54
FINALS HIGHLIGHTS
POOL
E
Bulgaria got the start they wanted, but it was a hard-
fought victory against Germany. The World League
Finals debutants dug in from the start and took the
first set long, eventually claiming it 28-26. But the
Bulgarians got their block working beautifully in the
second set – when they had seven out of their total
of 17 blocking points – and stymied the German
attack, winning the set by six points. Germany
fought back again and they were also blocking well,
but they couldn’t do enough to overcome the hosts
and dropped the third set 29-27. The Bulgarians
were inspired in the fourth set, with Vladimir Nikolov
and Todor Aleksiev leading the way. Aleksiev finished
with 23 points, while seven of Georgi Bratoev’s nine
points came on blocks.
This match was very important not only for me,
but for the team as well,” Bulgaria coach Nayden
Naydenov said. “I cannot hide the fact that I am
really happy because the team played as one in
the hard and most decisive moments. We have
managed to win against Germany in a situation
where there was no second chance.”
July 4
BUL
GER
3
1
26-28 25-19 29-27 25-19
POOL E - DAY 1
Hosts Bulgaria overcome gritty Germany
Todor Aleksiev’s match-high 23 points were
key to Bulgaria’s Pool E win over Germany
Setter Lukas Kampa
averaged 1.5 sets
in his first match
of the Finals,
improving to
3.2
in his
second
Germany’s Max
Günthör got half of
his 10 points against
Bulgaria from blocks