France added to starting field of European Champs, Latvia pre-books second place in Pool F
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Jelgava, Latvia, September 15, 2012. France scored a fifth consecutive win in Pool F edging Hungary in straight sets (26-24, 25-19, and 25-20) to qualify for the final round of the 2013 European Championship. Latvia is very close to finish second in the group after the home guys beat Spain for the second time in one week having done so already some days ago in Szeged.
Samuele Tuia top scored for France with 16 points, while Gérald Hardy-Dessources killed a total of 12 spikes. Zoltan Kovacs of Hungary was the most prolific blocker with 6 while Arpad Baroti totaled 13 points for his side.
“We knew before the match that our weaknesses are service and reception. We tried to perform better than we did yesterday even though the first set of the match with Latvia was pretty good. We improved in reception but we made many mistakes from the serving line; additionally, our opponents have much more experience” said Hungary’s captain David Szabo. “We decided to take it easy because we had nothing to lose and without pressure we did some good things”.
Latvia beat Spain 3:1 (21-25, 25-23, 28-26, and 25-23) as the hosts were accompanied from the stands by their fans with flags, drums and choirs. There was even a special orchestra that did contribute a special atmosphere at Zemgales Olympic Centre in Jelgava. Hermans Egleskalns paced the home side with 25 points while Aivars Petrusevics totaled 15; Iban Perez registered 23 for Spain.
The President of the Latvian Volleyball Federation, Almers Ludviks, who was in attendance, was evidently pleased with the result. “This was the most important game of the century for our team and I am happy that after the bronze medal claimed in London by Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, Volleyball is getting so popular here in Latvia”.
“It is just fantastic to play in a full house, something rather unusual for Volleyball in Latvia” said player Ansis Medenis. “The match was very tight but I think finally it was a pleasure to watch for our fans. We played well and aggressive in the end of the sets and we showed our confidence there. Spain played good in defense but we did it too”.
In combination with today’s matches, Latvia’s Head of State Andris Berzins, the President of the Latvian Volleyball Federation Almers Ludviks and member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere, together with members of the local municipality, honored the 50th birthday of Raimonds Vilde, the head coach of Latvia’s national team, as well as the 80th and 60th birthday of other Volleyball legends, namely Zigismunds Grigolunovics – who mentored for a long time Latvia women’s national team – and Jurijs Deveikus, the former head coach of the men’s national team.
Latvia will conclude their European campaign on Sunday by playing France, and the match will be live streamed here:
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