Dutch men qualify for final round, Belgium to get last call in May
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Tallinn, Estonia, September 16, 2012. On Sunday the Netherlands qualified for the final round of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship after edging Estonia 3:0 (25-22, 25-16 and 25-18) to finish atop of the charts in Pool B. In the other match of the day Belgium beat Israel 3:0 (25-18, 25-21 and 25-23) to claim the second place in the charts and get a last chance to make it to the European Championship via the third qualification round coming up next May.
The Dutch players caught a marvelous start (8:3) and got up 16:12 by the second technical time-out; the game was evidently controlled by the players coached by Edwin Benne (21:16) before Estonia attempted a comeback and closed the gap up to 19:21. The final rush was extremely close but the Netherlands eventually had the upper hand at 25-22.
The Netherlands got to the front in the early phases of the second set (8:3) and stretched the gap to 16:8; they changed gear after the second technical time-out (19:10, 23:14) and finally pocketed the provisional 2:0 (25-16). The game followed a similar plot in set 3 with the Netherlands setting the pace (10:3, 17:9) and keeping a good margin (19:11) before closing the game in straight sets (25-18).
Belgium’s last win came as they easily disposed of Israel in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, and 25-23); Israel finished the double round robin with five defeats. Belgium went to the front in the opening set (8:6) and extended that margin to 16:13 with the help of Bram Van Den Dries. Israel could not reduce the gap and Belgium pocketed the final 25-18. The second set followed a similar scenario (8:5, 16:12) with Belgium grabbing it at 25-21. Things changed in set 3 where Israel went up 8:6 and 16:14 but after that Belgium found their way back going for a close 25-23 to win in straight sets.
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