Netherlands and Czech Republic stretch winning streak in Pool B
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Piatra Neamt, Romania, May 26, 2012. The Netherlands and the Czech Republic extended their positive record in the first leg of Pool B for the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Men as they downed, both in straight sets, their respective opponents, i.e. Turkey (25-19, 25-23, and 25-16) and the hosts of Romania (25-16, 25-20, and 25-21). Their clash scheduled for Sunday will determine the provisional leader of the group at the end of the first round of action.
The Netherlands scored their second consecutive win in straight sets at “Sala Polivalenta” as they downed Turkey (25-19, 25-23, and 25-16) quite similarly as they had done on Friday with the hosts of Romania. The “Oranjes” imposed immediately their rhythm with young setter Nimir Abdel-Aziz that opted quite often for opposite Tony Krolis whose spikes totally demolished Turkey’s defense line. Turkey responded with middle blocker Emre Batur but with Krolis well supported by wing spiker Jelte Maan, the Netherlands gradually opened the gap (8:7, 16:11) totally dominating the final section of this set as Krolis sealed it with the score of 25-19.
By alternating Krolis and Maan, Abdel-Aziz took his side by the hand also in the second set where the Netherlands controlled the operations quite comfortably (8:4, 16:12). Turkey tried to stay tuned via outside hitter Burutay Subasi who backed up the defense line thereby allowing setter Berkan Bozan to try out a few different combinations in attack. With some points contributed by opposite Kemal Elgaz, Turkey almost closed the gap (20:21) but the Netherlands changed gear at the right moment with Krolis and Maan once again paving the way for the final 25-23.
Things got less complicated for the Netherlands in set 3 as Krolis attacked relentlessly from every single angle with the score looking quite reassuring by the second mandatory stop (16:10). Even though Emre Batur attempted a late comeback for Turkey, still the “Oranjes” looked determined to finish their job in straight sets with Maan and Krolis spiking for the final 25-16 and 3:0.
After he had rested on Friday while his side played Turkey, Jan Stokr joined today’s match with the hosts of Romania and the opposite from Italy’s stellar club TRENTINO Volley was the absolute headliner of the game that the Czech Republic claimed in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, and 25-21).
The Czechs caught an excellent start with Stokr looking like a hurricane out there on court as he literally crashed Romania’s defense line with his spikes. The Czechs went up 16:9 by the second technical time-out and even though the home side responded with the attacks of team captain Dan Borota and middle blocker Mihai Gheorghita, still Stokr was on a class of his down crashing any hope of Romania to come back with his terrific service (25-16).
Helped by a solid reception and the blocks of Tomas Hysky, the Czechs set the pace of the game also in the second set (8:3, 16:8); Romania’s offense was lead by Borota and Florin Bahalceanu who were able to close the gap a little bit after the second mandatory stop, but Stokr once again showed off his power eventually finishing that section of the game at 25-20.
The plot did not change much in the third set with the Czechs quickly going up 8:3 with Romania’s spikers being regularly stopped by the Czech block. The Czechs gradually opened the gap and it was Stokr – top scorer with a terrific haul of 23 points in only 3 sets – to say the final word (25-21).
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