SPORTS


EuroVolley set for thrilling final weekend in Rotterdam

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Baku, October 2, AZERTAC

The Volleyball show of the year reaches its highlight this weekend, when four teams will clash in Rotterdam for the crown of the 2015 CEV DELA Volleyball European Championship – Women, according to the official webpage of The European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), according to the European Volleyball Federation. The anticipated semifinals of the 2015 EuroVolley take place on Saturday in the magnificent Sportpaleis Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, as the top four squads of the competition embark on the final stages of the sensational journey that has captivated fans all over Europe. The teams of The Netherlands, Turkey, Russia and Serbia are already in the Dutch city of Rotterdam preparing the crucial moments of the Volleyball highlight of the year. After five emotional days of competition, the four contenders get ready to shine in the quest for a spot in the grand finale coming up on Sunday.

The stakes are high for co-hosts of The Netherlands, and the Oranjes will count on the support of thousands of local fans who will pack the arena in Rotterdam. In fact, the imposing Sportpaleis Ahoy sports hall is nearly sold out for the final day of the tournament and rapidly running out of tickets for the clashes on Saturday. Giovanni Guidetti's ladies, following their remarkable journey of four victories in four matches thus far will try to capitalise on the orange tides that will fill the stands in Rotterdam to reach the final of the CEV European Championship for the fourth time. The hopes of the co-organisers will be set on repeating what happened in the 1995 edition of the tournament, when The Netherlands won their first and only gold medal to date in a competition which was also held on Dutch soil.

On the other side of the net in the first semifinal, the co-hosts will meet one of the most inspired teams of the competition. Turkey has deservedly earned the recognition of tournament favourites after their demonstration of efficiency in the pool phase and in the quarterfinals. The Baku 2015 European Games champions have signed an outstanding run of four compelling victories in four matches ceding only two sets in the way, thus aiming at their second continental final after the one they contested in 2003 and their first gold medal in the top European competition.

The defending champions of Russia will attempt to increase their impressive tally of 25 medals in European Championships and will fight to repeat the qualification for the final match of the tournament, just as it happened in the 2013 edition of the event. In the competition celebrated in Germany and Switzerland, the Russian side beat Germany 3:1 clinching their 18th gold in the tournament. The team directed by Yuriy Marichev has presented similar journey in this edition and qualified for the semifinals after beating Italy 3:1 in quarterfinals.

The 2013 gold medallists will clash in the second semifinal with the winners of the 2011 CEV European Championship, thus presenting an encounter between the last two conquerors of the competition. Serbia have also produced an almost impeccable run in the tournament, following three wins by 3:0 in the pool phase and the 3:1 victory over co-hosts Belgium in quarterfinals. The three-times European championship medallists will try to claim their second continental title and aim at putting the golden finishing touch to their memorable season, after winning the silver medal in the FIVB World Cup in Japan, thus securing their qualification to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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