The Estonian national volleyball team has made the top 16 in Europe and begins the European Championship tournament today, going against hosts Italy.
Estonia (17th highest ranked in Europe) is in pool B, along with Italy (2nd in European rankings), France (7th) and Croatia (20th). The group-stage games will take place on Friday, Saturday (France) and Sunday (Croatia).
“If everyone gives their all, we can surprise, and even beat Italy and France,” team member Oliver Venno said. Captain Kert Toobal said one win will be enough to go through to the second round. “We have worked hard all through the summer to increase our average level,” he added.
The second and third place in all the four groups will make the 1st play-off round, while the winners will go straight into the quarter finals. The play-off rounds begin on October 13 and the final takes place on October 18.
Tonight's game begins at 22:00 and will be shown live on ETV2 and online. However, only those in Estonia are able to watch it live through ERR.
Estonia has partcipated at two volleyball European Championships in recent years. It played in the 2009 bi-annual event, and again two years later. In 2009, Estonia lost all of its three group-stage games, but in 2011 it managed to beat Portugal in the group stage and advance to the next round, where the team lost 3-0 to Bulgaria.
Editor: J.M. Laats