Fabulous comeback for Belgium to finish with third consecutive win
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Kortrijk, Belgium, September 9, 2012. Belgium completed a splendid home campaign at the European qualifier in Kortrijk by edging Estonia 3:2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, and 15-10) coming back from two sets down to top the charts of the group waiting for the second round robin coming up next week in Tallinn.
Belgium needed to take at least two points from this game to keep the leadership of the Pool and after losing the first two sets, the hosts eventually got back on track anchored by Gert Van Walle to win the match at the tie-break. After losing to Israel on Saturday, Estonia imposed their pace in set 1 and 2 by exploiting the blocks killed by Oliver Venno and Argo Kreek. Belgium stepped up in set 2 with Gertjan Claes, Kevin Klinkenberg, Simon Van de Voorde and Van Walle but it was Kreek that sealed the set for Estonia for the provisional 2:0.
Van Walle started his personal show in set 3 and by scoring 12 points all alone he helped his side claim this section of the game, assisted by Matthijs Verhanneman and Pieter Verhees.
The same scenario unfolded in set 4 and 5 and Van Walle, supported by setter Frank Depestele, plus Verhees and Verhanneman, paved the way for the final 3:2 with Estonia losing their third match at the tie-break.
In the last day of action in Kortrijk, the Dutch men’s national team claimed their second win of the weekend by downing Israel in three, straight sets (25-23, 25-21, and 25-18).
After their stunning victory against Estonia on Saturday, Israel started out pretty well to resist to the Dutch storm mainly via Shon Faiga and Alexander Shafranovich. Israel went up 14:9, but after the second technical time-out the Netherlands changed gear and anchored by Wytze Kooistra they could pocket a close first set (25-23). Even an ankle injury for Bas van Bemmelen could not stop the march of the Dutch train that easily controlled the operations in the second set. Israel was missing Genadi Sokolov who got injured against Estonia and looked tired after the long marathon from Saturday, so the Netherlands could assert their supremacy with Rob Bontje and after missing out on two match balls, it was Jelte Maan who finished it off in three sets. “We have accomplished our mission and next week we have to beat Belgium in the second round robin to qualify for the European Championship” said Dutch head coach Edwin Benne.
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