Double Gold for Denmark at U19 NEVZA 2016
30th October 2016
FINAL: Denmark girls v Norway girls
In a fitting final to the girls’ championship Denmark faced Norway for the gold medal.
The first two points went to Denmark as they looked to dominate their rivals early in the first set. Well clear at the first technical time out, Denmark pulled ahead 17-11 before Norway began a period of better play. Their libero Martine Clementsen controlled her side of the court well as Norway strung together much needed points. But the confident Danish girls come back to keep ahead and took the set 25-18.
Norway came back on court hoping to stop Denmark gaining the initiative but their service game let them down initially. They had a more settled period of impressive play which saw them lead 16-12 at the second. A great save from the Norway libero set up another strike and they soon led 23-18 before drawing level 1-1, 25-18 in the second set.
In the third set it was first strike to Denmark but a run of errors saw Norway pull five ahead and the dominant first set Denmark were nowhere to be seen. But Norway lost a couple of points at the net and Denmark were back within two at 5-7. It was all level until 20-18 to Denmark. Sweden’s Emilie Klovfjell serves caused Denmark some problems but ultimately it was Denmark’s Amalie Lachenmeier who served a set winner to put her team ahead 2-1.
Denmark led 8-4 early in the fourth, gold medal theirs for the taking, but Norway kept asking questions of them, making them work for every single point. Denmark made a key substitution at 15-9 to head into the technical 16-9 ahead. Norway took seven straight points after the timeout to level it to 16-16 but Denmark once again moved clear to 23-19 before closing out the set and match. Denmark are the 2016 U19 NEVZA champions in 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-22 25-22).
FINALL Denmark boys vs Sweden boys
After watching their compatriots take the gold in the girls’ competition, Denmark’s boys wanted their slice of the action in tonight’s boys’ final against Sweden, a repeat of the 2015 line up which saw Denmark win gold.
And the 2015 reigning champions were on a mission to retain their title but found themselves lagging just behind 8-7 at the first technical time out. They had narrowly reversed the lead at the second, just one point ahead 16-15, before dominating the back end of the set to take an early lead 25-18.
Denmark took the fight to the Swedes in set two, stretching out to an early lead 8-7 at the first technical and 16-11 at the second. Looking composed, their lead was never really under threat and they put clear space between them and their rivals, going into set three, 2-0 up (25-18, 25-19).
Needing to win the third set, Sweden found themselves three points down at the first technical before opposite August Borna found some much needed form to get his team within a single point at the second technical. It was level pegging at the business end of the third set, which proved to be the last, as Denmark came from behind to win 25-23, winning the championships in straight sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-23).
Girls Bronze medal play off
After a solid tournament performance so far, Sweden were favourites to take the bronze medal, but the marathon five-setter saw Iceland beat the 2015 champions.
The reigning champions led at the first timeout 8-4 and were holding on at the second 16-13. A run of strong play by Iceland saw them win a streak of points and overtake Sweden at 18-17. At 21-all, Iceland called time out and, with only four points to go, neither team were dominant but it was Iceland who finally took the first set at 26-24.
Iceland stormed ahead in set two with a comfortable eight-point cushion at 8-10. Sweden narrowed the gap to five before Iceland rallied once again to lead 20-10. A Swedish timeout saw them come back to 16 but it was too late as Iceland closed out the second set 25-16.
At the first technical in the third set it was Iceland with an 8-5 advantage. With Sweden needing to up their game, they pulled level at 10-all before moving ahead 16-14. With just two points to win to take the set Sweden looked in command but Iceland got back within reach, and then levelled the set at 25-all. A nail-biting finish ensued but it was Sweden with champions’ resilience who eventually took the set 27-25.
Iceland triggered the first technical time out of set four, leading 8-6 before Sweden levelled up at 13-all. Iceland again went clear and stretched ahead 16-13 but Sweden kept their composure and drew level again at 19-all. Needing the set victory to stay in the match, Sweden pulled clear and an Iceland scramble wasn’t enough as the match went into a decider, 2-2, after Sweden won 25-20.
Momentum switched once again in set five and Iceland streaked ahead 8-1 at the technical. Sweden showed signs of yet another brave comeback but it wasn’t to be and Iceland sprinted ahead to win the set 15-8 and the bronze medal 3-2 (26-24, 25-16, 25-27, 20-25, 15-8).
Boys bronze medal play offs
England boys faced Norway in a battle for the bronze medal. Norway were the first to open up the lead, 8-6 at the first technical before England got back level at 11-all, and then took the lead at 14-13. Norway regained the lead at the second technical but England fought back to take an 18-16 lead. The scores were level again after two Jakob Solgaard Thelle serves but effective blocks by Theo Lucas and Ryan Poole got England back in the lead. Iceland put up a resilient effort but England eventually took the set, 25-22, putting them one set to the good.
Arran Simon proved strong in defence against the big hitting Stefan Ilic of Norway and England led 8-6 at the first technical but a streak of seven points in a row for Norway saw them take a four-point lead of 14-10 before Ryan Poole clawed a point back for England. Not quite enough to reduce the advantage as Norway led 16-12 at the second technical time out. England got back within a single point at 18-19 before Norway pulled away once more. It looked in the bag when Norway once again pulled clear needing just two points to win but Ryan Poole led the charge bringing England to within one at 23-22. They couldn’t sustain the pressure as Norway saw it out to take the set 25-23 to level the match, one set all.
It was Norway who again took the early lead in the third set, their danger man Jarand Roalkvam finding the form which had proved so crucial in their campaign so far this weekend. They retained the lead at both technicals and managed to stretch ahead at the end of the set to take a 2-1 lead (25-16).
England were composed in the fourth set and looked up for the challenge of taking the match to a fifth set. There was little to choose between the teams, neither making a clear break away. Norway were two points to the good at the first technical and three at the second but England remained in touching distance. A gritty fightback wasn’t quite enough and it was Norway who eventually claimed the bronze medal 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-18)
Girls 5th/6th place play off – England vs Faroe Islands
Having beaten their opponents in straight sets just yesterday, England knew what they had to do to claim fifth place but it was Faroe Islands who were more focused at the start of the game and they had a lead of five point at the first technical time out.
England started their charge back, closing in on the Faroe Islands thanks to some big hits from Anaya Evans. The scores levelled at 13-all and England to took a strong lead at 16-13. England extended their lead by five points before Faroe Islands fought back to level the set at 19-all. England rallied once again and closed the set 25-21.
It was England who had the advantage 8-7 at the first break in play and then streaked ahead with a four-point lead at the second. The Faroe Islands launched their own fightback to level the set at 17-all. England cleared ahead once again and claimed set win 25-23.
Faroe Islands streaked ahead in set three and with all to play for to stay in the match, they had a four-point lead at the first technical time out.
England pulled back to level the score 9-all but the Faroe Islands kept their composure and still held onto the lead at the second technical time out 16-12. England won the first four points after the break to draw level and it continued to be neck and neck until 21-all. Faroe Islands were on the brink of taking the set, leading 23-21 when an England time out saw them disrupt their rhythm and subsequently pull level and seize the next two points to win the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
Boys 5th/6th Place Playoff Iceland vs Faroe Islands
Iceland boys took on Faroe Islands in the 5th and 6th place playoffs in the boy’s competition on the final day of action in Kettering.
Iceland looked to be the dominant force in set one. They opened up a 5-0 lead early on in the opening set and stretched that lead to 8-2 at the first technical time out. That lead increased further to 16-8 at the second timeout as they closed out the set comfortably 25-10.
They once again picked up the pace in set two, keeping the momentum of play going and finding themselves 16-10 up at the second technical. At 15-22 down, Faroe Islands called a time out only for Iceland to streak ahead win the second set 25-15.
Faroe Islands put in a spirited effort in the third set, needing to take the set to remain in the match. It was Iceland who retained a lead 8-3 at the first interval and then 16-11 at the second.
At 19-20, the Faroes Islands players threw everything at Iceland but with fifth place in touching distance, Iceland pulled clear again 23-20. A final time out wasn’t enough as Iceland kept their composure to secure fifth place 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-20).