At the end of a really fighting race and after playing the last matches yesterday, we know the names of the 24 teams that will participate in EuroVolley 2019! These include the four host countries (France, Slovenia, Belgium and the Netherlands), another eight teams as per the final standing of the 2017 edition and 12 that have booked their tickets through an exciting six-leg qualification round.
Belarus, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Montenegro, Austria and the Former Y.R. of Macedonia were the seven teams to claim the last remaining tickets.
A summary? On Wednesday, Portugal and Belarus qualified as Pool D and E winners, following their away victories against Albania and Norway. The best runners-up are Spain, Finland, Montenegro, Austria and the Former Y.R. of Macedonia.
Spain beat Georgia 3-0 on Wednesday but Norway’s defeat on yesterday propelled Belarus to the top of Pool E. Spain emerged as the best runners-up across all pools, followed by Finland and Montenegro, whose home victory against Moldova in straight sets contributed to a historic moment for the Balkan national team, as they will make their first appearance at EuroVolley since Montenegro’s declaration of independence in 2006!
The same happened to the Former Y.R. of Macedonia, which beat Hungary 3-0 in Skopje to secure their country’s first-ever participation in EuroVolley. Austria will return to Eurovolley for the first time since they co-hosted the 2011 edition together with the Czech Republic.
The 24 teams will be fighting from September 12 to 29 in what will be really an interesting competition!
Below a short summary of the last matches played yesterday.
•The last match of POOL A saw Romania suffering their first defeat at the expense of Denmark, who finished the competition with a first victory (22:25, 25:15, 25:21, 25:19)
Claudiu Dumitru and Alexandru Muscina got their debut for Romania, while top scorer of the match was Denmark’s Peter Trolle Bonnesen, author of 16 points.
•In POOL B victory for Latvia against Israel 3:1 (28:26, 24:26, 25:23, 25:23)
Despite their 3-1 victory, Latvia finish third (and last) in Pool B. The top player of the match was Reinis Pekmans (LAT), who scored 18 points.
•In POOL C, victory in straight sets for Montenegro, without its injuried middle blocker Luka Babic, against Republic of Moldova (25-18, 25-21, 25-13). The two teams were both in contention for a ticket to EuroVolley, and Montenegro finish second in the pool, waiting to know their fate in the competition….
•On the same Pool, all easy for Slovakia, which win in straight sets against Iceland (18:25, 18:25, 20:25). Peter Mlynarcik was the top scorer on the winning side with 13 points, including two aces, while Theódór Óskar Thorvaldsson was the top scorer of Iceland with 14 points. Slovakia was already qualified for Eurovolley 2019.
•In POOL D, defeat for Albania against Portugal in four sets (26:24, 19:25, 15:25, 15:25). Redjo Koçi and Anton Qafarena helped Albania to win a very balanced first set 26-24, while the other three sets were similar each other: a Portuguese monologue.
Marco Evan Ferreira was the top scorer for Portugal with 19 points while Martins added another 18. Koçi ended the match with 15 points on the other side.
This was Albania’s first home defeat in these EuroVolley qualifiers, while Portugal finish first in the pool to secure their spot in EuroVolley 2019, with Albania down in third place.
•With the victory in four sets (22:25, 25:18, 20:25, 20:25) against Croatia, Austria have qualified for #EuroVolleyM 2019 as one of the five second ranked teams with the best score. Croatia finish last in Pool D after managing to win only one match against Albania. Thomas Zass was the top scorer of the match with 22 points.
•In POOL E Georgia was defeated by Spain 0-3 (10-25, 21-25, 18-25). This was the last match in these qualifiers for Georgia, which was destroyed by Spain.
Despite a great determination for Georgians, which claimed a small lead in the early stages of the each set, their lack of experience at this level was evident and Spain won their sixth match in a row by 3-0. Georgia finish last in the pool. Best scorer for Spain was Victor Rodríguez Pérez, who scored 13 points, while on the other side Daviti Tskhomaria collected 12 points in the match.
•In the same pool, victory away for Belarus against Norway in straight sets (19:25, 18:25, 23:25). Norway had a historic chance at qualifying for EuroVolley, however the hosts let it slip away: with this victory, Belarus claim first place in Pool E and with it a ticket to EuroVolley 2019!
• In POOL F Ukraine beat Switzerland 3-2 (20:25, 28:26, 21:25, 25:15, 14:16) in a match very balanced until the last point. Ukraina ended the qualifiers first in the group with six victories.
Jovan Djokic (Switzerland) was the best player of the match, with 22 points, while MVP of the Ukrainian team was Volodymir Tevkun with 15 points, and MVP of the Swiss team was their setter Reto Giger.
•On the same Pool, It was a historic day for Macedonian Volleyball: the home team beat Hungary 3-0 (25:21, 25:20, 25:21) at Kale Hall in Skopje to qualify for EuroVolley 2019 and make their maiden appearance in the competition!
The team finished second in Pool F with a record of three wins in six matches and as one of the five best second across all pools.
Captain Nikola Gjorgiev is the best scorer of these EuroVolley qualifiers with an excellent total of 217 points, and he scored 18 points in this match. Aleksandar Ljaftov added another 14 to the Macedonian count.
Hungary finish last in the pool.
•Great victory for Sweden against Azerbaijan in POOL G in straight sets: 25:13, 25:19, 25:16.
In just his second game with the national team, setter Oskar von Sydow received the award of MVP, While August Borna was the top scorer of the match with 18 points (including four aces).
•On the same Pool, defeat for Luxembourg against Greece 0-3 (20-25, 16-25, 21-25).
Greece is deservedly Winner of Pool G, and powered their way through the qualifications for EuroVolley 2019, managing six wins out of as many games, losing only two sets!
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