Gyor, Hungary, April 30, 2017 – The Czech Republic maintained their strong run of form in the 2017 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Men when they defeated Italy in the final in Gyor, Hungary on Sunday.
The east Europeans won only their second medal at men’s U19 level with a 3-2 (25-19, 14-25, 25-17, 19-25, 15-13) victory. Their previous success came when they won bronze at the 1999 edition.
Turkey joined them on the podium after they won the bronze medal match with a 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 24-26, 25-17, 15-13) win over Russia.
After the Czechs and Italians had taken it in turns to win the first four sets the tie-break followed a familiar pattern and they were tied at 12-12. Two more points gave the Czechs two match points and while Italy saved the first, Marek Sotola fired down a powerful hit that won the match and the title.
“We started the first set well, we made no mistakes, but afterwards they started to risk their serves and we started to have problems,” Czech coach Jiri Zach said. “In the third set I believed we could win. The fifth set was just the jackpot.”
All four teams - the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey and Russia - had already qualified for the FIVB Volleyball U19 Boy’s World Championship that will take place in Bahrain from August 18-27.
Defending U19 world champions Poland and France will join them in Bahrain. On Sunday, Poland beat France to fifth place with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-15) win.