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11/05/2013 21:55
Bulgaria and Germany to battle for World Champs slot in Samokov
2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship - European Qualification

Samokov, Bulgaria, May 11, 2013. On the next-to-last day of action at Arena Samokov, the home heroines of Bulgaria and Germany claimed their third win in the competition to go for the much anticipated showdown on Sunday whereby a ticket to the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship scheduled for late June in the Czech Republic will be eventually assigned. On Saturday the home girls of Bulgaria easily disposed of Croatia in straight sets (25-12, 25-9, and 25-22) while Germany edged Latvia with the same score (3:0; 25-15, 25-15, and 26-24).  

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Bulgaria played with great determination right from the start of their clash with Croatia setting the pace of the game all the way through in the opening set; the home side enjoyed a 5-point lead by the second technical time-out (16:11) and afterwards accelerated the pace to finish it off with a massive 25-12. Bulgaria’s supremacy was even more overwhelming in the second set where their opponents from Croatia could register only 9 points to their count in the end. Things changed a little in set 3 where Croatia looked very motivated and went up in the score up to the second break (16:13). However, Bulgaria fought their way back with good serving and the atmosphere in the final rush got a little tense after a Croatian player received a yellow card. Still Bulgaria played superbly in all fundamentals and could finish the job in straight sets (25-22).     

Germany opened Saturday’s program playing Latvia and there the players mentored by head coach Han Abbing clearly set the tone of the game right from the start dominating the first set with a speedy 25-15. Latvia tried to somehow challenge their opponents with different combinations but without much success. Standing out in blocking as well as with their attacks, Germany asserted their rule also in the second set storming out to an 8:1 lead at the first technical time-out and Latvia in the end had to be content with only 15 points on the scoreboard. Germany got the lead right from the early stages of the third set too but with good blocks Latvia could keep the score close. Still the young girls mentored by former Beach Volleyball European champion Inguna Minusa could not turn things around and Germany sealed the final 26-24 for their third consecutive win in the tournament.

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