Four of eight nations made it to the 2021 NEVZA U17 Championship in Ikast, Denmark. The teams from Denmark, Faroe Island, Iceland and Norway played at an impressing high level after the long period without exchange and with closed borders.
Ikast, a small town in the middle of Jutland is mostly known for its fashion industry, with companies like BestSeller and DK Company. It is also known as a sports’ hub, with a leading men’s volleyball and women’s handball teams and the development centre and high schools for volleyball, handball and football among other sports.
On October 17th, the girls and boys from Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway gathered in the students’ apartments at the sport centre for three days of competition. With all the facilities for food and lodging, a short walk to training and competition halls, and the special Danish “hygge” (conviviality), it gives the players and leaders best possible conditions.
The gathering in Ikast is not only for the under-age national teams. In parallel, two youth camps are run. The two camps are “Young Guns’ Camp”, addressing youth born 2006-07 and “Volleyball Kids and Teens”, for players born 2008 and later. The youngest are 10 years old. At present state it is only Danish participants, but discussions were made on the possibility to invite the other NEVZA members as well. It could then also include meetings for the coaches, to share their experiences and methodologies.
In the girls’ competition pool play, Norway and Denmark started of with rather easy victories against Faroe Islands and Iceland respectively. When they fought a tough battle, a tight five-set game and 18-16 win for Denmark, most people expected both teams to make it to the final. But Iceland had other plans, in the next match they beat Norway in straight set. Denmark had a really challenge against Faroe Islands, in another five-set game. Eventually, they managed to win the fifth set and thereby the pool. The bronze medal match started with a nail-biting set, before Norway decided with 29-27. After the loss, Faroe Islands lost their game and Norway could win comfortably. In the final, Iceland started of best. With heavy spikes from both outside and opponent spikers, they didn’t allow Denmark into the game. Denmark raised their level in the second set, taking an early lead. But Iceland came back and after that they dominated on the court.
The boys pool play started with a strong game from host Denmark, a level they kept all the way through the pool play. They lost only one set, against the second team Norway. It looked like Norway could challenge the hosts, but after the win in first set the Danes dominated in the following two sets. In the fourth set Norway had the lead but never manage to close it. Denmark came back and won 28-26. Other from this, Norway lost only one set to Faroe Islands. Faroe Islands impressed in the matches against Iceland, both in the pool and the bronze medal match. Denmark started the final in a furious tempo and never let Norway into the match. While both teams performed really well, with good reception and hard spikes on both sides, the determination of the hosts was impressing and Denmark is the new boys’ champion.
All the games were streamed on YouTube. For the finals, the spectator figures raised to over 200 in the arena and 300 behind the screens.
Medal matches and ranking, for all pole results see below.
Gold medal match: Iceland – Denmark 3 – 0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-19)
Bronze medal match: Norway – Faroe Islands 3 – 0 (29-27, 25-8, 25-19)
- Faroe Islands
Gold medal match Denmark – Norway 3 – 0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18)
Bronze medal match Faroe Islands – Iceland 3- 0 (25-10, 25-21, 25-14)
- Faroe Islands
A great thanks to the Danish Volleyball Federation for an excellent organisation, led by the experienced Sven Brix. All participants look forward to come back next year, together with the teams that still couldn’t make it this year.
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Norway – Faroe Islands 3 – 0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-20)
Denmark – Iceland 3 – 0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-17)
Iceland – Faroe Islands 3 -1 (25-11, 17-25, 25-18, 25-16)
Denmark – Norway 3 – 2 (13-25, 25-15, 16-25, 25-20, 18-16)
Denmark – Faroe Islands 3 – 2 (20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 15-10)
Iceland – Norway 3 – 0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-20)
Denmark – Iceland 3 – 0 (25-13, 25-7, 25-14)
Norway – Faroe Islands 3 – 1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22)
Faroe Islands – Iceland 3 – 0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-10)
Denmark – Norway 3 – 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 28-26)
Norway – Iceland 3 – 0 (25-8, 25-11, 25-14)
Denmark – Faroe Islands 3 – 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-10)