Italy and Germany remained undefeated after the second day of competition in the WEVZA Boys Tournament held in  Pisuerga Sports Hall in Valladolid (Spain). Italy was the first team to get the ticket to the Semifinals. Italian overcame Sweden in three straight sets in a hard intense match. Belgium closed the group A with an important victory over France, and made less mistakes than Tuesday to get its first victory. Germany leads the group B after its victory over Spain. The German squad saved several setballs to ensure the triumph and claim the ticket for the semi-final. Portugal won 3:1 over The Netherlands in a great performance of the Portuguese players, with more efficiency in the key moments of the match.

Sweden 0 – Italy 3 (22-25, 19-25, 20-25)

ita-swe05Italy continued its winning strike and claimed a ticket to the semifinals that will be held on Friday. The Italian team beat Sweden in a hard fight by 3:0. Italy got an early lead just before the first technical time-out and increased it up but the best moment of play of Sweden leveled the scoreboard. Italians repeated the advantage and the Swedish effort reduced the gap, but the solid play by Italy made them win the first set by 22-25. The blue squad dominated the rest of the match, with difference of four-five points over its rivals. The block and the serve of the Swedish Team managed to maintain distance on the scoreboard, but ultimatel y could not close the fight.

Swedish Head Coach, Aldis Jaundzeikas, said after the match: « We were fighting all the match, my players make a great  game, which I think give us credit and honor. Italy is one of the best teams in Europe, they play a high level volleyball. The first set was very close, with continuous ties, and it was decided by small mistakes. We have to prepare the match against Belgium and just go back to our style of playing. There is nothing to lose for us”.

Mario Barbiero, Head Coach of the Italian Team commented: « Italy has played a difficult match today. The continuity of the action by Sweden was difficult for us. My team did not play a good match though, and I expect a strong battle tomorrow  against France for the first position of the Pool »

Portugal 3 – The Netherlands 1 (17:25, 25:13, 25:19, 25:18)

ned-por01The match started with a minute of silence observed to pay tribute to the 298 victims of the Flight MH17 who lost their lives in the crash plane in Ukraine. The dutch team started a very intense the match and obtained a short difference, that grew up until the definitive 17-25. Portugal tried to react and with a more rhythm of play, more efficiency and a good combination of serve and block, gots the second set by 25:13.

The two teams fought for every point but the high level play of Portuguese team prevailed. With fewer errors, Portugal was more solid than Dutch to win the third set by 25:19. The fourth and last period of the match was similar to the previous one. The Netherlands wanted to recover the level of the beginning but conflicted with the good serve and attack by Portugal, causing an advantage of five points. However, Dutch team never managed to take the lead back and a powerful spike ensured the first victory for Portugal.

Antonio Guerra, head coach of Portugal said: “We played better tan yesterday, slightly more consistent, closer to the level we can reach”.

Niels Plinck, head Coach of the Netherlands said: “We played with many ups and down. This was the difference between us”.

France 1 – Belgium 3 (25:19, 17:25, 22:25, 17:25)

fra-bel02Belgium clinched an important victory against France, with a great comeback. The good first set of the French helped them dominate the match with powerful spikes, and counteracted the improvement by the Belgian side to win the set by 25:19. Belgium continued to build a great performance, minimizing errors and leveled the scoreboard with a comfortable 17:25.
An exciting third set, with a close fight between two intense teams, had an interesting outcome. Several ties were produced as the Belgian teamwork overcame the attack of France by 22:25. Belgium could change the course of the game, and started the fourth set going straight for the win. Without errors, Belgium grew the distance to gets its first victory in the WEVZA Tournament.

Olivier Audabram, French Head Coach, said: « We had the possibility to qualify for semifinals but this was not a good match for us. Our mistakes and bad moments moved  us away from the leading score, specially in the second set. We have to fight hard to pass to the semifinal, and will try to get the victory tomorrow ».

Maarten Deroy, Head Coach of Belgium said: « It was not easy for us to prepare mentally to this match. We started very aggressive and well organized. We did not make  many mistakes and we kept on working looking for solutions. This was the great difference between yesterday and today ».

Spain 1 – Germany 3 (25-19, 18-25, 24-26, 26-28)

esp-ger10Germany got the ticket for the semifinal with an outstanding comeback in two lasts sets over Spain. The Spaniards could not ensure the third and fourth sets, despite having some setballs. The locals won the first set with a great performance in serve and attack, but the German team improved in order to level the scoreboard of the Pisuerga Sports Hall.

The best moments of the tournament occurred in the next sets. Emotion, thrilled plays, good defenses and amazing spikes staged a memorable show. Germany saved two set balls in the third set to overcome Spain, and like a repetition, in the fourth period visiting players came back to achieve the victory. Three blocks in a row buried Spanish options to go to the tiebreak. Germany ensured the victory and a ticket for the semifinal.

Ricardo Maldonado, Head Coach of Spain said after the match: “We could win the match. We made some mistakes in the most important moments. This was the key of the match”.

Head Coach of Germany said: “We stood well in reception. In the first set, Spain got a five points advantage to win the set, but we came back in the second to tie the match. We believed in our chances to win in the third set. In the fourth set, really we made a great work. Three blocks in a row allowed us to comeback and get the victory. The level of the match was quite good for both teams »