Wednesday, 25 August 2021

EuroVolley 2021 in Zadar: Croatia into Last 16, Takes 2nd in Group C

August 25, 2021 -  The latest from EuroVolley 2021 in Zadar as the Croatia women's volleyball team advances to the round of 16 as the 2nd-placed team in Group C. Croatia lost to Italy in the match for first place on Wednesday night. 

The Croatia women's volleyball team recorded its first defeat in Group C at the European Championship in Zadar.

After the victories against Switzerland (3:0), Belarus (3:0), Slovakia (3:0), and Hungary (3:1), Croatia lost to Italy 0:3 (15:25, 23:25, 14:25) in a duel that decided the group winner. 

Croatia was outplayed in three sets by the current World Championship finalists. However, as the set difference and the point-difference are seen before the victory, Italy must confirm that first place spot against Switzerland.

Italy is unquestionably one of the largest national teams in European Championship history, with seven medals won, including the 2007 and 2009 gold medals. What is even more fascinating is that Itlay has finished among the top eight national teams in the last 20 European Championships. They won bronze two years ago, after losing to Serbia in the semifinal. Serbia also stood in their way in the 2018 World Cup final and the quarterfinal of the recent Olympic Games. 

In the event of a convincing defeat, Croatia could still mathematically take first in Group C, but such an outcome is not at all realistic. It is certain, therefore, that Croatia will move from second place to the second round. 

Italy will thus take first place going into the round of 16 in Belgrade, where they will play against the fourth-placed team from Group A on August 30, while Croatia will play against the third-placed team (Belgium, Russia, or France) from Group A as the second-placed team. The match is scheduled for August 29.

Croatia could meet the European and world champions Serbia in the potential quarterfinal. 

The round of 16 is also played in Bulgaria, where the teams from the first to the fourth place from groups B and D will meet.

Source: Jutarnji List

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

EuroVolley 2021 in Zadar: Croatia Secures At Least 2nd in Group C!

August 25, 2021 - After defeating Hungary on Tuesday, Croatia has secured at least 2nd place in Group C at the EuroVolley 2021 in Zadar! 

In the 4th round of the European Championship's Group C in Zadar, the Croatia women's volleyball team achieved its fourth victory, winning 3-1 in sets (25-19, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21) against Hungary.

Although they lost the first set, Croatia achieved their goal and secured one of the first two spots in Group C. On Wednesday at 9 pm, they will play against Italy for the winner of the group.

Like against Slovakia on Sunday, Croatia fell asleep at the start of the match, and Hungary took a 6-3 lead.  In the middle of the first set, Hungary had a four-point advantage (14-10). However, Croatia's captain Samanta Fabris soon served and brought her team to a 16-15 advantage with five points in a row. In that wave, Croatia soon reached an advantage of 2-3 points, and in the end, convincingly won the first set 25-19.

After entering the second set equal, Hungary scored four points in a row for 12-8 on Pekarik's serve for the first time, and after Croatia's return to 14-14, Hungary's 4-0 series followed, this time on Gyimes' serve. Unfortunately, Croatia could not catch up, thus losing their first set at the European Championship.

In the third set, Croatia played more engaged in the block and defense, which gave the result. However, the key was a large series of eight consecutive points won on Fabris' serve, which increased their advantage from 14-12 to an unattainable 22-12.

Croatia controlled the 4th set from the very beginning and was up with a convincing 20-14 before Hungary reduced it to 20-17 with three consecutive points and threatened to turn it around. Fortunately, that did not happen, and Croatia took the final set. 

Croatia leads the standings with four victories, Italy is second with three victories and no defeats, Hungary follows in 3rd with 1-3, Belarus and Switzerland have 1-2, and Slovakia is in last with 0-3.

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 22 August 2021

EuroVolley 2021: Croatia Beats Slovakia, Continues Winning Streak in Zadar!

August 22, 2021 - In the 3rd round of the European Volleyball Championship in Zadar (2021 EuroVolley), Croatia beats Slovakia 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-13), reaching its third victory in Group C. 

The Croatia women's volleyball team recorded its third victory without losing a set in Group C at the European Championship, which is hosted by Zadar.

After victories against Switzerland and Belarus, Daniele Santarelli's team defeated Slovakia 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-13. Slovakia took the 10-6 lead, followed by an advantage of 19-12. Croatia finally woke up, Klara Perić took the serve and Croatia achieved a 6-0 series which kept them alive in the first set. After one point went to Slovakia, Croatia achieved a new series and won the first set 25-21. 

Croatia continued its momentum at the beginning of the second set. On Božena Butigan's serve, they scored six consecutive points for 8-1 and increased their advantage to 24-11. A similar situation happened in the third set. Croatia took the lead early, made it 14-5, and easily brought the game to an end. 

Croatia thus leads the group with a maximum of nine points from three matches, while Slovakia is still without points after the second game.

Croatia will play the next match in Group C on August 24 at 5 pm against Hungary, and on August 25 at 9 pm against Italy. A victory on Tuesday would secure one of the first two places in the group, while Wednesday would be the match for first place in the group.  

A better position in the group ensures a nominally weaker opponent in the round of 16.

Zadar is the host of Group C at the European Women's Volleyball Championship, while Belgrade, Plovdiv, and Cluj-Napoca are the other host cities. Before the start of the tournament, Croatia was expected to finish 2nd in the group. 

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 21 August 2021

2021 EuroVolley: Croatia Women's Volleyball Team Beats Belarus in Zadar

August 21, 2021 - In the second round of the 2021 EuroVolley in Zadar, the Croatia women's volleyball team defeated Belarus 3:0 (25:19, 25:23, 25:15).

After beating Switzerland without losing a set at the opening of the tournament at Krešimir Ćosić Hall in Višnjik, Croatia was dominant in the second match as well.

At the beginning of the match, Croatia fell behind Belarus, but they finally equalized at 10:10 in the first set. However, once Croatia finally took the lead, Belarus came back ahead at 17:16. Fortunately, Belarus couldn't hang onto their lead much longer, as Croatia won the first set 25:19.

The end of the second set was much more uncertain, where Croatia was up by 4 points in the middle of the set. Belarus managed to come back and equalize, but with two consecutive points, Croatia celebrated 25:23. After that, Croatia dominated the third set, winning 25:15.

"We are happy to have won three points: our second game, our second victory. We concentrate day by day to try to do our best and grow from game to game every day. In the second set, we gave them a little more space to close the gap. We still have some oscillations, but we are working to have the best possible continuity. We are satisfied with today's 3 points," said captain Samanta Fabris, whose ace point at the end of the second set gave them the confidence to win. 

"I am satisfied with today's match. We played great games both today and Thursday, especially today when we were much more stable both in the block and in defense. We also made fewer mistakes. In the second set, we made mistakes that allowed Belarus to reach our advantage, but we took the opportunity to win, and in the third set, we took advantage of their drop in concentration and finally won. Slovakia is waiting for us tomorrow, and now we are going to the hotel for dinner and an analysis of the next opponent. There is no rest, we are going to work, and we hope that tomorrow's game will end just as well as today," said Božana Butigan.

"A very strange match. We had good moments, but also a lot of unforced mistakes. We played against Belarus at the beginning of the summer, but we certainly have the capacity and opportunity for an even better game. In the last set, we had three big mistakes that we cannot tolerate if we want to play against the strongest teams in Europe. I’m happy to win, but I’m not happy with the level of our game. I know my players, and I know the level of play we can show. Tomorrow we will have another crucial match against Slovakia. I hope that we will continue with the victories because it is of great importance to us," coach Daniele Santarelli pointed out.

Croatia plays their next game of Group C tomorrow against Slovakia at 5 pm, followed by Hungary on August 24 at 5 pm and Italy on August 25 at 9 pm.

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 20 August 2021

Croatia Opens EuroVolley in Zadar with a Win against Switzerland!

August 20, 2021 - The Croatia women's volleyball team opens EuroVolley in Zadar with a win against Switzerland! Up next, Croatia faces Belarus on Saturday. 

In the European Women's Volleyball Championship first match of Group C, hosted in Zadar, Croatia defeated Switzerland with a convincing 3-0 (25:20, 25:19, 25:21).

In the Krešimir Ćosić Hall in Višnjik, the Croatia women's team opened the European competition with a celebration against Switzerland and without losing a set after 71 minutes of play. In the first set, middle blocker and freshly 21-year-old Božana Butigan had a 100 percent performance in the attack by scoring five points.

Daniele Santarelli's team was decisive for the outcome in the middle of the first and second sets, while Switzerland offered the fiercest resistance in the third set, in which they had a 12:8 lead. However, another great period followed for Croatia, winning 12 of the next 15 points and taking the 20:15 lead to calmly bring the match to an end by a maximum of three points.

Laura Miloš with 18 points and captain Samanta Fabris with 13 points were the most effective for Croatia against Switzerland. 

This is Croatia's fifth consecutive victory over Switzerland in the last ten years.

"I couldn't sleep all night because of the excitement. This is the first European Championship for me, the first game. The victory was significant to us, and I am overjoyed that we started this tournament with a victory. We are focused on the opponent who is coming to us next because we are going from game to game," said Miloš after the match.

"The first match is never easy. Everyone is nervous, so we didn’t know what awaited us during this match. Our game was not the best, but at certain moments we had outstanding actions. Some situations, we can still correct, even though we don’t have much time. This was a good start; we showed a good game, although, in the first set, we did not have a strong defense and blocks," said coach Daniele Santarelli. 

Before the match, the European Championship opening ceremony was held, which was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, accompanied by Minister of Sport and Tourism Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Defense Mario Banožić, and Minister of Labor and Pensions, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrović.

Italy and Belarus, and Hungary and Slovakia will meet today in Group C. Croatia will play against Belarus in the second round on August 21. Group A is played in Belgrade, Group B in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and Group D in Cluj, Romania.

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

European Women's Volleyball Championship Begins: Croatia Hosts Group C in Zadar

August 18, 2021 - On Thursday, August 19, the Croatia volleyball team will play the first game of the European Women's Volleyball Championship against Switzerland in Zadar.

The Croatian Volleyball Federation points out that they are ready, and their goal is to advance to the second phase of the competition, reports

"We are healthy and ready for Thursday; there are still nuances left. We have had excellent preparations. We need to think gradually from game to game. I hope that we will win second place here, which is our goal, and get to the second phase of the competition in that position. I think that in Serbia we have a real chance to stay as long as possible. The first goal is to pass the group and then secure a trip to the World Cup, where we haven’t been for ten years. The girls are motivated and eagerly await the start of the championship," said Croatian Volleyball Federation expert secretary Frane Žanić.

Croatia opens the championship on August 19 with a match against Switzerland, followed by Belarus on August 21, Slovakia on August 22, Hungary on August 24, and Italy on August 25.

Croatia is looking forward to the start of the championship.

"We are only two days away from the start of the European Championship. We are all very excited. We have been preparing for this competition for the last two months, so we can't wait for it to start. We will play the first game against Switzerland. This is a great competition at a high level; I believe that all teams are strong and dangerous. We will give 100 percent in every game. I hereby invite everyone to follow us on TV," said national team member Nikolina Božičević.

"We have been preparing together for almost three months; a very long cycle is behind us. We have played the European League, many friendly matches, and now we have the European Championships waiting for us for the first time. So we are very excited and well prepared," added Lucija Mlinar.

The championship organizers point out that everything is ready for the big sports event in Zadar, which will last until August 26.

"We are in the final details phase, and I can say that we are completely ready. The final inspection of the members of the European Federation delegation is underway. The hall is ready. We only miss our guests, a total of six teams. Together with professional staff and the entire ensemble sent by the European Federation in Zadar, there are 500 people. Thousands of people can stay in the hall at the same time. There are certain contingents of places that must be provided to visiting teams and their family members. The organization is the second part, and one part we must provide for our VIP guests. All those who are interested can contact us; if there is another vacancy, we will be happy to provide it free of charge because there are no regular ticket sales," said Valentina Bifflin, director of the Croatian Volleyball Federation.

Zadar is the host of Group C at the European Women's Volleyball Championship, while Belgrade, Plovdiv, and Cluj-Napoca are the other host cities.

Zadar expects a lot of promotion from EuroVolley and influences young people to start playing volleyball in as many numbers as possible.

"I am glad that we are hosting volleyball. It means a lot to the City of Zadar and the development of sports tourism that we are building. We wish our volleyball players all the best, and we believe they will achieve a good result," said Zadar Mayor Branko Dukić.

The President of the Zadar Sports Association, Snježana Jurinić, also hopes to popularize volleyball.

"I believe that all previous competitions, as well as this European Championship, will popularize volleyball and expand to the entire County and that the City of Zadar will become the leading regional volleyball center. We can already see that women's volleyball has become a sport and enrolls children in volleyball."

The Višnjik Sports Center, where the Eurovolley matches will be played, has shone with new splendor and is fully ready for another big competition. The hall has been decorated and refreshed, along with the auxiliary ones that the national teams will use.

"It is an honor and pleasure to host such a big event. The Croatian Volleyball Federation embraced ŠC Višnjik as its base for preparations and competitions. It shows that all investments in sports infrastructure within ŠC Višnjik are a complete success. The hall looks fantastic and is one of the most beautiful," pointed out the director of ŠC Višnjik Denis Karlovic.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Novak Djokovic Enjoying Zadar Ahead of Adria Tour

June 17, 2020 - The No. 1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, arrived in Zadar on Tuesday ahead of the Adria Tour humanitarian tournament. 

"I have been all over Croatia, but I have never been to Zadar, and I am looking forward to meeting Zadar and the people here and all the participants of the Adria Tour. I am very excited and happy to have the opportunity to visit Zadar as part of the Adria Tour, and then a few more locations in the region," Djokovic said upon his arrival, revealing that he did not know that Zadar was Luka Modric's hometown.

It didn't take long for Djokovic to dip into the local mindset, as he was filmed at training at a Zadar beach. 

"Mother Nature's Gym," he shared on Facebook with a short video. The post even prompted a reaction from American football legend Tom Brady - "The best!"

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the final preparations are underway for the Adria Tour. The main court, which boasts room for nine thousand spectators, will be filled to half capacity to meet COVID-19 measures.

Tournament participants include world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, German star Alexander Zverev, and Gregori Dimitrov from Bulgaria, as well as Croatian Davis Cup national team members Marin Cilic and Borna Coric.

It has been known for a long time that Dominic Thiem, Austria's best tennis player, will not come to Visnjik, so there are three vacancies left. One spot should be filled by Felix Auger Aliasiemm, and the seventh participant will be obtained after the final of the HEP tournament. 

Yesterday, Novak trained with Borna Coric at the tennis courts of TK Zadar 08 in the bay Drosanjica, which was followed by a line of eager fans waiting for an autograph. It was also on these courts that Borna took his first tennis steps, as his grandmother lives nearby.

After training, the great Nole signed the club's bulletin board and thus left his historical mark on a humble Zadar tennis court.

Although he did not appear on the central ground of the Visnjik Sports Center, Zverev did his training at the Falkensteiner & Spa Hotel Iadera in Petrcane. Just after noon on Tuesday, Zverev stayed with the Djokovic family on the luxury yacht Asha, and sailed together to the Kornati National Park on Wednesday morning.

Goran Ivanisevic, tournament director for Adria Tour Croatia, aired his thoughts on the Adria Tour in Serbia, emphasizing that it was a tennis mega-spectacle and that he is convinced that things will be even better in Zadar.

"It is a real shame to miss the matches that await us in Zadar," said Ivanisevic, obviously satisfied with the fact that apart from Djokovic, a tennis player who conquered the world not only with his game but also with his sportsmanship and humanitarian efforts, the audience will admire the moves of other tennis stars. 

Only one question remains: "Are there any tickets left?"

The world is buzzing about the Adria Tour, as is evidenced by the fact that the scenes from Zadar will be broadcast to 110 countries on all continents.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Check Out Croatia's Davis Cup Semi-final Venue in Zadar

The stadium in Zadar is ready for action.