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05/07/2013 19:17
Belgium back on track with ninth win out of 11 matches
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Ra’anana, Israel, July 5, 2013. After suffering on Thursday their second defeat since the start of the prelims, the players of Belgium’s national team got back on track claiming their ninth victory in Pool B as on Friday they downed hosts Israel in straight sets (23-21, 21-16, and 21-7) at Metrowest sports hall in Ra’anana.
Supported by their Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Mr. Johan Cornet, Belgium wanted to redeem their defeat to Germany from the day before and they started out strong going up 4:3 and 19:14 later in the set. Helped by Anita Gluck, the Israelis fought back and leveled the score at 21 before Belgium sealed the final 23-21 with a spike killed by Els Vandesteene (pictured). Israel got off to a flying start in the second set (2:1, 5:3) and even enjoyed a margin of two by the technical time-out. Belgium nevertheless could promptly flip the charts around (13:12) and even though Israel team captain Moran Zur played superbly for the home side, the guests could pocket the 21-16 that meant a provisional 2:0 lead in sets. The third set was an easy run for the Belgians who went up 9:4 and 17:7 before closing it with a terrific 21-7. “We played a good game also tactically” Gert Vande Broek said after the match. “We can see the development of the group since we started working with these players back in 2008”. “Once again we could see that our young players do lack experience at this level” commented laconically Israel’s mentor Arie Selinger.  

After pocketing their spot for the final four on Thursday, Germany played very relaxed and eventually lost 2:3 to Serbia (21-18, 16-21, 21-19, 19-21, and 7-15). Head coach Giovanni Guidetti exploited this game as an opportunity to test out some young players in preparation for the World Grand Prix and the European Championship. Germany briefly got the lead in the first set (13:10) but it did not last long as Serbia evened the score at 15 all before Saskia Hippe sealed the final 21-18 for the 2011 European vice-champions. Serbia set the pace of the game all the way through in the second set (6:3, 13:7) paced by Adela Helic to quickly cruise to the final 21-16. After a very close start (5:5, 11:11), Serbia got to the front in the third set (15:13) with a spike killed by Jovana Stevanovic. However, Germany restored equality in the score and could even seal the final 21-19 for a provisional 2:1 lead. The match followed a similar plot also in the fourth set but this time it was Serbia that controlled the final rush and called for the tie-break (21-19). There the young heirs of the 2011 European champions dictated the tempo of the game right from the start (8:4) and could finish it off at 15-7 for a well-deserved victory.
“I am very happy with what my team did today as they played really well. We have a young team, basically U23, but the way they play let us have great hopes for the future” said Serbian mentor Aleksandar Vladisavljev.
“Today I opted for young players as they also need to get experience at this level” commented Giovanni Guidetti.  

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