Greece top Pool B, Romania follow through for tickets to #EuroVolleyU16W finals

Argos, Greece, April 23, 2017. Greece came back from a set down and outlasted Romania 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-22) before an ecstatic home crowd to top the final standing of Pool B and advance to the Final Round of the inaugural U16 Women European Championship next July in Bulgaria. Romania also followed through, edging Poland on points ratio amongst the second-ranked teams across all pools.

Greece had well-distributed scoring with Styliani Antypa bagging 17, Magdalini-Maria Tsigkaropoulou 16 and Stamatia Kyparissi 15, as the hosts dominated the blocking and pressed with their serving - also improving in reception as the match wore on.

Alexia Ioana Carutasu with 17 points for Romania shared top-scoring honours with Antypa, but the visitors were no match for Greece at the net.

With Greece running away with the match at 15-9 and 16-11 in the fourth set, Romania made a last-ditch attempt at forcing a tiebreak and levelled the score at 17-17, before Greece pulled together to go ahead again and reach match point with four to spare.

Romania finished second in Pool B on two wins, 6 ranking points, 7-4 sets and 257-201 points (1.27). That betters Poland’s 2/6/7-4/264-232 (1.13) from last week in Pool D.

Earlier on the closing and with both teams out of contention for a spot in the Final Round, Croatia and Ukraine played without pressure in a thrilling rollercoaster for third place. Croatia blew their chance for their first win in the tournament when they led 13-10 in the tiebreak, before Ukraine rallied back for a 3-2 (18-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-18, 15-13) win.

Natalia Tomic with 36 points (including six aces) for Croatia was top scorer of the game, but failed in three attempts to get her team unstuck from 13 in the tiebreak. Kateryna Tkachenko (18 points) was best scorer of the winners, who lagged in attacking efficiency but made up for it with their blocking.

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