Belgian ladies complete memorable campaign with tenth victory
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Ra’anana, Israel, July 6, 2013. Belgium, i.e. the real sensation of this year’s CEV Volleyball European League, completed their campaign in the prelims with their tenth victory out of twelve matches after on Saturday they wrapped up the last round of action at Metrowest sports hall in Ra’anana by seeing off Serbia in three straight sets (21-12, 21-16, and 21-19). Belgium finishes atop the charts in Pool B with 29 points, followed by Germany with 26 while Serbia and Israel settle for third and fourth with 17 and 0 points respectively.
That was the best head coach Gert Vande Broek could ask for as the team starts preparing for the final four scheduled for next weekend in Varna, Bulgaria. Belgium controlled the game right from the start (4:1; 6:2) and after moving up 16:10 easily cashed the opening set with the terrific score of 21-12. Serbia responded well in the second keeping the score tight up to 12 all before Belgium changed gear taking the lead at 18:16 and then cruised to the final 21-16. Serbia caught their opponents by surprise in the early phases of the third set going up 3:0 and 4:1 but Belgium could even the score at 16 all. The Pool leaders got the lead for the very first time at 19:18 and then did score the two next points to finish the game in straight sets. “We are very happy for this was our best match here in Israel and the perfect boost of confidence we needed before the final four” Vande Broek commented. “This weekend my team looked exhausted but in general I am happy with what we did in this edition of the European League” said Serbia’s mentor Aleksandar Vladisavljev.
In the other match of the day Germany edged hosts Israel 3:1 (21-11, 21-15, 15-21, and 21-13) to re-assert their credentials for a good result at the finals coming up next week in Varna. Germany set the pace of the game right from the beginning of the first set (6:3, 12:6) and did not look back until it pocketed the provisional 1:0 (21-11). After a close start where Israel was helped by middle blocker Anita Gluck (4:4), Germany accelerated their pace halfway through the second set (14:11) and finished it off at 21-15 for the provisional 2:0. Anchored by their captain Moran Zur, Israel got off to a flying start in the third set (9:5) and was up by six points at the technical time-out. Germany scored three in a row to make it 12:9 but their head coach Giovanni Guidetti stopped the game once more as his side was trailing 11:15. Anna Velikiy and Moran Zur took their side by the hand and could call for a fourth set to the delight of the home audience. Germany pulled together in the fourth set and though Zur and Velikiy continued to play well for the hosts, Denise Hanke sealed the final 21-13 for a well-deserved 3:1 victory for Germany. “I see we are ready for the final four and I am especially happy with the performance showed by the young players” commented Guidetti in the end.
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