PLAYERS ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS
Aida Etxebarria and
Nerea Izagirre from Spain confirmed their favoritism and
arrived at the end of the first competition day as the
only undefeated team of the WEVZA U21 BVB tournament
organized by the Portuguese Volleyball Federation and
that is being held at Praia da Ribeira in Albufeira do
Azibo, Macedo de Cavaleiros.
The men’s event was marked by uncertainty in what
regarded the semifinals; something that was only decided
in the last match…
The semifinals are scheduled as below:
09h00 : Etxebarria / Izagirre (ESP) x Zwaanswijk / Bak (NED)
10h00 : Paquete / Silva (POR) x Reis / Tinoco (POR)
11h00 : Huerta / Rojas (ESP) x Maia / Silva (POR)
12h00 : Leite / Jardim (POR) x Bouter / Van der Ham (NED)
The finals will be held at 15h00 (women) and 16h00 (men)
The superiority of the Spanish team, both with 19 years
old, was evident throughout the three first matches, but
in the last match of the day they encountered the strong
opposition of their opponents, the Portuguese Vanessa
Paquete and Daniela Silva. “To play four matches in the
same day is complicated. We are in a good physical
condition and entered well in the competition, but
afterwards we felt some difficulties against the
Portuguese team [Paquete/Silva], that we believe, are
one of the favorite to win the tournament. They are well
coordinated and similar to us, they are very fast.
Tomorrow is a new day; therefore we will have to give
our best to win. This venue is amazing, very beautiful
and the surrounding is fantastic”.
Margarida Reis and Maria Tinoco won (2-0: 21/19, 21/13)
against Loladina Zwaanswijk and Marly Bak from
Netherlands and guaranteed a place in the semifinals,
where they will face Vanessa Paquete and Daniela Silva.
“It was a very important win, not only because of the
result and qualification but also because it
demonstrated a very strong connection between our team
to arrive to the victory. We are very pleased to advance
to the semifinals. The main favorites are the Spanish
Etxebarria and Izagirre and Vanessa and Daniela, but in
semifinal and finals all can happen, so we continue to
believe… To play here in Azibo, is fantastic. The venue
is very pretty and framed within this beautiful
landscape. It’s hot and the wind is minimum.
Congratulations to the organizers”.
The other Portuguese team, Vanessa and Daniela lost
(1-2: 21/16, 16/21, 9/15) against Carla Alocen and Maria
Palet from Spain – this isolated win didn’t change their
5th position -, but had already guaranteed the 2nd place
and consequent passage to the semifinals.
“We already knew that this last match would be very
complicated since we were very tired, but equally
satisfied with the qualification. Unfortunately, we will
face Margarida and Maria, but that also means that
Portugal will have a team playing the final. The Spanish
team Etxebarria / Izagirre is very strong, are very
skillful and experience together, but aren’t very tall.
All is in the open and we continue to believe that it’s
possible to win the tournament” highlighted Daniela
Meanwhile, the Portuguese public have adopted already
the local heroes, Diogo Maia and Tomas Silva. Undefeated
until the match against Jasper Bouter and Jannes Van der
Ham from Netherlands, the Portuguese team never stopped
fighting for the victory, even though one of the players
(Diogo) had played the second and third set under a mask
Tomas Silva highlighted the stoicism of his teammate,
after a traumatic match, during which it seemed that the
Portuguese team wouldn’t let go of the victory.
Nevertheless, “Maia started to feel strong cramps in the
middle of the second set, being able nevertheless to
hold on until the end of the set, but the third one
demonstrated that, under these conditions, our mission
was impossible. We gave everything we had. But it was
impossible. We tried to adjust our reception because he
wasn’t capable of attack, but we were unable to overcome
the injury. Nevertheless, and despite this defeat, all
is in the open and, if Maia should be recovered,
tomorrow we will be here fighting once again for the
title” promised Tomas Silva.
Nevertheless the withdraw, due to injury, in the
following match, put them behind on the ranking after
Netherland and also the other Portuguese team, Jose
Jardim and Bernardo Leite, that qualified after the
victory in the last match against Pablo Penedo and
Sanchez Baluja, from Spain.
“We knew from the beginning that all the teams were
balanced, but we entered in every match with the same
attitude, always thinking in the victory and this
qualification ends up by rewarding all that we’ve done.
Tomorrow we will try to win and reach the final, since
today’s matches showed us that the victory may smile to
any team. We are enjoying this competition singe the
stadium is staged in a wonderful place and it’s this
kind of events that help us to prepare the participation
in high level competitions such as the Under Age
European and World Championships”.