Upsets shattered the Junior Girls Teams EventPhoto: Rémy Gros
2018 STAG European Youth Championships
Germany made a somewhat of surprising victory at the beginning of the Junior Girls Teams Event at the 2018 STAG European Youth Championships in Cluj Napoca and by doing so inflicted the pain in the hearts of the host nation supporters. We would be able to talk about the top rated upset, if Germany had beaten Romania with Adina DIACONU in the team, but without her help the opportunities widener and Germany seized them, for sure. However it was not the end of the upsetting results for hosts as they suffered from another agonizing defeat by the end of the day. They lost against France in the second round as well.
The victory against Romania came as a result of fantastic Germany’s recovery from being two matches down. Andreea DRAGOMAN and Tania PLAIAN beat Anastasia BONDAREVA and Franziska SCHREINER, but then Sarah MANTZ changed the course of the duel. She beat Andreea HUDSON, before SCHREINER prevailed against DRAGOMAN in straight games.
"After being 0-2 in reverse, we continued to fight for every ball. Even in the first two games we had already chances to win. However Sarah MANTZ brought the team back into the game. Then Franziska SCHREINER and Anastasia BONDAREVA showed very mature performances, "said national coach Dana WEBER.
Anastasia BONDAREVA added: “We started not so good because we lost both matches in the fifth game and it was very close, so it was a little bit upsetting. But in the third match our no. 3 won with 3-0 and then we were really happy because we thought maybe we have a chance. Then our no. 1 won against DRAGOMAN and we didn't expect it; in the first match SCHREINER didn't play so well. At 2-2, I knew that it is an important point and I played really good, in first 2 sets I was not so nervous because I thought that it is all right even if I win or lose because she is a very strong player with a higher ranking. In the last set I was really nervous because it was really important, my team really wanted me to win. I was nervous in the beginning of the last set but after I said myself that I have to play better now and I managed to win.”
Azerbaijan avenged their last year’s defeat against Russia in the semi final and beat the reigning champions in full distance thriller. Anastasia KOLISH beat CHEN Xingtai, but reigning single’s champion NING Jing overcame both Mariia TAILAKOVA and KOLISH. Kristina KAZANTZEVA overcame ZHOU Chuyi. After victory over Norway they secured the top spot in Group A before tomorrow’s match against Czech Republic.
Top seeds in Group B, team of Serbia suffered the surprising defeat against Slovakia in another match that went full distance, as well as Croatia against Turkey. The backbone of the Turkey’s success was Betul Nur KAHRAMAN who beat Andrea PAVLOVIC and Marta VUKELIC in the fifth match.
“It was very close match, but I believed in myself. I played well especially on the receive, which gave me the opportunity to win,” said KAHRAMAN.
Turkey beat Slovakia in the second match, whilst Serbia played another five matches duel, but this time they prevailed at then end.
“After three defeats today, for me it was crucial that I recovered and win decisive match against Croatia’s Klara BARDAC. The adversary was not that strong, but after I lost against Tatina KUKULKOVA, Natalia GRIGELOVA and Andrea PAVLOVIC, mentally it was very demanding to stay on positive track,” said Tijana JOKIC op Serbia.
None of top seeds managed to record the victory in the opening matches of the Group phase. Belarus joined the “team” after they suffered by the hands of Slovenia’s Aleksandra VOVK, Lea PAULIN and Katarina STRAZAR. They were unable to find the right rhythm in the duel against Poland neither, so Poland and Slovenia shares top spot in Group C.
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