FIVB - Volleyball World Grand Prix

Press release

Czech Republic is the first finalist in Samokov

Czech Aneta Havlickova in action against Croatia

Samokov, Bulgaria, August  16, 2014 - Czech Republic is just a step away from moving to FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Second Group next year after their victory over Croatia 3-2 (26-28, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 15-10) in 2014 Group 3 Finals. Czechs were considered the best team in the pool, however they could not stop Mia Jerkov and Senna Usic in the five set thriller, played in Bulgarian Arena Samokov.

Croatia was ahead since the beginning and was with 4-point advantage at the first technical time out. Then Czechs woke up and equalized it after some power spikes by Havlichkova and Havelkova. Teams tried everything to find a gap to bigger advantage but only twice they did reached it at 13-16 (Croatia) and 21-18 (Czech Republic). A point-by-point rally eventually went for Croatia.

Czechs were back in the second, lead by powerful Havlickova and by the second technical time out their advantage was 4 points. Croatia had a timid attempt to change that but Havelkova did denied them at the end to make 1 set all.

Third set was a bomb from Croatia. They started with astonishing 6-0 with 2 aces from Senna Usic and kept the tempo by the end with 7, even 8 points ahead. Czechs were astonished by the pressure and the only attempt on something was at the end with some good serves by Vinocourova.

It seemed that the wind is changing its front it the fourth when after Czech hurricane literally smashed over Croatians. They were down 1-7 even before they understand the set has began. Veronika Trnkova joined Havlickova and Havelkova to give opponents that dizzy feeling of not knowing what is going on. It was 16-8 and just in the end Croatians were able to get back but just to lower the difference and nothing more.

Tendency for teams to exchange sets was cut in the tie-breaker which stayed uncertain by 5-5 and after that Croatians were oppressed by their own mistakes. Even Angelo Vercesi  trying to receive instead of his players did not change that and Czech qualified for the final, closing the fifth 15-10.  

Havlickova scored 27 and Havelkova 24 for the winners. Senna Usic finnished with 17 and Mia Jerkov with 16 for Croatia.

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