2018 Women’s Golden #EuroLeague: Bulgaria Collects Gold, Czech Wins Bronze

  0 Derek Johnson | June 15th, 2018 | European volleyball, International Volleyball, News


The final two matches of the Golden League wrap up today, although the pair of bids to the 2018 FIVB Women’s Challenger Cup have already been locked in. Still, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to conclude the Golden League before stepping into the Silver League tomorrow, where teams can play their way into the Golden League for 2019.


In the 15th edition of the Women’s European Volleyball League, the tournament is split into two divisions: a 12-team Golden League and an eight-team Silver League. All teams are split into four-team pools for their division. In the Golden League, all three pool winner plus Hungary (or the team in second if they win their pool), the Final Round host, advance. In the Silver League, the winner of each pool, the next best team and host-Sweden will advance to the last four.

Overall, this event acts as a qualifier for two teams to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Challenger Cup, which provides an opportunity to make the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League.


Golden League:

  • Budapest, Hungary | Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena

First-Place Match:


  • Bulgaria def. Hungary 3-0 (25-12, 27-25, 25-14)
  • Bulgaria wins Gold at 7-1; Hungary earns Silver at 5-3

Each of these teams already accomplished their main goal in qualifying for the 2018 FIVB Challenger Cup, but still a first-place trophy and gold medal was on the line. Bulgaria overcame the pro-Hungary crowd to finish of the event at 7-1 with a sweep of Hungary, who earned the Silver medal.

Serving was a key factor in keeping Hungary out of system a bit more, as the Bulgarians were more aggressive and notched four more aces. The trade-off was three more serve errors, but keeping Hungary out of sorts more often led to a nine kill separation in favor of the winning nation.

Hungary actually had the matches’ leading scorer in Reka Szedmak (12 points), but the other seven who tallied a point had just 23 points. Bulgaria saw Gergana Dimitrova (11 points) nearly match Szedmak but get more help from all-around as four others recorded seven or more points.

Third-Place Match:


  • Hungary def. Czech Republic 3-1 (25-17, 28-26, 25-27, 25-21)
  • Czech Republic wins Bronze at 7-1; Hungary finishes fourth at 4-4

Although the Czech side lost for the first time in the tournament in the semifinals, they did salvage the end of their tournament with a bronze medal after downing Finland in the third-place match. It’s no bid to the Challenger Cup, but it’s a good finish to an event that can serve as a springboard to the future.

Neither team garnered much of an advantage in blocks, and both sides posted a barrage of aces (10 aces:2 serve errors for Finland versus 9 aces: 8 serve errors for Czech Republic). The difference was really the efficiency of Czech offense, as they posted 13 more kills and a 47% execution rate compared to 40% from Finland.

That offense was carried by a quartet of attackers for Czech Republic who had 13 or more points, mainly Michaela Mlejnkova (25 points) and Eva Hodanova (19 points). Finland had similar balance with four at 13 or more as well, but with Salla Karhu (17 points) leading the way it wasn’t enough for the outbursts of the dynamic Czech duo.



Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
14 Jun 17:00 Bulgaria  3–0  Finland 25–21 25–13 25–14 75–48 Report
14 Jun 20:00 Hungary  3–0  Czech Republic 25–21 25–19 25–19 75–59 Report

3rd place match

Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
15 Jun 17:00 Finland  1–3  Czech Republic 17–25 26–28 27–25 21–25 91–103 Report


Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
15 Jun 20:00 Bulgaria  3–0  Hungary 25–12 27–25 25–14 77–51 Report

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