Estonia downs Denmark to secure ticket to second round
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men
Rakvere, Estonia, May 25, 2013. On Saturday the home team of Estonia perfectly continued its World Championship campaign by scoring a second consecutive win in the qualifier for the 2014 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship taking place in Rakvere. Estonia needed only three sets to cruise past Denmark (25-15, 25-21, and 25-23) and secure at least its qualification for the second round. In the other match of the day Belarus beat Latvia in straight sets (26-24, 26-24, and 25-16) to climb up to the second place in the charts.
In the first set of their match with Denmark the home heroes of Estonia set the tempo all the way through for a speedy 25-15. Estonia got a margin of four (16:12) by the second technical time-out and did not show any weakness to set the pace of the game with real confidence also in the second set. Mads Hartmann Ditlevsen brought Denmark closer (19:21) but after that Estonia managed to hold on the lead and the provisional 2:0 was there as the guys in blue jerseys cashed their set ball (25-21). Estonia could not find a good rhythm in the beginning of set 3, while Denmark went up 8:6 and 16:11. Estonia then found their way back into the match, well helped by Robert Täht, who was the absolute leader of Estonia men’s junior team that recently pocketed a ticket to the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship. Estonia fought their way back and flipped the charts around (19:18 and 21:20) wrapping it up at 25-23 for a 3:0 win. “We did not want to lose any set against Denmark because this could have been crucial for us. They played pretty risky, sometimes it worked, but sometimes it did not. In the end we managed to win and that is the most important. Hopefully we can end this tournament on a high note claiming the first place” Estonia’s head coach Avo Keel commented.
The second match of the day featured many dramatic ups and downs. The Latvian players got up 16:14 by the second technical time-out in the first set; they increased the gap to 21:17 and 24:19 but that was all. The final rush was extremely close but Belarus eventually had the upper hand at 26-24. In the second set the game was evidently controlled by the players coached by Victor Sidelnikov (16:8 and 21:14) before the Latvians attempted a comeback and drew level at 23. But it wasn’t enough and Belarus finished it at 26-24. The game followed a similar plot in set 3 with Belarus catching a marvelous start (8:1) and keeping a good margin (16:10) before closing the game in straight sets (25-16).
On Sunday Estonia will be playing against their neighbors Latvia while Belarus will try to get its second win of the weekend against Denmark and so also a ticket to continue its World Championship adventure.
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