Germany and Slovenia stun Russia and Serbia on opening day of Men's EuroVolley
2012 Olympic champions Russia lost to Germany in three sets (20-25, 23-25, and 19-25) in the opening match of Pool D at the multipurpose venue “Hala Sportowo-Widowiskowa” in Gdynia. György Grozer of Germany topped all scorers with an impressive number of 21 points, followed by Russia’s Dmitry Muserskiy with 11. “We are happy with the result, but I am not that surprised that we won. It is the result of our hard work, our great play in block and defense” said German captain Simon Tischer. Bulgaria followed later in the evening edging the Czech Republic 3:1 (25-15, 25-18, 22-25, and 25-21) to start their European campaign with the right pace waiting to play Germany on Saturday.
The first match of the 2013 CEV VELUX Volleyball European Championship in Group C at Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning was a very close encounter in which Slovenia pulled off a big win and a very big surprise beating the defending European champions Serbia 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-22, and 25-19). Slovenian head coach Luka Slabe afterwards said: “This is the biggest win ever in Slovenia’s Volleyball history and we are very proud of this achievement. But this is only one game, so the guys need to think about the game with Finland. It is a shower, dinner and straight to bed as we still have a lot of work to do to make it through to the next stage”. Later in the evening Finland edged the Netherlands 3:1 (23-25, 25-22, 27-25, and 25-20) with their performance being highlighted by a total of 23 blocks.
Italy and Belgium lived up to the expectations as they claimed their respective opening matches at EuroVolley 2013 in Odense. The bronze medallists from the London Olympics and this year’s World League could resist to a spirited home side since Denmark had got off to a flying start as the local fans had created a great atmosphere at Arena Fyn. However, Italy could gradually impose their quality and eventually cruised to a well-deserved straight win (25-22, 25-17, and 25-15). Belgium also caught a very promising start of their European campaign as they downed Belarus in straight sets (25-22, 25-20, and 25-16) to open the operations in prelim Pool A waiting to play Denmark on Saturday.
On Friday in the very first clash in Pool B France cruised to a straight victory over Slovakia (25-20, 35-33, and 28-26). Though they did bring it home in only three sets, the score line suggests that the guys around head coach Laurent Tillie did not have it that easy until they finally powered past their opponents. Earvin Ngapeth and Antonin Rouzier top scored for France with 18 and 17 points respectively while Frantisek Ogurcak was Slovakia’s most prolific player with 14. On Friday evening Poland played their much awaited first game in the tournament at ERGO Arena in Gdansk and helped by their superstar Bartosz Kurek the home guys cruised past Turkey 3:1 (25-22, 25-15, 22-25, and 25-21) to delight some 11,000 fans all – as usual – dressed in their favorite red and white gadgets.
For further information about the EuroVolley 2013 visit www.cev.lu or the official website www.eurovolley2013.dk