Serbia remains unbeaten after opening round of leg 2
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Budapest, Hungary, June 8, 2012. Serbia extended its winning streak in Pool A of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Women by downing Romania in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, and 25-20) in the first day of action for leg 2 which is taking place at “Sportmax” hall in Budapest.
Romania started with a good tempo but eventually Serbia found its own pace going up 10:6 and hence forcing Romania’s head coach Atanas Petrov into a time-out. This did not help much as the Serbians widened the gap to 13:7 but after another break, Romania found back some composure to get closer (13:10). That was nevertheless not enough to stop the run of the 2011 European champions and even some substitutions could not change the course of the game, with Serbia that pocketed the opening set 25-18.
Set 2 was pretty tight with Romania staying tuned up to 15 all where Serbia changed gear scoring three consecutive points to move up 18:15; Romania stepped up the quality of its play but still this was not enough with Serbia going for the final 25-22.
Serbia extended that good momentum also to the opening phases of set 3 (8:4) but Romania was able to claw back at 10 all; as Serbia scored the next four rallies, Petrov stopped the game and this did somehow shook his players who were able to storm back and level the score again. Finally, it was once again Serbia that scored the most important points with Ana Bjelica contributing the last two for the 3:0 (25-20).
Bjelica paced Serbia with 15 points while Irina-Cristina Radu scored 12 for Romania. “I congratulate the Serbian girls as they played really well. Our reception was not working that well and hence we could not present the quality we wanted” said Romania’s mentor Petrov after the game. “Both teams played good Volleyball and although we have a different line-up than in Subotica last week, the additions to the group played very well and proved that we can count on them” stated Serbia’s mentor Ratko Pavlicevic.
In the second match of the day Spain edged the home heroines of Hungary in straight sets (25-23, 25-20, and 25-23). Spain opened with a massive 8:2 as Hungary was making many mistakes but the home side attempted a comeback, eventually closing the deficit from 7:13 to 13:14. The gap stayed at one point also by the time the second technical time-out was called (15:16) with Barbara Degi performing well for the hosts. However, Hungary lacked consistency in the deciding phases of the set with Spain breaking away again (19:24) and pocketing the final 23-25 after the home ladies had scored four points in a row to reduce the gap to only one point (23:24) thereby pleasing their loud fans.
Hungary caught a terrific start in set 2 going up 8:6 but Spain gradually stepped up (9:12) and even though Hungary was lagging behind by three at the second technical time-out, Spain cruised quite confidently to the final 20-25.
The score remained initially very close in set 3 (6:6) with Dora Horvath anchoring Hungary’s offense for the provisional 10:9. Rita Liliom opened the gap for the home side (15:10) but the Spanish “armada” rushed back to flip the score around (15:17). Spain maintained a margin of 2-3 points and eventually finished it off in straight sets by cashing its second match ball (23-25).
“We are always making the same mistakes, again and again, and as long as we do not fix this problem, we will not be able to win any match” said local mentor Zoltan Jokay. “It was a strange game and none of the teams played really well” added Spain’s head coach Francisco Manuel Hervas. “Anytime we were leading, then we stopped playing well and let them come back”.
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