2014 CEV U20 European Championship - Czech Republic / Slovakia - 08/29

  • From 3 to 5 January 1st qualification round with Azerbaijan, England and Norway.

    After round robin 2 best Teams will advance to 2nd round.

  • Turkish roster for qualification tournament:

    Setters: Yiğit Gülmezoğlu-Selim Demir
    Opps: Cansın Ogbai Enaboifo- Melih Sıratça
    OHs: Yasin Aydın -Mehmet Hacıoğlu -Mert Nevzat Güneş
    MBs: Vahit Emre Savaş-Doğukan Ulu- Mehmet Can Ağırbaş
    L: Furkan Albayrak-Onurcan Çakır

    Mehmet Hacıoğlu, Mehmet Can Ağırbaş and Onurcan Çakır are newcomers. Among youth NT roster, missing players are starter MB GÜLEÇ Kusay Kaan, second Opp Emrecan Teke and back-up MB Emincan Kocabaş. Also starter OH Melih Sıratça has changed her position to Opp and he will be back-up for Cansın.

    Yiğit Gülmezer (Arkasspor), Yasin Aydın (GS), Vahit Emre Savaş, Cansın Ogbai Enaboifo (Çankaya Belediyesi) are the biggest prospects. These played as starter in our league.

  • As I expected pool in Bulgaria has Teams in close level.

    Greece - Bulgaria 2-3.

    Austria - Italy 2-3. I'm not sure but if I good remember Austria showed sharp nails in the past in youth / junior level ?

  • France wins in 3 straight sets against Belgium (25-22, 25-22, 25-18 )

    Once again France vs Belgium (after Senior confrontations in EC, pre-OG and pre-WC and Junior pre-WC).

    I was curious about the outcome of this game for a number of reasons:

    - This is the first campaign under new head coach Joel Banks, since Steven Vanmedegael left the Volleybal school-project to join Knack Roeselare as an assistent coach.
    Vanmedegael won the bronze medal in the last junior and youth ECs.

    - France is always a tough competitor and good measure.

    - This Belgian team has a number of talented players which already participated in the previous junior EC:

    • Sander Depovere: most promising setter in years (Antwerp, very little playing opportunity)
    • Arno Van de Velde: 210cm tall middle blocker (Knack Roeselare, some playing opportunity)
    • Lowie Stuer: promising libero (Knack Roeselare, some playing opportunity)
    • Lou Kindt: didn't participate in last Junior EC, more or less surprisingly took opposite position in stead of Thomas Konings (Antwerp, next season)

    According to the stats, seams like the Belgian team was competitive, but not strong enough to be a real threat to the French team.
    The French team dominated, uncharacteristically, in blocking (10 vs 4) and overall better stats in attack (few errors) and serve.

    Belgian serve reception seemed to be solid, without this resulting in particularly good attack percentage by middle attackers (43% and 50%).

    I hope they can improve their game and qualify for the 3th round by finishing second before Portugal and Sweden.

  • Belgium team qualifies for the third round by beating Sweden and Portugal in straight sets.

    The 3th round is going to be an interesting one:

    Belgium will face Italy (2nd Poule B), Serbia (2nd poule D) and Finland (best 3th ranked team overall - poule D).

    Poule D was a very competitive poule with each team winning at least one game: Slovenia and Serbia won 5 points, Finland and Hungary won 4 points.
    Remarkable note: Padar (Hungary - next season playing for Noliko Maaseik) scored 44 points in 2-3 game against Finland.

    The other 3th round poule is comprised of : Estonia, Spain, Greece and Germany.


  • I don't know if the group in Sofia was a bit weaker or not, but it turned out to be a balanced one. England finished last, but if you look at their set scores, you will see they did a good job. It's very nice that volleyball is gaining popularity in this dominated by football country. I was a bit skeptical when they assigned Nikolay Zhelyazkov as a head coach of the Juniors. He is not a bad coach, but has a record of failed attempts at junior and youth levels. I was surprised when Bulgaria managed to come back from two sets down and beat Greece in a tie-break, I couldn't watch the game and have no idea what changed in the course of the match. Zhelyazkov made some changes, pretty much everyone played. It's not the best generation we've had. Perhaps they wouldn't have made it to the finals had they lost to Greece at home and then having to go through the contingent third qualification phase.

  • Pool composition for U20 European Championship has been determined:

    Pool I (Nitra): Slovakia, France, Bulgaria, Russia, winner of 3rd qualification round Pool H, the best pool runner-up from 3rd qualification round

    Pool II (Brno): Czech Republic, Turkey, Romania, Poland, Slovenia, winner of 3rd qualification round Pool I

    The third qualification round is scheduled to take place on July 11, 12 and 13, with Estonia, Germany, Italy and Spain constituting Pool H to be played in Pescara, Italy and Belgium, Finland, Greece and Serbia competing in Pool I to be played in Ruma, Serbia.

    Last three slots most probably will go to Belgium, Italy and either Finland or Spain

  • Belgium and Finland were 3rd and 4th last year in Youth ECh and they showed good performance during Youth WCh. Serbia had very good tradition at youth and junior level .But in recent years they are not doiing well ?(

  • if it is true Turkish setter Yiğit Gülmezoğlu has almost the maximum block and attack reach amongst the other players :aww: maybe one should find a way to benefit from his attack too

  • Surprising defeat in poule H (Italy, Germany, Estonia, Spain) by Germany in 3th round qualification against Estonia in straight sets:
    because first team in each poule qualifies together with best second overall, Belgium and Serbia (6 points after 2 games) are practically sure to qualify (if Spain beats Italy 3-0, which is unlikely, then we need to count).

    Belgium and Serbia still have to play against each other the final match in their poule to decide on spots 1 and 2 in their poule:
    should be an interesting game. Belgium had to work a little harder than Serbia to beat Finland and Greece, so I Serbia seems to be the stronger team.

    A few notible absences in Belgian Team: Thomas Konings (opposite), Louis Stuer (Libero), Laszo De Paepe (Middle) -> all starting players in previous U19 EC.
    Our current opposite, Lou Kindt, seems to do well.
    We had a number of interesting players come out of our youth teams, but none on the opposite position. So it's good to see 2 promising opposites are in the pipeline: Lou Kindt and Thomas Konings (next year playing for Antwerp). Both are born in 1997, so they can play another EC U19 and EC U20.

  • Great 3-1 victory by Belgium against Serbia!

    Belgian team dominated in blocking: 12 vs 7.
    Arno Van de Velde scored 5 blocks and 8/10 in attack (the guy measures 2.10m)

  • After third round, final pool composition for U20 European Championship has been determined:

    Pool I (Nitra): Russia (1), France (6), Italy (7), Bulgaria (10), Serbia (11), Slovakia (13)

    Pool II (Brno): Poland (2), Belgium (3), Turkey (5), Slovenia (9), Romania (24), Czech Republic (25)

    The numbers refer to team's ranking in last youth ECh, which might be an indicator for their strength. Biggest surprise the absence of Finnish team who was 4th in youth ECH and 11th in youth WCh. Also number 8, Austria couldn't reach the finals due to unlucky group in second round with Poland and Italy. Candidates for semis are Russia with France from Pool I and Poland with Belgium from Pool II. Also Turkey has very talented player in this generation, they might also reach to semis if they manage to beat Belgium team.

  • I would consider Slovenia also to be a candidate for the semi-final: they managed to qualify directly for this EC by beating Serbia.

  • I would consider Slovenia also to be a candidate for the semi-final: they managed to qualify directly for this EC by beating Serbia.

    They almost have identical roster from youth team of last year (only Filip Uremoviç is in instead of Uros Tucen) And their top position in second group was not so clear. They had lost against Hungary and win against Finland at tie break. That's why I can't estimate change in their game. What do you think about Belgium team, do you think they develop a lot from last year. Any injured or underdeveloped player from that roster?

  • Tommorow starts U20 ECH in Nitra and Brno. I've to admit I'm really looking forward to it :win: Pool in Nitra looks much stronger with Russia, France, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria and Slovakia than other pool. Russians are clear cut favs for gold, Poles are also good but I would point out Turkey. I spoke with few people which are familiar with Turkish NT and most of them said they are one of the best teams on junior level.

  • Turkish roster for qualification tournament:

    Setters: Yiğit Gülmezoğlu-Muzaffer Yönet
    Opps: Cansın Ogbai Enaboifo
    OHs: Yasin Aydın -Mehmet Hacıoğlu -Mert Nevzat Güneş- Abdullah Çam
    MBs: Vahit Emre Savaş-Doğukan Ulu-Çağatay Durmaz
    L: Furkan Albayrak-Onurcan Çakır

    Secon setter Selim Demir, third MB Mehmet Can Ağırbaş and second Opp Melih Sıratça are out from the roster that has played during qualification tournament a few months ago. Instead of them setter Muzaffer Yönet, OH Abdullah Çam and MB Çağatay Durmaz are in. I wonder why Melih Sıratça, who can play as both Opp and OH is out of roster, now we have only one Opp :what:

    As Kaziyski mentioned, this is the strongest Turkish generation ever, even better than the 93-94 one that reached 6th place in last junior WCh. Yiğit Gülmezer (Arkasspor) and Yasin Aydın (GS) were already starter in senior NT during world league this summer. Also Vahit Emre Savaş and Cansın Ogbai Enaboifo are the great talents. Our libero and second OH are OK but second MB Doğukan was pretty weak.

    To me, Russia is clear favourite, both Pankov and Poletaev are phenomenal players. Poland and Belgium are also very strong, but I believe that we can beat one of them and reach to semifinal :super: