Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria score second consecutive win to keep immaculate record in Pool II
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Men
Randers, Denmark, August 25, 2012. Turkey, Spain and Bulgaria top the charts of Pool II after completion of the second round where they all claimed a second win, but in different fashion, as Turkey needed only three sets to rout the hosts of Denmark, Spain faced some resistance from Germany in a match that ended in a 3-1 and finally Bulgaria needed a tie-break to eventually cruise past neighboring Greece at the end of a very tough and demanding game.
Spain lost a set but defeated Germany 3:1 (25-16, 25-23, 20-25, and 25-22) in the first match of day two in Randers.
It was Spain asserting its supremacy all through the first set. The Spanish team increased their lead nice and slowly and was in front 16:10 by the first technical time-out. Spain seemed stronger in many facets of the game and German head coach Ulf Quell was forced to a team time-out while trailing 10:19. It helped only a little and Spain eventually cashed the first set 25-16.
Germany seemed more focused in the second set, but was behind 8:7 at the first technical time-out after a serve into the net. Not much separated the two teams as Spain was in front 16:14 by the second technical time-out. Then Spain leveled up their game and took three points in a row to 19:14. The German spectators tried to encourage their team to the set win, but Spain closed it out at 25-23.
All was even in the beginning of the third set but Spain managed to move to the front by the first technical time-out (8:7). The German team showed great mental strength and turned the set over to a 16:12 lead by the second technical break. Germany stayed focused and finished it off at 25-20.
In the first fourth set of the tournament Spain meant serious business leading 8:3 by the first technical time-out. Germany denied to give up and fought back in the set, being behind 16:13 by the second technical time-out and ultimately leveled the set at 17-17. But then Spain took three points in a row to 20:17 and wrapped it up at 25-22 for the final 3-1.
A relieved Spanish head coach Ricardo Maldonado said: “It was a really hard match. We did not play well in long periods of the match. I especially think we had problems with our reception because Germany served really well. We need to improve our character or things will become complicated. We still take it match by match. This is a tough Pool that is very even. After our next game against Turkey, who seems very strong, we will have a more clear idea of our chances”.
A massive wall of sound from both Danish and Turkish spectators filled the Skyline Arena for the second match of day two in Randers. Turkey continued their straight sets win by beating Denmark 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, and 25-16) and top the charts of the group after two rounds of action. It seemed like the Danes were not really ready from the beginning of the set and Turkey could take a little break by the second technical time-out being in front 16:10. The Turks kept increasing their lead and the set win was never in doubt – 25-16.
The Turkish thunder kept lightning in the second set and Turkey was in front 8:4 by the first technical time-out and 16:7 by the second. Never looking back the Turks won the set 25-17.
The third set was a bit closer, but Turkey had the upper hand all the way through and won it 25-16.
Turkish head coach Ali Kazim Hidayetoglu commented: “We played very well today. We had made a good game plan and all the players fulfilled their tasks to perfection. It was a good result for us. Denmark has some really good players with potential to play at a high level. Their opposite Peter Trolle Bonnesen has a great career ahead; that is for sure. I dream of a place in the semifinals but we still have to meet some strong teams in the group”.
In the last match of day two in pool II Bulgaria and Greece had to use all five sets to find a winner. Bulgaria eventually won the tie break and the match 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11). Greece went nuts from the beginning of the first set leading a tremendous 8:1 by the first technical time-out. At 13:4 to Greece the Bulgarian head coach Miroslav Zhivkov took a much needed time-out. Bulgaria decreased the Greek lead a little but was still behind 9:16 at the second technical time-out. The Bulgarian team came as close as 24-20 before Greece closed the set 25-20.
The second set was way more even than the first with Bulgaria in front 8:5 at the first technical time-out. The Bulgarian team was more focused in the set and had left the negative attitude from the first set at the side of the court. Though behind, Greece did not let Bulgaria get a scoring streak. Bulgaria was in front 16:13 by the second technical time-out and won the set 25-19 after a smash by wing-spiker Stanislav Velichkov.
The third set came off close as Greece was in front 8:7 by the first technical time-out. Greece made twice the amount of points as Bulgaria to the second technical timeout leading 16:11. Bulgaria showed good mental strength and was in front 20:19 before Greece leveled 20:20. A yellow card to Bulgarian setter Georgi Seganov gave Greece a 22:20 lead, but that only turned on an extra spark in the Bulgarian team who won the set 25-23.
The fourth set was a close encounter with only one point between the two teams at the two technical time-outs (8:7 and 15:16). The tight set continued to the very end with Greece winning it 25-23.
In the tie break the Bulgarian team showed the best mental strength in the beginning leading 8:5 when the teams changed sides. Close at 11:10 and 12:11 to Bulgaria and finally the heirs of the 2010 silver medalists from Bobruisk won the tiebreak 15-11adding two more points to the pool table.
A tired Bulgarian head coach was relieved to have won the match: “In the first set Greece served very strong. They did not make any mistake and then we got nervous. And instead of focusing and concentrating on clearing the balls, we just got even more nervous. From the second set we started playing as a team again. I told the players that I was expecting them to do what we had agreed before the match and play better. And happily for us they did. I think the team showed good mental strength. This is something we have developed in our training and it paid off today” said Miroslav Zhivkov.
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