Belgium and Ukraine set the pace in Kharkiv
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Men
Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 13, 2012. Belgium and the hosts of Ukraine top the tables of the second-round qualifier to the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship – Men which is currently running at “Lokomotiv” Sports Palace in Kharkiv after they scored another 3:0 win to edge the Netherlands and Israel respectively.
Click here for more info, including results, standings and detailed stats of all matches
Belgium opened the program on Thursday by downing their neighbors from the Netherlands in three straight sets (25-15, 25-21, and 26-24). The guys in red jerseys quickly set the tone of the game with a speedy 25-15 to claim the opening set before the Netherlands stormed back in the early phases of set 2 going up 5:2. The second half of that set was pretty balanced but Belgium eventually scored the deciding points to go for the 2:0 (25-21). Great Volleyball was to be seen on court in the third set where Belgium and the Netherlands played with glowing hearts; the “Oranjes” did their best to prolong the game but their opponents were once again able to show strong nerves to wrap it up with the score of 26-24.
Hungary claimed the second match on schedule for Thursday by edging Croatia 3:2 after more than two hours of play. Hungary opened by claiming the first set 25-21 before Croatia fought back to call for the provisional 1:1 after dominating the scene in set 2 (25-16). The guys from Croatia played with good momentum also in the third set (25-22) while set 4 did turn into a very close battle where Hungary eventually came out on top of a neck-to-neck race (25-23). That trend continued also in the deciding tie-break where Hungary eventually sealed this long affair by the score of 16-14 to claim its first win of the tournament.
The hosts of Ukraine celebrated their second positive result of their home campaign by downing Israel in straight sets (27-25, 25-22, and 25-21). Ukraine initially trailed 2:5 in the opening set and after continuous turnarounds the home heroes could eventually decide it in their favor by finishing it off at 27-25. A similar scenario unfolded in set 2 with Ukraine having to storm back from 2:6 to ultimately assert its supremacy especially in blocking for the final 25-22. Set 3 was initially marked by many mistakes on both sides of the net before Ukraine went up 15:9; the hosts relaxed a bit too early thus helping Israel come back to -2 (15:13) before the home side, anchored by Oleksandr Tomilin who had joined the game at the end of the first set, could wrap it up in straight sets (25-21).