Italy and France will meet in the final of the 2015 WEVZA U19 Men’s Championship. Italy beat Germany by 3:0, and Spain and France battled it out in the other semifinal as Le Bleus emerged victorious in a thrilling tiebreak. The gold medal match will begin at 17:30 local time on Sunday at the Polideportivo Pisuerga sports hall in Spanish city of Valladolid.  Before that, Germany will challenge Spain for the bronze. Portugal and Switzerland will face off for the fifth place, and Belgium and Netherlands will fight for the seventh position of the competition.

Italy claimed the ticket to the final match with a victory in straight sets 3:0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-21) over Germany. The two teams, that will meet in the next World Championship, lived a truly clash of giants in Valladolid. The Azzurri had more self-confidence in the first set and committed fewer errors than their opponents so to win the period by 25-14.  The momentum of the German side began in the second set, and Germans balanced the game during the rest of the encounter. Italian squad chained four rallies in a row to a 25-20 win in the set.  The third period followed the same pattern. In the onset there were continuous ties until Italy repeated the streak to break the scoreboard and clinch the finals.

Mario Barbiero,  coach of Italy said: “We have played a very good match. I hoped that this was an important match, not only for the WEVZA Championship but also for the next World Championship. I´m very happy for Italy. I hope that the final against France will be a wonderful match”.

Matus Kalny, coach of Germany declared: “In the first set Italy was better than us, but in the other sets we played well. We lost three-four points in a row and we lost our options in second and third sets. Today Italy was better than us, this was the key”.

France took the other spot in the final of the Championship after defeating Spain in the semifinal 3:2 (29-27, 13-25, 25-23, 23-25, 11-15). The first set was a very thrilling and spectacular clash, with a close end; the two teams saved some set balls until the 29-27 final for the local side. France started with a very good performance in the second set and took an advantage to equal the scoreboard. The third set was very even with both sides stepping up their spiking efforts; however, Spaniards were more effective to reach the final 25-23. Les Bleus dominated the beginning of the fourth set with a huge gap of ten points. Spain reacted to close the difference but they could not evade the tiebreak. France made a starting 4-0 in the fifth set and managed to keep the advantage to reach a spot in the final.

Olivier Aubradam, coach of France said: « Today we played a good match. We are very happy for the victory. We expect to play a great game in the final against Italy and take revenge of the defeat in the pool phase”.

Benjamín Vicedo, coach of Spain said: “We made many mistakes today. We controlled this situation the previous days but today we couldn´t. My players made a great effort. We needed to grow and this match was perfect to do it ».

Switzerland won 0:3 (19-25,23-25, 25-27) over the Netherlands to classify for the fifth place match. The first set was controlled by Swiss squad, as Switzerland opened up a gap that the opponent was never able to close. The second set was very disputed, with frequent changes in the lead. The mistakes of the Dutch side reduced their options and the collective work of Switzerland persevered for a 23-25 win. The  Swiss performance was a bit more stable and led to a final score of 25-27 in a thrilling final rush of the set to clinch the ticket for the fifth position match.

Portugal got the first victory in the tournament over Belgium and qualified for the fifth place match. The Portuguese men overpowered the Belgian squad in a disputed match 3:2 (19-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 13-15). Antonio Correa´s players started the match on top form, with a good serving, put Belgium under pressure to win the set. The Belgian side reacted in the second one to equal the clash. The permanent ties marked the two following sets with one victory for each team. The tiebreak determined the team who would fight for the fifth place, and Portugal showed their determination to achieve victory.

Click here for all the results of the competition.

Click here for the gallery of the tournament.