Germany prolongs winning streak to glance at European ticket
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Maribor, Slovenia, September 13, 2012. After sweeping all of their matches this past week in Kharkiv Germany stretched their winning streak in the opening match of the second round robin for Pool E by edging Ukraine with the score of 3:1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-23, and 25-18).
The match finally ended with the same score as last week in Kharkiv with Germany imposing their pace and quality also at “Lukna” sports hall in Maribor. Ukraine stormed back in set 2 where they improved their efficiency in attack and defense but Germany responded well in the next section to go up 2:1 showing some real self-confidence and breaking away after the second technical time-out. Things did not change in set 4 where Germany moved up 8:5 especially via the serving turn of their star Georg Grozer and by combining good defense and excellent attacks they could finish the set with a margin of 7 points.
“I can be quite happy with the result even though we lost that second set that was really close in the end. This is a pity but we are still where we wanted to be and leading the charts, so this is good. The match against Slovenia will be decisive to determine who makes it to the final round” said after the game head coach Vital Heynen.
In the other match of the day the home guys of Slovenia easily cruised past their opponents from Sweden in three, straight sets (25-22, 25-13, and 25-12). However, the local heroes caught a slow start before they could finally drew level at 12 in the opening set; Mitja Gasparini fired up Slovenia and the home side eventually went up 16:13, before the score remained close until the end, with a serving error by Swedish star Marcus Nilsson sealing the 25-23 for the local favorites. The players mentored by Veselin Vukovic showed their class in the second set as they literally outclassed Sweden in all fundamentals. Tine Urnaut, Mitja Gasparini, Alen Pajenk and Matej Vidic always found the right tempo with their setter Dejan Vincic and nothing could stop the run of the home side. Even though Gasparini was substituted by youngster Jan Pokersnik, still Slovenia could sail to a massive 25-13. That show continued in the third set where Slovenia played some high-quality Volleyball making almost no mistakes at all even though some young players got playing time. A home crowd of almost 500 people could finally celebrate a well-deserved 3:0 win.
“This match was very similar to the one we played last week in Ukraine. We struggled in the first set but then changed gear and cruised to a classy win. I think today we were convincing and simply better in all fundamentals, blocking, serving and spiking. We made a few mistakes in the first set but otherwise this was a very good performance” said a happy head coach Veselin Vukovic.
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