Disappointing last day in Tallinn !
The kind of thriller and drama that ended the 2017 EuroVolley first-round qualifier Pool 1 in Tallinn is one to remember. Hosts Estonia came back from two sets down to claim their matchup with Sweden and move on to the second stage of the qualification process for the European Championship. On the other hand, Sweden lost the match and because of their match points ratio being lower than the one recorded by Montenegro in the other pool, the Scandinavians missed out on a spot in the next qualification round. In the other match of the final day, Denmark edged underdogs Luxembourg in three sets.
Luxembourg vs. Denmark 0-3 (14-25, 17-25, 17-25)
The Danes needed only 69 minutes to defeat Luxembourg in three straight sets and secure third place in the final standing of the tournament. The main key to their success was their offensive performance. Denmark attacked with a 47% success rate, while the same figure for Luxembourg stood at 24%. Best scorer for the winning side was middle-blocker Paulina Hougaard-Jensen with ten points, including four aces. Betty Hoffmann and Isabelle Frisch netted six points apiece for Luxembourg.
“It was a very important victory for us. After yesterday’s match we watched a lot of video and analysed our game and discussed how we should play today. I am very happy with the way the girls were prepared and managed to do that kind of comeback compared to the game against Estonia,” Denmark’s head coach Sven-Erik Lauridsen said.
Luxembourg mentor Detlev Schönberg admitted that today wasn’t their best match of the tournament. “Maybe my girls were a little bit too optimistic before the match. After the first set we were very frustrated about the bad start we had and it was difficult to get back into the game. It was all up and down – whenever we got closer to Denmark, we made some simple mistakes, so it was a very hard game for the team and for the coach as well,” Schönberg said.
Talking about the tournament, Lauridsen was very pleased with how his team played against Sweden and Luxembourg. “Against Estonia we could have played a lot better but we learned a lot from that match,” Lauridsen added.
Schönberg also leaves Estonia taking positives from the experience. “Our overall performance was good and considering that we have a very young team, we performed very well especially against Estonia and Sweden. I guess the last game is not what we should take from this tournament when heading back home, but overall we did a good step in the right direction with our team,” he commented.