Estonia straight to third round, Latvia advances to second stage of World Champs
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women
Daugavpils, Latvia, May 26, 2013. Estonia completed their campaign at the first-round World Championship qualifier held this weekend in Daugavpils downing Lithuania in three straight sets (25-12, 25-19, and 25-21) to top the final charts of the group and advance to the third stage of the qualification process scheduled for early January 2014. The home heroines of Latvia did best Iceland in straight sets too (25-16, 25-21, and 25-19) to settle for second and will continue their World Championship adventure via the second-round qualifier coming up in early October.
Lana Sorokina top scored for the home side with 13 points while Kristine Lece registered excellent stats (56% positive) in reception. On the other side of the net, Hulda Elma Eysteinsdottir registered 14 points to top score in the game. “My team was not ready to play Estonia at eye level but I am very happy with yesterday’s performance against Lithuania” Latvia’s head coach Janis Leitis said. “I have seen the girls play as a team and we got to feel a very good atmosphere in the group this weekend. Today’s game with Iceland was relatively easy but it did not affect our focus and could win the game as we had to. We know we have made it to the next round and I think that by then the composition of the team will be slightly different than here because we have some players that shall be returning back after nursing injuries”.
Estonia clearly dominated the scene in the first and second set of their game with Lithuania while the third was very close. Lithuania had their chances to prolong the game but Estonia showed the right attitude and focus to bring it home in straight sets. Mari-Liis Graumann top scored for the winning side with 13 points including 3 aces well supported by Maarja Kerner with 9. Two players – Erika Kliokmanaite and Monika Salkute – registered 8 points for the likes of Lithuania. “My team played really good in this tournament” Estonia’s head coach Peeter Vahtra commented. “We served really well and this was one of our best assets. We had prepared very carefully for these matches and we got back first place in the group which is just fabulous. I have, if I may say, a small problem in my team because I have 12 players at the same level, and all of them are good in their respective position, so it was difficult sometimes to choose the starting six. I have been coaching for many years but this is the first time I have a group that is so homogeneous. In the end we were better than the other teams in all fundamentals” he concluded.
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