Switzerland's men lose first international match in 13 years
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Widen, Switzerland, May 12, 2012. This past Saturday Croatia scored a 3:0 away win (25-21, 25-22, and 25-20) to edge Switzerland and re-assert its ambitions to advance to the second qualification round of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men. This was the first international match for the Swiss guys in 13 years and even though the home heroes displayed a good performance, still Croatia was too much to handle for the group coached by Carl McGown.
The players in red jerseys caught a very good start as the “Burkertsmatt” sports hall was completely sold-out there in Widen, going up by 5 at the second mandatory stop of the opening set (16:11). However, the guests from Croatia stepped up the quality of their play and with a terrific series of kill blocks – nine only in set 1 – flipped the score around to pocket that section of the game at 25-21. Set two and three followed a similar plot with Switzerland being able to stay tuned up to 20 all but Croatia regularly dominated the final rush to wrap it up in straight sets (25-22 and 25-20).
“Our goal was to play hard throughout this game but Croatia eventually overpowered us” said Swiss mentor McGown after the match. “It is a real pleasure to be part of this group and although we lost in straight sets, this remains a good start for this national team that was just re-established after a long break” added team captain Joël Bruschweiler. “The ambiance in the sports hall was just great and we are grateful to our fans for this”.
Croatia’s mentor Radovan Malevic was impressed by the fighting spirit of the Swiss guys. “It was not an easy game at all even though we finished it in straight sets. I am happy with the result and especially with the performance delivered by our middle blockers. However, we need to improve and step up again for the return match which is coming up this Saturday in Daruvar”.
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