Czech Republic completes second clean sweep in Pool B
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Barcelona, Spain, June 23, 2013. The Czech Republic confirmed its role at main force to be reckoned with in Pool B of 2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Men after signing on Sunday its sixth consecutive victory in the tournament. The Czech squad maintained its condition of group leaders with a hard-fought triumph 3:2 (21-18, 21-12, 20-22, 16-21 and 15-13) over an inspired Spain on the last day of the second leg played in Barcelona. On the other hand, Montenegro confirmed its second position in the Pool by beating Hungary 3:0 (21-12, 21-16 and 21-17).
The last day of competition in the second weekend of the tournament started with Montenegro’s forceful victory over Hungary (3:0; 21-12, 21-16 and 21-17). The Balkan players showed great levels of recovery after their defeat on Saturday and crushed a Hungarian squad still short of its first triumph in the tournament. The spikes by Aleksandar Minic and the blocks on the Montenegrin side were too much to handle for the young Magyar group as the men trained by Nikola Matijasevic achieved their fourth victory in competition, hence imposing their status as the main runners-up of the Pool.
Then the tournament in Spain came to an end with a disputed and spectacular match that delighted all Volleyball fans in Palau DEsports Olimpics sports hall in Vall Dhebrón. The Czechs presented one more demonstration of power with a contested victory against Spain 3:2 (21-18, 21-12, 20-22, 16-21 and 15-13), so to reinforce their condition of Pool leaders. However, it was not an easy triumph for Stewart Bernard’s men. The Spanish team, spurred by the support of the Catalan audience, put up an intense fight against the leaders of the Pool, since after two sets clearly controlled by the Czech squad, the local side starred in a sensational comeback. For the third time this weekend, the Spanish squad was forced to go to the fifth set to solve the game; this time around, the efficiency of Czech’s blocking system proved to be crucial, and the visiting team tilted the match to its side with two spectacular blocks.
“It was not an easy game for us at all. We lost our momentum after the first two sets, then Spain defended well but finally we could win the match in the tie-break. We did a great job in the decisive part of the game, even though this wasn’t our best match of the tournament. Ultimately, our block was the key and we did a good job at the end”, said Czech Republic head coach, Stewart Bernard.
“At the beginning we were unable to perform at our level and it was hard for us to get into the game, but step by step we could change all that. We started serving better and played at higher level in attack, which helped us extend the match. Nonetheless, we leave with a certain rage and grief for missing the reward to all our hard work”, pointed out the head coach of Spain, Fernando Muñoz.
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