Tampere, Finland, July 4, 2014 – Finland
and Belgium once again entertained the Finnish volleyball fans with a tight
five-set match (23-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-23, 15-8) on the final day of their
pool play in this season’s FIVB Volleyball World League at the Tampere Ice Hall
Finland and Belgium were able to start the match without any pressure as the latter had already secured the top spot in pool C, while Finland landed in third place. Both teams showed high quality volleyball from the start, with excellent attacking versatility and spectacular defensive plays.
The Finns’ top scoring gunner was Urpo Sivula who had 24 points. Coaches from both sides gave a lot of responsibility to their young middle blockers – Tommi Siirila from Finland and Martijn Colson – who both responded to the challenge very well.
· Finland can no longer qualify for the Final Four in Group 2, but the Finns managed to play a good game against the Belgians who were defeated 3-2 twice.
· Finland have surpassed their 2011 World League record number of five wins – they now have six victories this season.
· Belgium have yet to win a five-set match because they have lost all four five-setters.
· All other Pool C teams have won at least two five-set matches each but Belgium have won five of their matches by a 3-1 score – more than all other Pool C teams combined.
· Finland had four players scoring in double figures while Belgium had five; the Finns still outscored the Belgians 69-68.
Finland controlled the first set, leading
both technical timeouts 8-6 and 16-13. Belgium started to show its potential as
they took the lead on the 20-point mark until reaching set point. Finland were
able to save set point 24-22 but the Red Dragons’ captain Hendrik Tuerlinckx,
who came off the bench, sent the Finns with a powerful spike to claim the first
Finland started the second set with a barrage of powerful attacks from their opposite hitter Urpo Sivula who spearheaded the 8-5 drive. Suddenly, the momentum shifted as Belgian attacker Bram Van Den Vries scored five of the Belgian team’s next 11 points to grab the lead in the second technical timeout 16-15. Finland were quick to recover as Olli Kunnari’s quality attacks lifted the hosts to a 20-18 advantage, but Belgium retaliated to level the score at 20-all. Finland cleared Belgium with the first set point, and got three set points of their own, until the fourth one decisively favoured the home side 29-27.
Belgium gained an early lead, and maintained their lead throughout the set. The Belgian gap was biggest within five points at 17-12 but Finland managed to diminish the lead but could not convert the run to a win as the visiting side were first to reach the end of the third set 25-22.
The Belgians followed through with their momentum in the third set as their attacking and serving went more lethal against the home team to get a 20-16 advantage on the fourth set. Finland then made a miraculous recovery and stole the set from the Belgians 25-23.
Finland displayed a massive blocking show against the Belgians in the final set. The hosts blasted an 8-1 lead from five blocks, an ace and a spike and a Belgian error – delighting the Tampere crowd. Finland’s persistent offence rewarded them and their fans with a 15-8 win in the tiebreaker.
World League's top four USA, Brazil, Italy and Iran contribute to Dream Team
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2014 – USA outside hitter Taylor Sander topped the statistical charts to receive the highest individual honour in the ... More...
Andrea Zorzi: Speed is at the heart of modern volleyball
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 - After the end of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, former Italian champion Andrea Zorzi talked about the d... More...
World League performances reshuffle world ranking
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 – The 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League has resulted in a reshuffle of the senior men’s world ranking, with Serbi... More...
Talking Stats: USA join World League’s multiple gold medal club; Italy win back-to-back bronze
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 20, 2014 – USA secured their second gold medal in the competition and became the fourth nation to earn multiple gold medal... More...
USA upset Brazil to claim second World League title
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA, ranked fourth in the world, beat world No. 1 Brazil in four outstanding sets 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to... More...
Lee hails 'unbelievable' team after USA scoop gold medal
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - USA's players hailed an "unbelievable" 3-1 win (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) over world no.1 ranked Brazil in the Worl... More...
Dynamic USA power past Brazil to grab World League gold
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA stunned Brazil 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to claim the gold medal at the FIVB World League Finals in Floren... More...
We will go for gold soon, says Italy's Travica
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – Italian setter Dragan Travica said that Italy can win a future tournament soon, after they claimed the bronze medal i... More...
Italy claim second consecutive World League Finals bronze
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - Italy claimed the bronze medal of the 2014 FIVB World League Finals, beating Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in a sold... More...
Stats Preview: Brazil, USA set for first-ever meeting in World League final; Italy eye fourth bronze medal
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 19, 2014 – Brazil and USA are set to clash in their first-ever final matchup in the competition, while hosts Italy take on... More...