Germany downs Belgium to qualify for final four
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Ra’anana, Israel, July 4, 2013. On Thursday Germany downed Belgium in three straight sets (21-14, 21-15, and 21-19) to consolidate their second place in prelim Pool B of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Women and qualify for the final four scheduled for July 13-14 in Varna, Bulgaria. This is Germany’s second victory over Belgium following last week’s home triumph in Hamburg.
After a very close start (4:4), Germany broke away in the score (13:10) and with Maren Brinker setting the pace, the 2011 European silver medalists could bring it home at 21-14. Germany got off to a flying start in the second set (6:1, 10:3) enjoying a margin of eight points by the technical time-out. Belgium was caught by surprise and could not respond, so Germany could comfortably go for the provisional 2:0 (21-15). A neck-to-neck race unfolded in the early phases of the third set (6:6) before Germany scored four points in a row. Still Belgium found the strength and character to claw back to 10 all and even went to the front at 14:13. That was nevertheless not enough to call for a fourth set as Germany leveled at 19 and then scored the next couple of points to finish it off in three sets.
“I am very happy with the result and with our qualification for the final four” said Germany’s head coach Giovanni Guidetti. “We can play the next matches much more relaxed and start focusing on our preparations for the finals”.
“Germany played a good match today while we made too many easy mistakes” commented Belgian mentor Gert Vande Broek. “Sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes and simply get ready for the next game. We have already booked our spot for the final four and this is great”.
In the other match of the day Serbia came back from one set down to edge the home heroines of Israel (14-21, 21-12, 21-16, and 21-12). The Israelis fought bravely in order to claim their first win in the competition but on the other side of the net they found young Serbian players who were greedy for some points. Israel’s team captain and opposite player Moran Zur set the pace of the game in the first set helping the home side cruise to a speedy 21-14. Serbia changed gear in the second set going up 9:6 and 17:12, well anchored by their spiker Ivana Lukovic, and rapidly sealed the 21-12 that meant equality in sets. Israel started well in the third set but Serbia responded with some good play to make it 11:9 halfway through the set. Though Moran Zur was still playing superbly for the home side, she could not change the course of the game and Serbia pocketed the provisional 2:1 (21-16). After another close start (4:4), Serbia gradually imposed their rhythm in the fourth set (12:7) and even a time-out asked by Israeli head coach Arie Selinger at 14:9 could not do much. Sanja Bursac was Serbia’s best player in that section of the game – she was also the top scorer in the end with 17 points – and the guests wrapped it up at 21-12 for a 3:1 victory.
“We caught a weak start probably because of the long trip” says Serbia’s head coach Aleksandar Vladisavljev. “However, as soon as we found our rhythm, we could control the game. Anyway, we have a young group and there is still a long way to go”.
“We played a good first set but the way is long when you have a young team as we do” added home mentor Arie Selinger. “We have learned a lot from our participation in the European League and I hope we will see the benefits of this process in the near future”.
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