Czech Republic consolidate their supremacy in Pool C
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Ostrava, Czech Republic, September 14, 2012. The Czech Republic re-started on Friday their campaign to claim a ticket for the final round of the 2013 European Championship by cruising to a 3:0 victory against Austria (25-19, 28-26, and 25-18) in front of the home audience in Ostrava. This is the fourth consecutive win for the Czechs in Pool C and with another positive result on Saturday they could clip that much wanted ticket for Denmark and Poland.
The Czechs opened with a 8:4 run helped by their captain Ondrej Hudecek and some blocks, while Thomas Zass and Philipp Schneider were the absolute standouts on the other side of the net. Still the Czechs could cruise to a comfortable 25-19 before the second set contributed many emotions and turnarounds; the Czechs set the pace there but could not capitalize on three set balls before they closed it out at 28-26. The Czechs started with a 7:2 break in set 3 powered by Jan Stokr and easily controlled the game up to the very end (25-18) with head coach Stewart Bernard giving some playing time also to Jakub Janouch and Tomas Hysky.
“It was a tough match and we wanted to win, so I am happy we did it. We got closer to book our qualification for the European Championship. In the second set Austria played really well, and especially with their side-out, so it was a tough moment for us” said the Czech mentor.
“I think that the Czech Republic is the best team in the Pool and they will be successful also at next year’s European Championship. We have a very young team and we could play well only for one set” stressed Austria’s mentor Michael Warm.
In the first match of the day the F.Y.R. of Macedonia surprisingly beat Croatia 3:1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-18, and 25-19) to help the Czech Republic widen their gap and consolidate their supremacy in the charts of the Pool.
Croatia claimed the opening set via the attacks of their superstar Igor Omrcen but that was all. Macedonia played very motivated and pocketed the next three sets to celebrate their first win in the group. Omrcen top scored in the end with 21 points but he could not save his side from that defeat.
“I have no explanation for this defeat. We played well only in the first set and after that our opponents stepped up and deservedly won the game” said Croatia’s head coach Igor Simuncic.
“We did a great job today; we had studied Croatia’s game carefully and the players applied all the tactics we had worked out, following my instructions. We served and blocked well, this result makes me very happy and proud of my team” said FYROM mentor Aleksandar Tasevski.
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