The Czech Republic secured a berth in the semifinal in Pool 1 in Ede, The Netherlands, prior to the last round but had a goal of clinching the top spot. They achieved it with a five-set win over Portugal, partially 25-18, 25-27, 28-30, 25-22, 19-17, in a match that lasted exactly two hours and in which Marek Šotola (the opposite of VK Jihostroj České Budějovice) scored 39 points, including 7 aces, 3 kill blocks!
Despite losing to Belarus by a 3-2, The Netherlands progressed to the semis by leaving today’s rivals and Germany to fight for the fifth place in the continuation of the tournament despite all three sides finished with the same number of points – eight.
As for Pool 2 in Kortrijk, Belgium, Russia beat the hosts in four sets, partially 25-20, 25-22, to preserve the top spot in the pool. Maksim Sapozhkov highlighted „Zbornaya“ with 19 points. Not even 16 kill blocks as a team were enough for Belgium to prevail over Russia or, at least, earn a tie-break. Thus, the „Red Dragons“ finished the second-placed in the pool. This outcome eliminated Italy from fighting for medals.
Semifinals, Saturday, July 21:
Czech Republic vs. Belgium
Russia vs. The Netherlands
To see complete results, stats, and standings, visit our European Championship 2018 / Male / U20 page.