Scotland and Cyprus claim first victories in World Championship qualifications
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men
Limassol, Cyprus, June 6, 2013. The national teams of Scotland and Cyprus managed their first victories in 1st Round European Qualification Pool G of the battles eventually leading to the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men. On the first competition day in the Cypriot city of Limassol, they defeated Luxembourg and San Marino respectively in the quest to make it to the next qualification round.
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Scotland vs. Luxembourg 3:0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-21)
Scotland got off to a flying start in this qualification, stunning Luxembourg in straight sets 3:0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-21). The victory put Scotland in pole position for a berth in the next round. Paul Glissov became the game’s top scorer with 18 points for the winning squad, teammate Mark McGivern adding 12. Arnaud Maroldt was most prolific for Luxembourg with 9 points.
With exceptional blocking Scotland gained steady leads in the two opening sets and was hardly threatened by Luxembourg. The players from the Grand Duchy, however, tried to put up a fight in the third set staying in touch up until the 21st point. The Scots scored an amazing 11 points off their block, compared to only 2 for Luxembourg. Scotland also served more productively - four aces against two, and attacked more successfully than Luxembourg - 61% against 42%.
Simon Loftus, head coach of Scotland: "For us it was a dream game today to beat Luxembourg 3:0. We have not beaten them in eight years. This was a very important step for the program. Luxembourg has some new players that surprised us somewhat, but we dealt with it very well."
San Marino vs. Cyprus 1:3 (25-23, 10-25, 10-25, 12-25)
Cyprus survived the shock of dropping the first set to eventually edge San Marino 3:1 (23-25, 25-10, 25-10, 25-12) in the second match of the opening day of competition in Pool G. Gabriel Georgiou was the top scorer of the match with 22 points for Cyprus, followed by Achilleas Petrakides who scored 18. Matteo Zonzini scored 12 points for San Marino.
Following a shaky first set, Cyprus pulled together and sailed to an otherwise comfortable victory based on strong blocking, absolutely overwhelming San Marino in all elements. The hosts scored 17 block points and had 55 kills from 108 attacks and 9 aces.
Kostas Delikostas, head coach of Cyprus: "We tried experimenting with some new coaching tactics in the first set and this did not pay out. After that we returned to our normal play and had an easy time against a San Marino team that fielded junior players."
As the tournament continues on Friday, Luxembourg takes on San Marino at 17:00 EET, followed by the clash of the two undefeated teams, Cyprus and Scotland, at 20:00 EET.
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