Germany grabbed the last ticket for the European Youth Olympic Festival coming up in July in Utrecht (The Netherlands) following their thrilling 3:2 win over Russia in today’s classification duel for the seventh place.
Germany’s Julia Schäfer topped the scorer chart with 23 points while Daria Kokoreva booked 22 for Russia.
After Schäfer and Wiebke Silge spiked apiece, Germany led the first technical timeout at 8-6 in the opening set and went on to hold an upper hand on Russia. With Irina Kemmsies stopping Anastasia Lopatina, the upcoming German stars kept a one-point advantage at the second technical break. Russia finally found back their range and ran off several points in a row to turn the tables at 21-20.The match then became hotly contested as it was evened several times until Taisia Konovalova sent the Mikasa out of bounds to offer Germany the first set.
Inspired by in-form Schäfer, who continuously torn open the Russian defense from the right side to strike some spectacular kills, Germany kept momentum in the second set. At the end it was – as in the first set – again a Russian spiking mistake that gave Germany a hard-earned 2:0 set lead.
The third set saw another tight competition but to the contrary of the two previous sets, the young Russians kept cool and converted their lead into a win to pull one set back at 25-22. Kokoreva was outstanding on Russia’s side as she scored ten points in the third period, including one ace and one block winner.
Following another 25-22 victory, won by a dominant Russia, the match was dragged into the tie breaker, where Schäfer scored early points to fire Germany 6-3 up and force a Russian timeout. A reawaken German team raced to an 8-4 lead at changeover and never looked back en route to their 15-9 triumph.
Germany head coach Jens Tietböhl: “It was a very tough tournament with a lot of emotions. It was not that easy to adapt to the new situation in Montenegro as we played the first part of the competition in Serbia, but at the end we are satisfied with the seventh place.”
Germany captain Steffi-Martha Kuhn: “We made a lot of efforts to prepare for this tournament. As a consequence, yesterday’s defeat was a big frustration for us. Nevertheless, today we played very well and we are happy as the seventh place gives us a ticket for the European Youth Olympic Festival.”
Russia head coach Yury Shchuplov: “In the beginning of today’s match we did not play at the level we should and that caused us to lose the first two sets. Then we raised our game to a higher level, but couldn’t pull through in the deciding set.”
Russia captain Svetlana Serbina: “I guess Germany was the luckier team today and that’s why they won.”
To read more news from this competition click on Youth European Championship 2013 F.