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06/09/2012 21:00
Austria wins opening match after tough fight with FYROM, Czechs edge Croatia
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Vienna, Austria, September 6, 2012. After more than two hours of tough play, Austria claimed the opening match of the European qualifier taking place at Budocenter in Vienna by besting their opponents from the F.Y.R. of Macedonia with the score of 3:2 (23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, and 15-13). The game was played in front of 1,200 spectators with the income from the tickets going to a special charity supporting children suffering of cancer.
Cheered also by many VIPs from the stands, the Austrians fought bravely for five sets and finally brought it home by showing good figures in blocking as well as from the serving line. Head coach Michael Warm was evidently happy with the result, especially since the players were feeling the pressure stemming from this home debut: “It was a very difficult match and this victory means pretty much also for the future” he says.
Top scorer Thomas Zass adds: “The first match of such a tournament is always somehow special. The result is fair and if we can show our full potential on Friday and Saturday as we play Croatia and the Czech Republic, I think something more can follow”. He was monitored by Stelian Moculescu, who will be his mentor in the coming season as the guy from Tirol has moved to VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN: “He has been developing quite positively and he played a good match”.
“We started well but after the first set our tempo went down. We had problems in reception and from the serving line as well, plus we have a very young libero. I hope we will do better in the next matches” says Macedonian top scorer (17) Jovica Simovski.

In the other match of the day the Czech Republic, even without their best starting six, edged Croatia 3:1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-17, and 25-19) to take the first place of the standings after one round of action. David Konecny top scored for the Czechs with 18 points well supported by Jiri Kral and Jan Stokr with 15 and 14 respectively. “We are happy with the result especially since the opening of the match was not easy for us. We were nervous and could not finalize most of our attacks. However, we gradually got confidence and things got less complicated” says Czech Ondrej Hudecek. “The Czech team played with more consistency and they deserved to win” stresses Croatian leader Boris Osmokrovic. Croatia was paced by their star Igor Omrcen who scored 26 points in spite of a back injury that was immediately treated by the medical doctor.

Click here for more info, including detailed stats of the matches

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