Russian players and team officials celebrate their gold medal in the CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship - Women in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, April 5, 2015 – Russia U18 girls are the new young queens of European volleyball. The squad trained by Svetlana Safronova became continental champions after beating Serbia 3-2 (16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) in the sensational final of the 2015 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship – Women held on Sunday in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.
The coronation of the Russian team as the new title holders closed a thrilling last chapter of a memorable event that witnessed the blossoming of the upcoming stars of the sport. The team of Belgium completed the final podium in third position following an impressive victory over Turkey in the bronze medal match.
The top six at the end of the 12-team tournament (Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Germany) have qualified for this year’s FIVB Volleyball U18 Girls’ World Championship, coming up later this summer in Peru. The top seven plus the Czech Republic will join hosts Georgia for the volleyball competition of this year’s European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Tbilisi.
Serbia and Russia sparkled in a spectacular final match in Plovdiv that could not be decided until the very last moments of the clash. The Russian squad confirmed its potential, as demonstrated throughout the tournament, and earned the status of new continental champions after upsetting Serbia in the emotional title-deciding match of the tournament.
“It was a very difficult game for us, but I am glad that it finished with a victory.” coach Safronova said. “At the end of the fourth set we made stupid mistakes, as we could have won 3-1, but in the fifth set we played as I want us to play.”
“I am very happy with this success; it was a hard game and we took revenge for the loss in the preliminary pool round,” captain Daria Ryseva added.
Belgium won the bronze medal in the tournament after defeating Turkey 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-23) in the match for third place. The young Yellow Tigers produced a sensational performance in the clash and clearly surpassed the Turkish squad in a faultless demonstration of effective volleyball.
“I did not expect to win a bronze medal,” Belgium coach Fien Callens said. “It is sort of a sweet revenge against Turkey as we lost against them in the pool. Everyone in our team worked hard for this success. We prepared great for this long tournament, but the most important thing is that we grew up as a team, match after match.”
“I am very happy with this victory and with this medal,” Belgium captain Charlotte Coppin said. “We showed that we are able to fight to the end for each point and this is the reason for our victory.”
2015 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship - Women Dream Team:
MVP: Angelina Lazarenko (Russia)
Best Setter: Alessia Orro (Italy)
Best Opposite: Britt Herbots (Belgium)
Best Middle Blocker: Angelina Lazarenko (Russia)
Second Best Middle Blocker: Elizaveta Kotova (Russia)
Best Outside Spiker: Tutku Burcu Yüzgenç (Turkey)
Second Best Outside Spiker: Katarina Lazovic (Serbia)
Best Libero: Tijana Milojevic (Serbia)