Czech show continues in Piatra Neamt with third consecutive win
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Piatra Neamt, Romania, May 27, 2012. The Czech Republic edged the Netherlands 3:1 (17-25, 25-12, 25-19, and 25-18) on Sunday in Piatra Neamt to top the standings of Pool B in the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Men as the first leg was completed in Romania.
Actually the Netherlands had caught a very good start, playing aggressively and shaking the Czech defense with the attacks killed by outside hitter Jeroen Rauwerdink while Wytze Kooistra quite regularly stopped the Czech spikers with his block. The “Oranjes” dictated the pace of the game (8:4, 16:10) even though the Czech Republic tried it hard to respond, especially via wing spiker Karel Linz. The Czech guys were somehow surprised by the speedy rhythm imposed by the Netherlands and after some more attacks by Rauwerdink, Jelte Maan aced for the final 25-17.
The Czech machine that had totally downed Turkey and Romania in the previous matches started working much better in set 2 with Linz and opposite David Konecny contributing the provisional 8:4 on the scoreboard. Setter Ondrej Boula well mastered his offense so that the Czechs cruised away for a massive 16:7 at the second technical time-out. Ales Holubec and Vladimir Sobotka stood out with their double block with the set ending in a quite eloquent 25-12.
The always solid reception of Karel Linz paved the way for great actions in set 3 as setter Boula split his options between Konecny and Holubec, with the Czech Republic taking the lead at both technical time-outs (8:6, 16:12). Rauwerdink and Maan attempted a comeback for the “Oranjes” but the Czechs did not look back and Konecny sealed the final 25-19.
The Czech show continued also in the fourth set where Holubec and Sobotka crashed the Dutch hopes with their gigantic block while Konecny and Linz scored with great consistency. Rauwerdink and Maan tried to take their side by the hand but they quickly trailed in the score (8:5, 16:11) and after the second technical time-out it was an all Czech affair with Konecny that put an end to the match at 25-18.
In the second match of the day the hosts of Romania scored their first win in this year’s European League by edging Turkey 3:1 (23-25, 27-25, 25-17, and 25-23).
Turkey started quite well with opposite Serhat Coskun causing some real problems to Romania’s defense line, before the hosts responded with Bogdan Muresan. However, anchored by outside hitter Burutay Subasi, Turkey went up 16:12 by the second technical time-out and as the hosts looked not capable of clawing back, Turkey eventually pocketed the first set with the score of 25-23.
After making some changes to the starting six, with wing spiker Silviu Suson and opposite Lucian Tofan joining the game, Romania totally changed its strategy and even the defense line played with more consistency supported by team captain Dan Borota. At the same time the block got more stability, especially via Muresan, and even though Turkey reacted with Subasi and Coskun, still the hosts took the lead (16:13) to relinquish it only briefly (20:21), as Tofan and Suson fought back for the home side eventually sealing that section of the game with the score of 27-25.
Supported by a solid reception, setter Vlad Moisa could go for many different options in attack as Romania opened the operations in set 3 with a very good pace and that good tempo was stretched all the way through (16:10) with Muresan, Borota, Tofan and Suson pacing Romania up to the final 25-17.
Turkey reacted in the opening phases of set 4 with Coskun and Kemal Elgaz on fire (8:7) but after relaxing for a while, Romania pulled together to flip the score around (16:14). Coskun profited of the very solid reception of his teammates to score quite many points for Turkey in that section of the match but Romania stayed very concentrated and it was Lucian Tofan who eventually wrapped it up at 25-23 for the final 3:1.
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