Day 6 – Men’s & Women’s Medals match reports

Women – 5th/6th Place – CRO v SLO

Slovenia shut out Croatia to finish 5th in women’s 2019 #EuroSittingVolley

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Slovenia captured 5th place in the women’s final ranking of the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships after sweeping Croatia 3-0 (25-8 25-16, 25-18) in their last match of the women’s pool for positions 9-5.

Lena Gabrscek with 14 points Klara Vrabic with 13 for Slovenia were top scorers of the game, though Andreja Giba was close behind with 12 for Croatia. Slovenia’s serving was no match for Croatia, producing 26 aces to decide the outcome.

Slovenia finished undefeated in the 5-9 pool, but the result also guarantees Finland 6th place in the final ranking. Positions 7 and 8 will be confirmed after the last match of the pool. Great Britain have already ranked 9th.

Men – 5th/6th Place – CRO v SRB

Croatia outlast Serbia in tie-break for 5th place

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Croatia managed to outlast Serbia 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 22-25, 15-8) to claim 5th place in the men’s final ranking at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships.

Captain Ivan Cosic scored a match high 18 points and Edvin Zdionica contributed another 17 for Croatia in a match that was too close to call until the end.

With each team serving five aces and attacking for 33%, Serbia just had the edge in blocking with 12 stuffs to 11. But Croatia kept their unforced errors to 30, compared to 39 committed by Serbia. Serbia rank 6th overall in the European Championships.

Men – 7th/8th Place – LAT v NED

Latvia take 7th place with win over the Netherlands

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Latvia came back from a set down to beat the Netherlands 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23) and clinch 7th place in the men’s final ranking at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championship.

Andrejs Filipavics scored 20 points for Latvia, with Aleksandrs Vivcariks and Juris Sprukts adding another 14 each – to counter the match highs of 22 by Loek Hendrix and 20 by Geert van den Heuvel for the Dutch.

Latvia outblocked (14 to 10) and outserved (10 to 6) the Netherlands. The result leaves the Netherlands in 8th place in the final ranking.

Women – 7th/8th Place – HUN v FIN

Finland beat Hungary to wrap up women’s 5-9 pool

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Finland wrapped up women’s 5-9 pool at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-15) victory that brought the classification matches to a close.

Maria Viitala was again top scorer for Finland with a match high of 18 points, as the winners served an impressive total of 30 aces for an average of 10 per set. Finland had already secured 6th place in the overall ranking even before the start of the match.

But the result gave Croatia 7th place and left Hungary in 8th. Great Britain bring up the rear in 9th place overall. Earlier on Saturday, Slovenia had clinched 5th place after completing the pool undefeated.

Men Bronze Medal game – UKR v GER

Germany outclass Ukraine for men’s bronze at 2019 #EuroSittingVolley

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Germany return to the podium of the Sitting Volleyball Men’s European Championships, after missing out last time, winning the bronze medal at the 2019 edition with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-22) win over Ukraine.

Germany produced some highly efficient volleyball to take early leads in both the first and second sets. Ukraine tried to gain control and get back in the game in the third, but Germany quickly put that right, making a 7-0 run from 4-8 to 11-8. They never looked back, extending their newfound lead to reach match point with five to spare.

Ukraine did make a last-minute desperate attempt to stay alive, closing in from 19-24 to 22-24, But coach Michael Merten called a timeout to disrupt that run and upon returning on court #10 promptly blocked Dmytro Melnyk to settle the matter once and for all.

Dominik Albrecht was back to his usual self, bagging a match-high 23 points for Germany with a 45% attacking efficiency (21 kills from 47 swings). Denys Bytchenko with 13 points for Ukraine was the only other player to score in double digits. The result means Ukraine’s silver medal of 2017 remains a one-off podium finish.

Women Bronze Medal game – UKR v GER

Ukraine react to German pressure to take women’s bronze

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Germany gave Ukraine a run for their money but failed to make the podium for the first time in history, as Ukraine persevered for a 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-10) win that earned them women’s bronze at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships here Saturday afternoon.

It is Ukraine’s seventh straight podium finish since their first appearance in 2007 for silver. Ukraine quickly got off to a 3-0 start in the tie-break and began building on that, to switch courts five points in the lead.

Germany did rally back to close in to within two, but at 13-10 Liudmyla Lozko tipped the ball over the block and Kateryna Koziar followed up with a stuff on Marlies Dreblow to seal the deal. Ukrained based their win on an amazing scoring performance by Elina Bezprozvanna who bagged 35 points and registered a kill efficiency of 55% (31/56) with Lozko adding another 20. Michelle Schiffler was Germany’s high scorer with 19.

Women Gold Medal game – RUS v ITA

Unstoppable Russia demolish Italy for back-to-back women’s titles

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Russia were on fire here Saturday afternoon, demolishing Italy 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-22) to claim women’s gold at the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships with back-to-back titles.

Russia completed their campaign at the European Championships in Budapest undefeated and without dropping a single set in their seven matches.

From the Italian side there was none of the previous night’s magic that had earned them a place in the final and a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Russia immediately got off with a 5-0 run at the very start of the game and made it all look so simple from there on.

Italy did attempt a half-hearted comeback in the third, advancing to a 4-12 lead, but an 11-3 run by the defending champions had it all level by 15-15 and reached match point with three to spare. Italy pulled one last one back for 24-22, but a tip by Irina Smirnova deep down the line and into the corner wrapped it all up.

Smirnova with a match-high 14 points Iuliia Mednikova with another 12 were Russia’s scoring leaders, as the winners served 16 aces (six of those from Smirnova).

It was Russia’s second straight and overall gold medal (after a bronze in 2011 and a silver in 2015).

For Italy it was still a historic moment – their first ever appearance on the podium of a Sitting Volleyball European Championships.

Men Gold Medal game – RUS v BIH

Russia survive three match points to claim back-to-back titles

Budapest, Hungary, 20 July 2019 – Russia edged Bosnia & Herzegovina in dramatic fashion, cancelling three match points of the Balkan side and winning an epic 3-2 (26-24, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 17-15) battle in the men’s final of the 2019 Sitting Volleyball European Championships for back-to-back titles.

After ten titles on the trot, between 1991 and 2015, Bosnia & Herzegovina are left without gold for the second time running.

Bosnia & Herzegovina came from far behind in the first set to tie the score at 23-23 and become first to reach set point – though that was cancelled on a net touch by Ermin Jusufovic and Russia responded with back-to-back points by Viktor Milenin, on a block on Adnan Manko for 25-24 followed by a kill to bring it home.

It was the first set that Bosnia & Herzegovina lost in the whole competition, after a 21-0 run.

Russia remained in control at the start of the second, though Bosnia & Herzegovina caught up at 10-10 and the two sides fought point-by-point until Mirzet Duran punched the ball through the Russian block for Bosnia & Herzegovina to reach match point and then Milenin hit long.

It was just as tight in the third, but after 18-18 Bosnia & Herzegovina broke off by three points and kept on siding out till the end.

Russia turned the tables in the fourth and it was the defending champions that got that slight two-point advantage going into the 20s and reaching set point at 24-21, before Nizam Cancar failed to clear the net in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s counter-attack, forcing the tie-break.

A 4-1 breakaway by Bosnia & Heregovina at the start of the tie-break forced coach Aleksandr Ovsyanniko to call an early timeout and promptly Russia rallied to come level. Bosnia & Herzegovina broke away once again to change sides leading by three, Russia levelled again and so it carried on until Bosnia & Herzegovina reached set point with two to spare at 12-14.

A couple of attacks by Milenin, though, cancelled both set points to make it 14-14 and yet another for 15-15, before captain Aleksandr Savichev brought Russia ahead for the first time in the set and the defending champions errupted in celebration after an errant attack by Bosnia & Herzegovina brought it all to a close.

Milenin with 26 points was by a long shot the top scorer of the final on 26 points, including 2 aces and 4 blocks. Savichev added another 19 for Russia, on par with Bosnia & Herzegovina’s best scorer, Ermin Jusufovic.

Russia were totally outblocked (14 to 26) but produced far more efficient receiving (34% to 17%).

It was the second time in this European Championships that the two teams came head-to-head. In pool play Bosnia & Herzegovina had beaten Russia in straight sets.