Ostrava (Czech Republic), Sept. 12, LETA. The Latvian men’s volleyball team lost to Italy in the eighth final of the European Championship final tournament in Ostrava on Sunday.
Latvian volleyball players lost in three sets with the result 0-3 (14:25, 13:25, 16:25).
Without winning the eighth final, the Latvian national team will close the championship in the position from 9th to 16th place.
Kristaps Šmits was the most productive in the Latvian national team with seven points, who was the only one to score points in the block, standing out twice in this element. In the Italian national team, Daniel Lavia scored 13 points, but Alesandro Mikjeleto scored four points in the block.
The Latvian team showed resistance to the Italians until the middle of the first set and at the beginning of the third set. In general, the superiority of opponents was recognized in almost all statistics, including attack points (23/40), block (2/12), elusive servings (0/5) and service reception.
The Latvian national team in Group D in Tallinn, returned to the final tournament after a 26-year break, defeated Estonia 3-1 (25:23, 25:22, 16:25, 25:21), with 2-3 (30:28, 20:25), 25:23, 29:31, 11:15) lost to Croatia, with 2-3 (18:25, 25:23, 25:13, 19:25, 7:15) – to Slovakia, with 1-3 (22: 25, 19:25, 27:25, 17:25) for Germany and 0-3 (18:25, 14:25, 17:25) for France.
Meanwhile, Italy has celebrated only victories in Ostrava, beating Belarus, Montenegro and Slovenia in three sets, and Bulgaria and the Czech Republic in four.
The captain of the Latvian national team in this tournament was also Toms Švans. 14 volleyball players went to the tournament, but the reserve list was left by the lifter Jānis Jansons and the striker Jānis Medenis. In the case of Covid-19, it was possible to register one player from the reserve list during the tournament.
The Italian national team is playing in the final tournament of the 30th European Championship in a row, skipping only the second tournament in Bulgaria. In 1989, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2005, the Italians became champions, but the best recent achievement in the European Championships is the bronze medals won in 2015.
Italy shares the fourth place in the European ranking together with Poland, but Latvia is in the 23rd position.
In September 2020, the Latvian men’s team overtook Spain, Moldova and Cyprus in its qualification group, winning the first place. Latvian volleyball players thus qualified for the final tournament of the European Championship, where they previously played in 1995, winning 11th place.
Assistants Guntis Atars and Austris Štāls assisted the head coach of the Latvian national team Avo Kēlis.
Two quarter-finals took place on Saturday. The Ukrainian national team led by Uģis Krastiņš lost to Russia with 1-3 (25:22, 16:25, 22:25, 22:25), but Poland with 3-0 (25:16, 25:16, 25:14) defeated Finland.
The final of the European Championship takes place in Estonia, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic, with 24 teams divided into four subgroups. The four best teams in each subgroup entered the elimination tournament.
During the tournament, the national units live in “bubble” conditions in hotels.
Composition of the Latvian national team for the start of the European Championship in Tallinn:
builders – Deniss Petrovs (Nizhny Novgorod ASK, Russia), Edvin Skruder (Jekabpils “Lynx”);
diagonal attackers – Kristers Dardzāns (Jēkabpils “Lūši”), Hermans Egleskalns (Piraeus “Olympiacos”, Greece), Kristaps Platačs (“Parnu”, Estonia);
first pace players – Renārs Pauls Jansons (“RTU Border Guard” / “Jūrmala”), Toms Švans (“Parnu”, Estonia), Gustavs Freimanis (Jēkabpils “Lūši”);
second pace attackers – Romans Saušs (“Valepa”, Finland), Kristaps Šmits (Jēkabpils “Lūši”), Atvars Ozoliņš (“Parnu”, Estonia), Edvarts Buivids (“Lindaren Volley Amriswill”, Switzerland);
“libero” – Ingars Ivanovs (“RTU Border Guard” / “Jūrmala”), Artems Petrovs (“Lotos”).