DAY 6: Places 9-16 confirmed

Four matches were played on Friday to determine places 9 to 16 at the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship.

Romania defeated Portugal, 12:6, for the 15th place. Portuguese ladies took the lead in the middle of the first period, but Romania water polo players scored a pair in the last minute of that quarter making a comeback. They scored again at the beginning of the second quarter, but then the game was scoreless for a long time. Portugal cut the deficit in the last second of the first half and equalized after three minutes of play in the third period. Starting minutes of the last quarter saw an equal duel and a tie (5:5), after which Romanian squad managed to accomplish an emphatic win due to an impressive shooting streak. Briana Mihaila led the winning team with four goals, while Claudia Costa netted three for Portugal.

Portugal – Romania 6:12 (1:2, 1:1, 1:1, 3:8)

Turkey overpowered the Czech Republic, 13:5, and won the 13th spot.  Turkish girls scored an opener with an extra player, doubled their lead a few minutes later and went ahead 3:0 in the last second of the first period.  The halftime result was 5:1 and it was becoming apparent who would be the winner.  They continued to preserve the advantage and increased it in the final eight minutes of the game.  The top scorer was Dilara Burali with five goals, whereas Daniela Vomastkova netted a pair.

Czech Republic – Turkey 5:13 (0:3, 1:2, 2:3, 2:5)

In the most suspenseful clash of Day 6, Bulgaria held off France and finished 11th. It was not until two minutes before the end of the first quarter that Bulgaria took the lead lead (1: 0). The second period saw a lot more goals, and the teams were scoring one after another. Bulgaria was able to maintain the minimum advantage until the middle of the final quarter, but then France made a comeback and had a lead goal in two occasions. With 23 seconds left on the clock, Teodora Dimitrova scored for her team’s triumph. Melanie Hristova excelled netting three goals for the winning team, while France’s Laura Kjerulf scored one goal more.

Bulgaria – France 10:9 (1:0, 3:3, 2:2, 4:4)

Slovakia’s team ended up being 9th after the triumph over Israel, 11:6.  Israel got off to a good start and was leading by a score of 2:0 after eight minutes of play.  Its excellent performance continued in the second period, so it had a 4:1 lead in the middle of that quarter.  Slovakia was gradually decreasing the deficit, equalized (4:4) one minute before the end of the third period and took over the lead right away.  They managed to keep a one or two-goal advantage in the last quarter, and increased it in the final two minutes of the game.  Miroslava Stankovianska is the most credited with winning as she scored four goals, while Semon Hila Futorian netted three for Israel.

Slovakia – Israel 11:6 (0:2, 2:2, 3:1, 6:1)

Day 6

For 15th/16th place: Portugal – Romania 6:12 (1:2, 1:1, 1:1, 3:8)
For 13th/14th place: Czech Republic – Turkey 5:13 (0:3, 1:2, 2:3, 2:5)
For 11th/12th place: Bulgaria – France 10:9 (1:0, 3:3, 2:2, 4:4)
For 9th/10th place: Slovakia – Israel 11:6 (0:2, 2:2, 3:1, 6:1)

DAY 5: Spain, Hungary, Greece and Netherlands advance to semifinals

National teams of Spain, Hungary, Greece and the Netherlands will compete in the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship semifinals.

The most exciting and suspenseful was the first quarterfinal match in which Spain edged out Russia, 9:8. Both teams were successful in their first attacks, and then Russian girls started their shooting series and achieved a 5:1 lead in three and a half minutes. It was a long wait for the next goal, as both nets stayed empty until halftime. Russia went ahead 6:1 at the beginning of the third quarter, but afterward, Spain responded scoring a series of goals and tied the result (6:6). Spain managed to take over the lead at the beginning of the last period, and teams started scoring one after another. However, Alejandra Aznar scored the crucial goal for a 9:8 victory. Aznar and Gisella Farre were Spain’s top scorers with three goals, while Elizaveta Ivanova netted a pair for Russia.

Russia – Spain 8:9 (5:1, 0:0, 1:5, 2:3)

Hungary easily reached the semifinals after defeating Great Britain, 13:7. Due to their patient play, Hungarian ladies were gradually increasing the advantage. After a 4:1 lead in the first period, they went ahead 6:1 in the middle of the second. British squad managed to stop their streak temporarily and were brought down the deficit to three (6:3), but Hungary was later on enlarging the difference in a routine manner. Ahead of the final period, the result was 12:3, and Great Britain was only able to soothe the loss. Fanni Muzsnay led her team with three goals, as many as Cecily Turner scored too.

Great Britain – Hungary 7:13 (1:4, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)

Greece won its place in the semifinals by beating Italy, 10:6. Greek girls quickly achieved a 2:0 lead, but Italian squad managed to equalize a few minutes later after successful penalty shots. Nonetheless, this was followed by an impressive goal streak of Greece, which netted six goals by halftime, went ahead 8:2 and was one step away from winning. Italians were able to decrease the difference in the third period but were then scoreless for a long time in the final eight minutes of the game. Hence Greece triumphed led by Eleni Kanetidou and Maria Myriokefalitaki who each scored three goals. Italia’s Lucrezia Cergol also netted three.

Greece – Italy 10:6 (4:2, 4:0, 0:2, 2:2)

The last quarterfinal duel saw the Netherlands overpower host Serbia, 13:6. The result was 2:0 already after 50 seconds of play, and the Dutch girls soon raised the lead to three. Andrea Gasic snapped their streak in the middle of the first quarter, but the Dutch kept their rhythm and had 5:1 at the beginning of the second quarter. Thanks to playing firmly, the Netherlands preserved and increased the advantage, and everything was clear in the middle of the third period when 10:3 was displayed on the scoreboard. Serbia managed to score a few more goals before the end, but the Netherlands eventually prevailed. The winning team was led by Simone Van De Kraats who netted three goals, while Nadja Novakovic scored a pair for Serbia.

Serbia – Netherlands 6:13 (1:4, 1:3, 2:4, 2:2)

Day 5

9-12

Bulgaria – Slovakia 7:31 (4:8, 2:5, 1:9, 0:9)
France – Israel 2:8 (0:3, 1:2, 0:2, 1:1)

1-8

Russia – Spain 8:9 (5:1, 0:0, 1:5, 2:3)
Great Britain – Hungary 7:13 (1:4, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)
Greece – Italy 10:6 (4:2, 4:0, 0:2, 2:2)
Serbia – Netherlands 6:13 (1:4, 1:3, 2:4, 2:2)

Semifinal

Nethelrands – Hungary
Spain – Greece

DAY 5: Slovakia and Israel to battle for 9th place

Classification matches for places 9-12, played in the morning session of Day 5, saw Slovakia convincingly triumph over Bulgaria, 31:7, while Israel overpowered France, 8:2.

Slovakian ladies got off to an excellent start and had a 3:0 lead after two minutes. Melanie Hristova briefly snapped the rival’s streak, but Slovakia then netted two more and went ahead 5:1. Slovakia preserved it until the end of the first quarter, and everything was obvious at halftime when the result was 13:6. Bulgaria’s squad surrendered, while Slovakia was constantly increasing the lead. The game’s top scorer was Tamara Kolarova with seven goals, and Emma Junasova netted six. Hristova excelled with five goals for Bulgaria.

Bulgaria – Slovakia 7:31 (4:8, 2:5, 1:9, 0:9)

The other classification match for places 9-12 saw a lot fewer goals. Nevertheless, Israeli squad was firm and made it obvious who would be the winner already in the middle of the second period when they had a 5:0 lead. Playing in a routine manner, Israel steadily finished the match and will play for 9th place at the European Championship. Miriam Bracha Bogachenko, Semon Hila Futorian, Ofek Golan and Nofar Hochberg each scored two goals for the winning team.

France – Israel 2:8 (0:3, 1:2, 0:2, 1:1)

Day 5

9-12

Bulgaria – Slovakia 7:31 (4:8, 2:5, 1:9, 0:9)
France – Israel 2:8 (0:3, 1:2, 0:2, 1:1)

1-8

Russia – Spain 8:9 (5:1, 0:0, 1:5, 2:3)
Great Britain – Hungary 7:13 (1:4, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)
Greece – Italy 10:6 (4:2, 4:0, 0:2, 2:2)
Serbia – Netherlands 6:13 (1:4, 1:3, 2:4, 2:2)

Semifinal

Nethelrands – Hungary
Spain – Greece

DAY 2, AFTERNOON SESSION: Hungary triumphs in 2nd round derby, Italy victorious against Serbia

Women’s junior national team of Serbia lost to Italy in the second round match, 11:6, and will battle with France to determine which team would be ranked 2nd in Group A. The beginning of the match was promising as Serbia took the lead after two minutes of play. However, Italy had an extra-player on three occasions before the end of the first period and each time it seized the opportunity for scoring, so it had a 3:1 lead. Italian girls then continued to score and had 7:1 at halftime when everything became clear already. In the second and the third quarter, Serbia’s squad attacked with an extra player on eight occasions, but only scored once. The result was 8:3 at the start of the last period and Serbia’s water polo players had slim chances of coming back. Nevertheless, they were able to bring down the deficit to three (8:5 and 9:6), but Italia scored two more goals in the final minutes of the match and clinched the victory. Lucrezia Cergol and Beatrice Clementi were Italy’s top scorers with three goals, while Nina Josifovic netted two for Serbia.

Italy – Serbia 11:6 (3:1, 4:0, 1:2, 3:3)

Spain’s national team collected another convincing win, as after Israel it also crushed Slovakia, 21:4. Spanish girls had their game on point from the start until the end, and the winner was somewhat obvious after first eight minutes of the match when Spain was leading 5:1. The result was identical in the second and the third quarter, while the winner netted six more in the last period to seal the triumph. Alejandra Aznar scored six goals and was Spain’s top scorer again, whereas Silvia Morell added four. In Slovakia’s squad, Miroslava Stankovianska found the net two times.

Spain – Slovakia 21:4 (5:1, 5:1, 5:1, 6:1)

In the match which might determine the Group D winner, the Netherlands overpowered Greece, 12:8. Greek squad netted an opener, but that was at the same time their only lead of the game. The Netherlands took it over and reached a four-goal advantage (6:2) after a successful shooting series. Dutch ladies additionally enlarged the difference in the second period and eventually celebrated their second victory in the group stage. The winning team’s Lieke Rogge and Rozanne Voorvelt, as well as Greece’s Vasiliki Douli each scored three goals.

Greece – Netherlands 8:12 (1:2, 2:4, 2:5, 3:1)

The clash between Russia and Hungary saw the most uncertainty about the winner, and Hungarian girls eventually triumphed, 11:10. Russian squad got off to a better start in this exciting encounter and had a 3:1 lead in the middle of the first quarter. Hungary managed to score its second goals in the last minute of that period, after which the teams scored one after another until the halftime and went on a break with a tied result (5:5). In the second half, Hungary quickly netted three goals in two and a half minutes and accomplished an 8:5 lead, while the result was 11:6 with four minutes left on the clock, so it seemed like everything was over. However, Russian girls then stepped up their game and scored four goals in a row bringing down the deficit to one. There was no time left for equalizing, though. Hungary was led by Janka Kata Utassy and Fanni Muzsnay who scored three goals, as much as Anna Kochetova did for Russia.

Russia – Hungary 10:11 (3:2, 2:3, 0:4, 5:2)

Day 2

Group A

Czech Republic – France 2:6 (0:1, 1:1, 0:1, 1:3)
Italy – Serbia 11:6 (3:1, 4:0, 1:2, 3:3)

Standings: Italy 6, Serbia 3, France 3, Czech Republic 0.

Group B

Turska – Israel 5:11 (1:2, 1:3, 2:4, 1:2)
Spain – Slovakia 21:4 (5:1, 5:1, 5:1, 6:1)

Standings: Spain 6, Slovakia 3, Israel 3, Turska 0.

Group C

Portugal – Bulgaria 7:8 (3:1, 1:2, 2:3, 1:2)
Russia – Hungary 10:11 (3:2, 2:3, 0:4, 5:2)

Standings: Hungary 6, Russia 3, Bulgaria 3, Portugal 0.

Group D

Romania – Great Britain 6:14 (3:4, 2:3, 0:2, 1:5)
Greece – Netherlands 8:12 (1:2, 2:4, 2:5, 3:1)

Standings: Netherlands 6, Greece 3, Great Britain 3, Romania 0.

Novi Sad ready for Women’s Junior European Water Polo Championship

After Men’s Junior World Water Polo Championship, Serbia will this summer host another big water polo competition. Women’s Junior European Water Polo Championship will take place on August 20-27 in Novi Sad, where 16 national teams will participate. Serbia’s national team, led by Head Coach Vlada Bajkovic, will compete in Group A together with Italy, the Czech Republic and France. In addition, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Slovakia, and Turkey will try to win the Championship title as well.

All matches will be played in the indoor pool at “SPENS” venue. The competition will see 48 games during 8 days, and ENTRY to all matches will be FREE – stated the Championship General Manager Darko Udovicic, who already has the successful organization of the 2016 Men’s European Water Polo Championship and recent Men’s Junior World Water Polo Championship behind him.

Speaking about final preparations for the Women’s Junior European Championship, Udovicic said:

Everything is going in the best possible way for now. Due to the great help and support from the City of Novi Sad, Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth and Ministry of Youth and Sports, everything is ready for the beginning of the competition, and we really owe them a debt of gratitude, because hosting such big competitions significantly contributes to the popularization of water polo. I can confirm that the entire team of the Serbian Water Polo Federation involved in organizing the Championship will give their maximum effort in order for everything to go in the best possible way and that all guests from abroad will enjoy our hospitality.

LEN officials have already arrived in Novi Sad, while all participating teams will arrive on Saturday:

The first three days of the competition will each see 8 matches, and these will be followed by the elimination stage and placement games. We all hope that our girls will manage to advance to the quarterfinals, with the support of the home crowd. This European Championship and Junior World Championship in Volos should be a true overture and an excellent opportunity for preparation prior to the start of qualifications for the senior Women’s European Championship hosted by Barcelona in 2018. Qualifying for that championship would be a huge success – said Udovicic, and concluded:

The opening ceremony of the Women’s Junior European Water Polo Championship is scheduled for Sunday, August 20, at 20:10. This will be followed by the face-off between national teams of Serbia and the Czech Republic. I would like to invite the spectators to come in large numbers to SPENS and provide our water polo ladies with the support necessary.