Girls from the University of Novi Sad and the University of Barcelona will face each other in the final of first European Universities Beach Handball Championship. The male competition for the gold medal will play the University of Belgrade and the University of Zagreb!
Girls from Novi Sad didn’t lose any set on this competition. In semifinals, they continued with a great play and won against Tilburg University with 2:0 (23:17, 30:20). In the first set it was seen a very good game on both sides, but, a team from Serbia managed to break the resistance of the Dutch team and won that part of the game with 23:17. The second set was less uncertain than the first ten minutes of the match. Led by Andrea Mijailovic and Sladjana Zigic Novi Sad won the second set with a score of 30:20 and entered the historic finals.
After the match Sladjana Zigic told that goal for her team was to play in finals, and that they believe they can win the gold medal. “We entered the match very confidently, we knew that we have good solutions and ideas. The day before the semifinals we played against the same team and we were ready for this. Everything was reduced to our defense and we wanted to score on the easiest possible way. I think that the final game will be good and difficult, but I hope to win a gold medal”.
In the final match, we will see and the University of Barcelona. Girls from Spain in the semifinals were better than the University of Zagreb after shoot-out 2:1 (18:25, 21:18, 9:8). In the first part of the game, the team from Zagreb managed to outstrip the girls from Spain and to win the first with 18:25. The second set was much more uncertain, the University of Barcelona played better and they won that part of the game with 21:18, and reached the equalization in sets – 1:1. In shoot-out girls from Croatia had a chance to finish the match after the fifth series, but Tabea Magenreuter missed, so shoot-out continued. In series number seven Perancevic from the University of Zagreb also missed her shoot and on the other side, Mireia Torras Parera scored and in that way brought her girls into the finals.
Coach from University of Barcelona Beatriy Manzanares Crespo was very happy after the match, and she told us that she is very proud: “We are very happy to win and be in the finals, now we are coming home with a medal. It was a difficult match against the University of Zagreb because we already lost two times against them before, so we are proud that we won today in the semifinals. We are enjoying our time here at the tournament, and so proud that we are one of two best teams in Europa”
In the finals of the male tournament, we will see the game against the University of Belgrade and the University of Zagreb. Serbian guys had a very difficult path to reach the final game. In a group, they lost two games, and one was against the University of Barcelona, their opponent in semifinals. In the first set, the team from Barcelona started better, they were leading almost the whole time, but at last minute, the University of Belgrade played harder in the defense, and they won after they scored in the last seconds of the first set (20:18). The similar ending was seen in the second set, only this time the boys from Barcelona scored in the last 10 seconds, so the finalist had to be determined after the shoot-out. In the shoot-out, the lead role had the captain of the Serbian team, Rastko Anicic who succeeded to block players from Spain three times, and after he blocked Marc Tomas Noguer, University of Belgrade needed shoot for one point to reach the finals. Responsibility was taken by Savic who was precise for the triumph of the guys from Belgrade.
“It was a tough path until the finals. Every match was won on shoot-outs, and every set was won on one or two points, so we lost a lot of energy, but now for the finals, we have plenty of time to rest. We know that Croats are the home team, this is their home country, and they will have a lot of support. They are practicing in this field. They won every match much more easily than us. I think that they are favorites for this match but we will not give up, and we will fight until the end”, said the captain of the University of Belgrade, Rastko Anicic.
Boys from the University of Zagreb were very dominant during the whole tournament, and they lost only one set. In semifinal team from Croatia played against Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and won with 2:0 (23:10, 24:20). They have perfectly opened the game and didn’t allow the guys from Budapest to endanger their advantage. The second set was much more exciting, as the Hungarians played better than in the first set. But, an experienced team from The University of Zagreb managed to keep control and celebrate with 2:0 in sets.
‘’It was a tough game, first set we didn’t give them any chance it was obvious that we are a better team. The second set we played not good as first, but we had our heads together and we won. Everybody on our team scores the goals, which is great for the finals. I think the game against the University of Belgrade will be a tough match. We know them a lot from the club beach handball so I think the finals will be very exciting and good”, told after the semifinal game Mario Lackovic.