On January 18, the 17U Bulgarian National team was crowned as the new champion of the fifth annual Lokovolley Youth Tournament. The Bulgarians beat the Russians from Novosibirsk 2-1 (25-20, 22-25, 15-13) and here we provide you the opportunity to watch the full match.
We remind you that the tournament was organized in Moscow, Russia by the club Lokomotiv Novosibirsk and the company “Russian Railways”‘. The first edition was organized in 2009 for young players across Siberia to prove their skills against other boys from the Russian Far East. This year teams from all over Russia and Europe were welcomed (Serbia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakstan, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk).
Even though the Russians from Novosibirsk were from 1998-1999 class (one to two years younger than the Bulgarians), they did not go down without a fight. The first set started with Russian scoring the first point and then the Bulgarians attacked three points in a row. From there, the points went back and forth. With the Bulgarians leading 11-8, they could not be stopped and eventually extended their lead to 17-10. What happened next was a funny situation because there were five missed serves in a row (3 serves out from Bulgaria and 2 from Russia). After this, the two teams kept on alternating points until the Russians scored 3 points in a row. This short run from the Russians was not enough as they lost the first set 25-20.
The second set started and the two teams were even at four points apiece. Next, the Russians had a nice run with good kills and blocks to make the score 10-6. The Russians extended their lead to 21-15, but the Bulgarians got three points in a row to catch up (22-18). The second set was close, but Russia pulled out win of 25-22.
In the third and final set, each team kept on siding out after every point and it was a close battle, but the team from Bulgaria won 15-13.
After the tournament, the Bulgaria team showed true sportsmanship and decided to give the trophy to the 1998-1999 team of Russia. The Bulgarian head coach, Dragan Ivanov said, “This trophy belongs to the strongest team from the 1998-1999 age group, and since my boys are one year older, the team from Novosibirsk deserves it…” (CEV).
The final standings were:
2. Russia (Novosibirsk)
We will have to wait until next year to see which two teams will battle it out in the rising Lokovolley Youth Tournament.
A photo gallery can be viewed here: http://www.lokovolley.com/photos/191/
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