Sweden celebrates good start as Norway pushes Greece to tie-break
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men
Halmstad, Sweden, May 24, 2013. The home guys of Sweden edged Iceland in straight sets (25-16, 25-18, and 25-15) in their opening game of the first-round qualifier for the 2014 FIVB World Championship running this weekend in Halmstad. To open the program of that tournament Greece needed five sets to eventually get the upper hand against a very solid Norwegian team (25-16, 21-25, 21-25, 25-21, and 15-9).
Sweden did have it pretty easy with Iceland and could play their own game though the local guys struggled to find their rhythm and made quite many mistakes. Iceland was capable of seizing every single opportunity to keep the score relatively close in the end. “We know where we stand because we have been playing together for the last couple of weeks, so we know what we are capable of. These games are nevertheless not easy but I think everything was ok tonight even though we were not supposed to concede so many points to Iceland” Jakob Wijk Tegenrot, Sweden’s outside hitter, said. “This was a good way to warm up for the remainder of the tournament and it will be interesting to play Norway tomorrow as they have pushed Greece to five sets this afternoon. We need to get a good result to play for first place in the group on Sunday as we cross our ways with Greece” he continued.
Sweden was paced by their talented setter Dardan Lushtak (pictured) and by superstar Marcus Nilsson while Iceland relied mostly on the Valdimarsson – Kristjan and Hafsteinn – brothers.
In the other match of the day Greece had a really tough time with Norway who showed great quality and determination in a match full of ups and downs. Greece started out strong comfortably claiming the first set (25-16) before Norway responded by seizing set 2 and 3 with the same score (25-21). Lars Frederik Tvinde stood out for Norway displaying great skills in defense as well as in attack, thereby firing up Norway’s team spirit. Pushed to the brick of a setback, Greece reacted in the fourth set with their superstar Mitar Tzourits – who plays in Italy for the likes of TRENTINO Diatec – calling for a tie-break (25-21) where he was well anchored by setter Kostas Prousalis on the way to a 15-9 that sealed a hard-fought 3:2 win.
“We could not respond to the pressure that Greece put on us with their serves in the late stages of the fourth set” Norway’s middle blocker Kristian Bjelland said. “After that we could not find our way back into the game. We are disappointed with this result but we have two more matches to come and we need to keep our focus and confidence for the upcoming games with Sweden and Iceland”.
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