Croatia shuts out Cyprus to qualify to next round
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Men
Limassol, Cyprus, January 8, 2012. Croatia easily downed Cyprus in straight sets (25-15, 25-20, 25-14) to finish the first round qualifier atop of the standings and qualify for the next stage of the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Men scheduled for next April. The Croatian guys will travel to Ukraine to play the hosts plus the national teams representing Israel, Belgium, Hungary and the Netherlands. Switzerland and Cyprus eventually rounded out the standings of the three-day long tournament in Limassol.
Cyprus did put up some decent resistance to the Croats in the second set, leading by two points at the second technical time-out, but the visiting team rallied from 16:18 to retake the lead at 19:18 and continued to finish the set with five points to spare. Although Cyprus out-blocked the Croats with 9 stuffs to 7, this was not enough to counter the reception problems of the home team: Croatia scored 9 aces to just one for Cyprus. Ugljesa Vujovic of Croatia was top scorer of the match with 16 points.
“I am very happy for our qualification to the next round” said Hrvoje Borovina, the head coach of Croatia. “It was a nice tournament for us and I’m glad that I managed to see and test all my players in today’s match. I am satisfied that they have followed my instructions in the game. Today we had a good opponent, especially in defense, and because of that we had to do our best to win the match”.
“We were better than yesterday” said the mentor of the home team, Kostas Delikostas. “My players did well in tactics, but we were lacking in reception, although our blocking was good today. The positive outcome is that now we know where we stand and this is our compass for the future”.