. With 1:1 in the scoreboard, both teams improved their play and the match resulted in thrilling actions.
The German boys solved the electrifying end of the third set to break the equality and to be one step ahead of the Netherlands. The oranjes try to repeat the performance of the first set in order to claim the tiebreak, but the good work of the German attack dominated the end of the match and completed the comeback 3:1.
Matus Kalny, head coach of the German team says: “Both teams were very nervous. We improved when we reduced our mistakes. I thought that it was a good game for both teams”
Niels Plinck, head Coach of the Netherlands said: “We started in a very good fashion. After the first set we played against our mistakes and we tried to correct it. In the fourth set we came back but could not reach the good level of the first set”.
Italy 3 – Belgium 0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-17)
Italy celebrated its debut in WEVZA Tournament with a quick victory over Belgium in three straight sets. The Belgian team made several errors during the match, a heavy plummet trying to overcome the good performance of the Italian boys. In the first set, the Transalpine serve caused many problems to the reception of the Belgians so to ensure the set for 25:17. In the second period, Italy built a wall over the net to end up finishing it off at 25-14.
The scenario of the third set was similar to the others. A very good defense maintained Italy above Belgium. Some mistakes from the red-shirted team made the difference grow up until the 25:17, which ended the match with the 3:0 victory for Italy.
Mario Barbiero, Head Coach of the Italian Team said: “It was a difficult match for all players, the first match in the competition. In the first set, Italy had a good efficiency in service, played good at moments. In the second one, the middle-blockers were in a very good shape, and in the third, the defense was the key. Belgium is a good team but today they made many mistakes”.
Maarten Deroy, Head Coach of Belgium said: “Congratulations for Italy, they are a very good team. In general we made way too many mistakes. We didn´t show the play we are able to do. I am not satisfied because we made mistakes in situations where we should not.”
Spain 3 – Portugal 1 (25:21, 28:26, 16:25, 25:23)
Spain and Portugal closed the opening day of the WEVZA Tournament with an exciting match. The local team got the first set with a better performance, as Spaniards adjusted its play to ensure the triumph. The second set was spectacular, with continuous ties in the scoreboard. The thrilled outcome with two great actions in block for Spain resolved the second period by 28:26. Portugal improved its play and found its way to domain the entire third set (16:25). In the fourth period, Spain committed fewer errors than Portuguese team, so to finish the match and to claim the first victory in the competition.
Antonio Guerra, head coach of Portugal said: “We played very nervous. Today, whoever was more consistent, more stable in their play, has claimed the victory”
Ricardo Maldonado, Spanish Head Coach said: “In previous matches we had played in a good level. Today we were very nervous. The team that has made less mistakes got the triumph”.