The third competition day in the 2014 WEVZA Boys Tournament in Valladolid defined the semifinal for Saturday. Italy and Germany, classified on Wednesday, will be accompanied by Belgium and Spain in the fight for the final. German squad ensured the first position of Pool B, and will fight against Belgium to reach the Finals, as Belgians overcame Sweden in a hard match to get the ticket. The other semifinal will match Italy against Spain. The Italian extended the winning streak in a complicated match against France. Spaniards claimed the ticket to the semifinal with a good performance, in a 3:1 win against the Netherlands. The battle for the fifth position will start this Friday, before the semifinals of the WEVZA Tournament which will be held in Pabellón Pisuerga Sports Hall of Valladolid.

Germany 3 – Portugal 0 (25:15, 25:20, 25:21)

ger-por05German team showed a convincing performance and always dominated the game against an intense Portuguese team. Germany controlled the first set with a great work in serve and attack, and the leaders of group B continued to dominate with a solid gap in the second set, a situation that Portugal was never able to overcome.

A thrilling beginning of the third set with continuous ties propitiated that Germany broke the game after the first technical time out, and got a distance that did not stop growing until the final 25:20.

Matus Kalny, Head Coach of Germany said: « We won 3:0 against a hard opponent, but there is nothing more to say. We are getting better in every element of the play. Better in attack, better in serve, block… Our rival in semifinal, Belgium, is a great team. We played in the European Qualification in January and it will be a hard match. »

Belgium 3 – Sweden 1 (25:19, 25:23, 23:25, 25:23)

bel-swe03Belgium won a hard-fought game against Sweden. The Swedish side’s performance fostered a close game in all the sets. Neither side managed to take a lead in the scoreboard, but Belgian team had more efficiency in the last points, so to assure the victory. The match followed the same script: continuous ties, great performances and some mistakes from both sides. The serenity of Belgium in the ultimate moments defined the winner.

Sweden improved its playing and thanks to excellent blocking and serving took an advantage to win the set. The match was more balanced in the fourth period, as Sweden and Belgium made their best volleyball in a great set. Swedish side had opportunities to force the tiebreak, but Belgium cameback to win the match and claim a ticket for the semifinal.

Maarten Deroy, Head Coach of Belgium said: « We know that it was going to be a hard-fought game. Sweden never gave up, they played very good defense, and played without complex, with nothing to lose. We did not start very aggressive, for moments we made some mistakes to give flow to our play. My players trusted in their chances and fought every point. »

Swedish Head Coach, Aldis Jaundzeikas, said after the match: « We did a good job. In the end of the sets we had a couple of balls but we could not win. It was a tied game, it´s time to be proud, as we made a great performance. »

Netherlands 1 – Spain 3 (25:17, 25:16, 25:27, 16:25)

esp-ned02Spain clinched a ticket for the semifinal winning by 0:3 to the Netherlands. The locals did not start the match against Dutch Team in the best way but an extraordinary reaction with an excellent serve changed the scoreboard from 15:8 to 19:25. This set was the token that lead Spain towards the ticket.  Spaniards made a convincing performance and always controlled the game without giving the possibility to the Dutch to come back. In the third set, the Netherlands improved with fewer errors and leveled the scoreboard. The oranje fought to lengthen the match and retrieved the high level of the beginning of the match, winning the set by an close 27:25. The errors appeared again in the Dutch side allowing Spain to finish the match, and earn a place in the semifinals against Italy.

Niels Plinck, head Coach of the Netherlands said: « Until the half of the first set we play really good, well structured, but after this moment, we made many mistakes. It was many difficult to play like this. In the third set we could go back to our level of the first set. »

Ricardo Maldonado, Head Coach of Spain: « I think we played better than yesterday. We needed to be more consistent in serve, not to alternate very good moments with some mistakes. I hope my team will be more aggressive in defense, we need it. »

Italy 3 – France 1 (23:25, 25:17, 25:21, 25:19)

ita-fra08Italy continued its winning streak defeating France in a hard fought match, 3:1. In the first set, French team began with the right attitude leading the scoreboard. Italy improved the efficiency of its attack in the second set, so to dominate the rest of the match.

France needed the victory for 3:0 or 3:1 and fought for the win in order to qualify but the combative spirit was overcame by the attack and supremacy of Italian team. The blue squad ensured with the win its third victory of the tournament, leading the group A.

Olivier Audabram, French Head Coach, said: « We changed our starting line-up  to improve our rotations. I want to congratulate my team for its fighting spirits. We want now to be the fifth. »

Mario Barbiero, Head Coach of the Italian Team said: « Today it was a difficult match. France is a good team, they played to win, to qualify. Tomorrow against Spain, I think it will be a very difficult match. Spain is a very good and strong team. »

For more information, including results and standings, click here.