Bulgaria and Croatia celebrate their first win on opening day in Samokov
2013 FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship - European Qualification
Samokov, Bulgaria, May 8, 2013. The young players from Bulgaria emulated their compatriots playing in Sofia by claiming a straight-set win over Latvia (25-15, 25-13, and 25-14) in the first game of the qualification tournament whereby they hope to clinch the sole ticket at stake for making it to the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship scheduled for late June in Brno and Prostejov, Czech Republic. In the other match of the day Croatia beat Greece 3:2 after coming back from two sets down (20-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-19, and 15-13).
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Bulgaria imposed its rule right from the start of the game with Latvia eventually finishing the first set with a margin of 10 points (25-15). The home heroines did not slow down their pace also in the next set (25-13) and playing with great confidence and determination they stretched momentum also to set 3 for a well-deserved win in straight sets (25-14).
The other match of the day was by far more contested; Croatia opened strong (13:8) but Greece was able to flip the charts around already by the second technical time-out (16:14) before cruising to the final 25-20. In the second set Greece kept a margin of 2-3 points right from the start and could bring it home at 25-16 for a provisional 2:0 lead in sets. However, Croatia was able to find their way back into the game responding with a 25-16 in set 3 and extending their supremacy also to the next one (25-19) thereby calling for a tie-break. The young players did evidently feel much pressure there but Croatia was able to keep their nerves under control and to finish it off at 15-13 for their first win in the competition and two valuable points for the standings of the group.