Spain qualifies for final round, Slovakia to have last chance in May
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Ra’anana, Israel, September 15, 2012. On Saturday Spain qualified for the final round of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women after edging in Ra’anana the local heroines of Israel (25-19, 25-17, 21-25, and 25-19) to finish atop of the charts in Pool A. In the other match of the day Slovakia beat Sweden 3:0 (25-20, 25-17, and 25-12) to claim the second place in the charts and get a last chance to make it to the European Champs via the third qualification round coming up next May.
After a strong opening by Sweden, Slovakia went to the front in the opening set (8:6) and extended that margin to 13:9 with the help of Veronika Hroncekova and Erika Salanciova. The side around head coach Miroslav Cada set the pace 16:12 at the second technical time-out but Sweden could reduce a bit the gap via the blocks of Tina Johansson and Madelene Green before Slovakia pocketed the final 25-20.
Anchored by Martina Viestova, Slovakia cruised to a massive 8:2 in the second set and even though Sweden scored the next four, still Slovakia enjoyed a margin of eight (16:8) by the second mandatory stop. With good defense and the attacks of Brazilian-born Solange Soares Slovakia comfortably sailed to the final 25-17.
Things did not change in set 3 with Slovakia up 8:5 and 16:6 and going for a speedy 25-12 with the last point being contributed by Soares, top scorer of the match with 19 points.
“We played very good in all fundamentals and this made the difference today. I am very happy and finally these were two good weeks for our team” said the Slovak mentor.
“We improve match by match and this is very important for us. I hope we can continue to progress and finally be able to challenge the strongest teams” added Sweden’s mentor Tina Celinder-Nygren.
Spain and Israel rounded out the program of the tournament with the match of the day and after Slovakia’s win over Sweden, the home ladies needed a 3:0 to finish second in the group.
Israel started out well (6:2) but Spain drew level at 8 via some mistakes of Israel; the guests went up 16:12 and 19:14, eventually cruising to the final 25-19.
Spain set the pace of the game all the way through in set 2 going up 16:7 and responding very well to Israel’s attacks. Spain stretched the margin to 18:10 and kept momentum to wrap it up at 25-20. Israel went for all or nothing in set 3 (8:2), remained ahead (15:10) and after Spain closed it at 21 all, eventually scored the next four to call for the fourth set.
Helped by the local crowd Israel pushed also in set 4 (8:3, 10:5) but Spain fought back by the second technical time-out (18:15, 19:17) eventually pocketing that much desired win (25-19).
“We played an excellent game and I am very happy with this qualification for the European Championship since it pays back the hard work of the past weeks and months” said head coach Francisco Hervas.
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