This year Europe’s Volleyball family celebrate a special anniversary for EuroVolley Women as the inaugural competition took place exactly 70 years ago in Prague, Czechoslovakia, with participation of seven national teams. From 1950 onwards, the event ran together with the men’s competition up until 1989, when Sweden and West Germany hosted the men’s and women’s continental showpiece event, respectively. EuroVolley 2019 will be the first such competition featuring as many as 24 participating teams; 14 nations have medalled at least once this far, with Russia boasting an impressive tally of 26 medals, including 17 won by the Soviet Union.

The 30 European Championship tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Russia have won nineteen times (thirteen as Soviet Union). The other European Championship winners are Germany (as East Germany), Italy, Poland and Serbia, with two titles each; and Bulgaria, Czech Republic as (Czechoslovakia) and Netherlands, with one title each. Pictured are the home heroines of Bulgaria that caused a major sensation at the 1981 European Championship as they stopped the Soviet supremacy after seven consecutive editions.

Serbia capped a perfect campaign at the 2017 edition of the women’s EuroVolley with a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands (25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 25-18) to claim their second European title in history – to go with the gold medal they won at home in Belgrade in 2011. The ‘grand finale’ of the tournament was a truly exciting match, with the best of women’s Volleyball on offer – but Serbia were too much to stand even for the highly motivated Dutch team