Italy and Germany will play the big final of the 2014 WEVZA Tournament U-18 Boys on Saturday as the two teams stayed unbeaten through their semi final matches in Pabellón Pisuerga of Valladolid.  The Italian and the German teams ran over Spain and Belgium, respectively. The Italian overcame the illusion of the local squad, as Germany beat Belgium in three straight and closed sets. The teams of France and Portugal qualified for the 5th place classification final of the WEVZA Tournament to be held tomorrow.  France outplayed The Netherlands in a thrilling four-setter game while  Portugal overpowered Sweden by 3-0 to ensure the match for the 5th place.

France 3 – The Netherlands 1 (25:23, 14:25, 25:18, 26:24)

fra-ned08France will fight for the fifth place after defeating The Netherlands in a thrilling match by 3:1. The first set was spectacular, with a close scoreboard and an intense end. The efficiency of the French players allowed them to ensure the set. The two teams switched their roles for the second period and Oranje side managed to overtake control and tie the match.

The third set had a close start, but It was even only through the first technical time-out after which the French squad broke away to win the set by a convincing 25-18. The Dutch boys wanted to force the first tiebreak of the tournament and recovered their good performance to lead the game. They had opportunities to close the set but France took advantage of the abundant mistakes of the opponents to eventually take the edge for the final 26-24.

Niels Plinck, head Coach of the Netherlands said: “In the beginning we playes well, very good in every element. In the last set also we played well, but we paid in the end the mistakes we made”.

Portugal 3 – Sweden 0 (25:22, 25:15, 27:25)

por-swe08Portugal and Sweden starred in the exciting race for the 5th place. Portugal was able to get on board first, as it managed a difficult 3-0 victory over an inspired opponent. The Portuguese squad won in three straight sets dominating the scoreboard during all the match. The good performance of the Swedish boys was countered by the Portuguese side, with a good attacks and defenses.

Portugal showed off its talent in the first set, and extended the control during the rest of the game. Sweden didn´t give up, and, when the match seemed over, Portuguese players started making too many mistakes which gave Sweden a chance to stay in contention almost throughout the set.  After 23-23 however, Portugal made sure not to let this one slip away and won the following two points to close the match.

Antonio Guerra, head coach of Portugal said: « It was very difficult for us to get the focus, and we played very nervous. It was important for us to fight for the fifth place. Tomorrow we will play against a tough team, and we hope to have a chance of winning. »

Italy 3 – Spain 1 (25:20, 19:25, 25:17, 25:12)

esp-ita07Italy reached the final of the WEVZA Boys Tournament after beating Spain 3:1 in a hard fought match. The Italians improved during the game, to dominate the last two sets without opposition. Italy and Spain started very nervous, making too many errors that maintained the scoreboard in close numbers. The Italian block was impenetrable and it ultimately decided the first set by 25:19. The heart of Spain took the control of the locals’ performance, and the squad directed by Ricardo Maldonado took control of the second set, with a great level of playing. Italy recovered the good performance in the third set as its blocking prevented Spanish attacks. Two comfortable sets for Italy (25:17, 25:12) closed the semifinal, producing an undefeated condition for the team lead by Mario Barbiero, thus assuring the final for Italy.

Ricardo Maldonado, Head Coach of Spain said: « Today, Italy was better than us. We made too many mistakes. Too much errors if you face a tough opponent like Italy. Emotionally, we suffered in reception, but we have to learn how to play in these situations. To win it is very difficult if you play with so many mistakes »

Mario Barbiero, Head Coach of Italy said: « We played a very difficult match. Spain is a very regular team in serve, defense, tactical attack… Italy was very nervous today. My blockers played a good match. We had ever many problems with lateral block, but I am happy for the win. Tomorrow, in the Final, Germany is a strong team, with very tall players, and I hope to see an excellent match. »

Germany 3 – Belgium 0 (26:24, 25:20, 25:23)

ger-bel04Germany beat Belgium in three very close straight sets. The Germans remain undefeated after a hard, intense and spectacular match. The Belgian dominated the beginning of the game, with a little advantage over Germany that was dutifully overturned to lead the set by a tight 26:24. Belgium did not surrender and kept on fighting in the second period, but after the second technical time out, Germany got a four points gap, enough to win the second set.

Belgium returned to the match enraged and were able to take the lead again, this time with a 3-point difference. Germany, step by step, equaled the set and in another disputed end, ensured the ticket to the final against Italy.

Maarten Deroy, Head Coach of Belgium said: « First of all, I want to congratulate Germany. They played at very high level today. Also, congratulations to my team. They fought in every moment. The difference was in small details. For the game of tomorrow we want to end a top job, competing against Spain and hopefully winning. »

Matus Kalny, Head Coach of Germany said: “It was a very tied match. All sets were close at the end. We played very well. In the first set, we never gave up, stayed positive and we could change the game. We desired to win. Italy is usually a strong team. We have no pressure. We will work to get the best preparation for tomorrow. »