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13/06/2013 22:00
Belgium and Slovakia score wins on opening day of Pool A
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Men

Vienna, Austria, June 13, 2013. The 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Men got started on Thursday in Vienna with the first round of matches for Pool A. The hosts of Austria did fight bravely before 920 home fans but eventually lost their opening match to Belgium at the end of five long sets (2:3; 21-15, 14-21, 21-16, 15-21, and 11-15). Earlier in the afternoon Slovakia had edged Denmark in three straight sets (21-15, 21-19, and 21-16) to top the charts of the group after day 1.  
Bram Van den Dries paced Belgium with 21 points while Hendrik Tuerlinckx and Matthijs Verhanneman added 9 apiece to the count of the winning side. Alexander Berger and Thomas Zass finished the game in double digits for the home side with 14 and 13 points respectively.
“We stayed focused for five sets and this is very positive and encouraging” says Austria head coach Michael Warm. “However, we could not control some details of the game. We pressured our opponents for a long time but in the end they started playing better and better”.
“We started out very concentrated as we had planned. We pressured the Belgians with our serves but in the second set they used this fundamental to their advantage” adds Thomas Zass. “It was a good start of the tournament but in the end we could not seal the deal as we had hoped”.
“We caught a slow start. In comparison to our recent game with Greece for the third round of the European Championship we changed three players in our starting six” stresses Belgian mentor Dominique Baeyens, “so in the early phases we had some problems to find the right chemistry. The Austrians did push us to the limit and we had to fight for every single point. In the end we are very happy with this win”.    

In what was the very first game of this year’s CEV Volleyball European League, Slovakia – winner of this competition in 2008 and 2011 – edged Denmark in three straight sets (21-15, 21-19, and 21-16). Slovakia needed only 58 minutes of play to claim their first victory in the tournament and did so with Peter Michalovic and Stefan Chrtiansky jr. scoring 14 points apiece. Mads Ditlevsen paced Denmark with 13. “We caught a good start in the tournament. It was not a perfect game but a normal one with some ups and downs but I am especially happy with the quality we displayed in the first sets” says Slovakia’s mentor Stefan Chrtiansky. “We were impressed by the quality that our opponents displayed today” adds Denmark’s head coach Fred Sturm. “They put a lot of pressure in serving and attacking as well, so we had some problems to stand their good game”.  

*A different scoring system is tested in the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League with all sets – with the exception of the tie-break – played up to 21 points and one single technical time-out at 12. Head coaches can call for two time-outs per set.  

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

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