Croatia back on track to set the pace in Pool C
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Ra’anana, Israel, June 23, 2013. Croatia cemented its provisional leadership in prelim Pool C of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Men by scoring its sole victory of the weekend in Ra’anana edging Turkey with the score of 3:1 (19-21, 21-14, 21-13, and 21-10). Croatia is currently ranked first in the group with 13 points, followed by Turkey with 10.
The score remained very close in the early phases of the opening set (5:5) before Turkey moved to the front at 9:8 and finished it off at 21-19. However, Croatia fought back in the second set going up 11:5 and 17:13 before cashing the provisional 1:1 at 21-14. In the third set things did not change much with Croatia taking the lead right from the start and cruising to the 21-13 that meant a 2:1 lead in sets. Croatia showed great momentum also in the fourth set moving up 15:7 before wrapping it up at 21-10 for a well-deserved 3:1 victory. Darko Nojic top scored with 18 points while Turkey’s youngster Baturalp Burak Güngör paced the losing side with 14.
In the other match of the day Israel caused the second upset of the weekend – after edging Croatia – by seeing off Belarus 3:1 (22-24, 21-17, 21-14, and 21-17). Belarus started out strong as they wanted to close the weekend with an impeccable record but the score stayed very close up to 15 all. After that Belarus went to the front (18:16) and eventually cashed the opening set at 24-22. Still Israel responded well by cashing the second set quite comfortably (21-17) and this provided the home guys with the right boost of energy for the remainder of the game. Israel set the pace all the way through in the third set cruising to the final 21-14 and things did not change in the fourth set where the home heroes went up 4:1 and 12:6 before Belarus attempted a late comeback. Still the local favorites did not lose composure and with another 21-17 could cash their second win of the weekend after suffering three defeats in the opening round of play last week in Croatia. “We have a great team and every single match provides my players with an opportunity to learn and continue their development” Israeli head coach Zohar Bar Netzer says.
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