2013 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship
19th August 2013
Matt Hunter and Ryan Stout part of Volleyball England Beach Volleyball development squad, travelled to Vilnius, Lithuania, to represent England in the CEV U-20 European Beach Volleyball Championship’s. The team arrived late on the Tuesday night and on the first day, the schedule consisted of two training sessions with the Greek Team, Ioannis Kavaratzis and Grigorios Kontostathis, plus the technical meeting, where all the teams would be drawn into pools of four. After the two successful training sessions in heat of excess 30c, the boys headed for the meeting, and the impending draw. The England Team were in the third pool of seeds, and drew Poland (pre tournament favourites), Italy and Bulgaria, with Italy being first opponents on the first day of Competition (Thursday), and the other two teams on the second day (Friday).
The English team put up a very creditable performance taking a 10-7 lead in the first set, and being 11-10 down at the technical timeout in the second set. There was strong side out play from Stout, and very positive blocking from Hunter, gaining the team good momentum in both sets. However the overall power and experience of the Italians, saw them through at the end of both sets.
De Fabritiis-Martinez ITA  Hunter-Stout ENG  2-0 (21-16, 21-18)
The second game first match on the friday, gave the English Team a chance to play against the pre tournament favourites and eventual winners. With the boys sticking to the game plan, and additional strong serving from Hunter and solid defence from Stout, the team were again 10-11 down at both technical time outs. Unfortunately the Polish serving at the back end of the sets was outstanding, and lead to them being victors by 2 set to 0.
Kaczmarek, L.-Kaczmarek, S. POL  Hunter-Stout ENG  2-0 (21-15, 21-12)
The last pool game was against Bulgaria, on the Friday afternoon. The winner would get a guaranteed 17th place, and both teams started very positively with strong side out, and very few unforced errors. Strong serving and blocking from Hunter saw the English boys lead at 11-10 at the first technical time out. Stout again continued to sideout point after point to give a 20-19 lead but unfortunately the boys could convert 3 set points and ended up losing 24-22. The second set again was a point for point set, and again the English team lead 11-10 at technical. The Bulgarians managed to force errors to take a 19-17, with the English boys struggling to sideout, however a massive transition play by Stout and faultless serving from Hunter saw the boys take a 21-19 win in the second set. The epic deciding set saw Stout side out with consistency, Hunter put in a very aggressive blocking performance, and the English team lead at every change of ends, to lead 13-12. The Bulgarians after calling a time out, made a couple of crucial side outs, and a further block to close out the match.
Hunter-Stout ENG  Ivanov-Kalchev BUL  1-2 (22-24, 21-19, 15-17)
The Competition was a great experience for the English team, and players really did themselves proud in being competitive in every game. Although disappointed not go further in the draw, the pairing winning their first international set, and going so close in the game against Bulgaria, in their first International tournament, can hopefully lead to the Boys representing England at the U-22’s next season. The team would like to thank Lynsey Green (VE), Debbie Timberlake (Bournemouth University) and Annetta Minard (LeAF Academy) for all the support on and off the court, and making it possible for the team to compete at this level.
Andy Jones (Coach)