Serbia makes it 12 in a row to finish prelims with impeccable record
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Piatra Neamt, Romania, June 24, 2012. Serbia completed its campaign in the prelims of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Women with an impeccable record of 12 wins in as many matches after edging Romania in straight sets (26-24, 25-18, and 25-20) on Sunday to round out the fourth and last leg of action in Pool A.
Serbia caught a relatively slow start while Romania, anchored by the spikes of Denisa Rogojinaru and the blocks killed by Ana Bianca Moldovan got up 8:5 by the first technical time-out. Serbia then responded with the terrific attacks scored by opposite Jovana Brakocevic but the home team was still up by one point as the referee whistled for the second mandatory stop. Brakocevic and Milena Rasic finally found a good way through the Romanian block but Romania moved up again (21:17) via Rogojinaru and Daiana Muresan. Still, Serbia rushed back once again with Brakocevic to flip the score around and go for the provisional 1:0 (26.24).
Daiana Muresan set the pace for the home side in set 2 (8:6) but Serbia had turned the charts by the second technical time-out with the blocks by Rasic and an inspired young outside hitter, Bianka Busa (16:14). Romania attempted to claw back by stabilizing its defense but Serbia looked really determined to finish the set as quickly as possible and did so with a great performance delivered by the MVP of last year’s European Championship, Jovana Brakocevic (25-18).
Set 3 followed a similar plot with Romania going up 8:6 but afterwards the home side struggled in all fundamentals, with Serbia gradually asserting its supremacy to end up with a 3:0 win to stretch its winning streak to a total of 12 matches.
In the other match of the day Spain completed its campaign in this year’s European League by edging Hungary 3:1 (29-27, 21-25, 25-9, and 27-25).
Hungary started out pretty well with setter Julia Milovits looking inspired and capable of exploiting the offensive skills of opposite Rita Liliom. Hungary’s storm (8:0) caught Spain by surprise and even though the Spaniards woke up and responded via their “ace” Milagros Collar, still they trailed 12:16 by the second technical time-out. Hungary kept momentum with libero Rita Molcsanyi that helped her side preparing the right pre-conditions for the side-out (21:18). However, the last word was yet to be said as Spain clawed back vigorously with Collar and outside hitter Maria Segura, thereby calling for a thrilling final rush that eventually resulted into the final 29-27 for the Iberians.
Hungary fought back in the second set going up 8:5 and 16:10 with the passes by setter Milovits being excellently finalized by Liliom and Maria Szivos. Once again Collar and Segura tried to steer the Spanish comeback but this time it was too late and Hungary could go for the provisional 1:1 (21-25).
Collar destroyed Hungary’s defense line in set 3 where Spain showed no mercy for its opponents cruising away 8:3 and 16:7, thereby paving the way for a massive 25-9 that reflected the absolute supremacy displayed by the Spaniards in that section of the game.
With Spain moving up 8:5 in set 4, Rita Liliom took her side by the hand to get the lead by one point at the second technical time-out; Hungary continued to pressure their opponents (21:18) but some minor errors and the great contribution of Collar flipped the tables around and Spain could finish it off with a 27-25 that sealed the final 3:1.
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