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10/05/2014 20:00
Moldova upsets Luxembourg to keep perfect record at European qualifier
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Luxembourg, May 9, 2014. The Republic of Moldova confirmed its status as real sensation of the first-round European qualifier at d’Coque sports hall in Luxembourg City as the team from Chisinau cruised to their second straight victory on Saturday with a solid performance to upset the hosts of Luxembourg (25-18, 25-22, 25-13). Israel bounced back after their unexpected defeat to the Republic of Moldova on Friday to edge Lithuania in straight sets (25-15, 25-17, 25-16). Without their coach Zohar Bar Netzer and setter Ziv who had returned home before the start of the tournament after the death of their father, Israel surged back from yesterday’s defeat to stay in contention for a spot in the second qualification round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men. 

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Israel vs. Lithuania 3:0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-16)

After their shocking defeat to the Republic of Moldova the day before Israel got back on track cruising past their opponents from Lithuania in three straight sets on the second day of the competition at d’Coque sports hall in Luxembourg City. The Israelis who had entered the tournament as pre-favorites for the top spot of the final charts dominated the game building up their lead early in the first and second sets to widen it to 16:8 at the second technical time-out. Though Lithuania was able to keep the score a little bit tighter halfway through the third set, Israel’s victory was never in danger. Once again Israel’s players with international experience – Ukrainian-born Alexander Shafranovich and Itamar Stein – topped the charts of the best scorers with 12 and 11 points respectively. Another two players from Israel, Tamar Hershko and Viacheslav Batchkala, finished the game with 10 apiece. Tomas Vilimas was the only Lithuanian player to record a personal tally in double digits with 13. Israel out-blocked Lithuania 12 to 3 and their supremacy was ocular also in all other fundamentals. 

Republic of Moldova vs. Luxembourg 3:0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-13)

The start of the match starring the home heroes of Luxembourg and the Republic of Moldova was preceded by a short ceremony where CEV Supervisor Willy Bruninx presented Carel Zuidberg with a badge certifying his status of international referee. Zuidberg is one of two international referees in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, alongside Carole Heppe. The organizers also enjoyed the opportunity to award the opposite of the national team, Arnaud Maroldt, who on Saturday recorded his 50th cap with the “Lions”.
After that the Republic of Moldova did not leave any chances to the home heroes cruising to their second straight victory in the competition. After a relatively close start with the score standing at 8:7 at the first technical time-out, Moldova could slowly but surely widen their lead in the first and second sets. Their rule was much more overwhelming in the third set where they opened with an 8:4 that set the tone for a speedy 25-13. Three of their players finished the game in double digits, with Dmitrii Bahov leading the way with 13, followed by Vladimir Stelmah and Denis Sintov with 12 and 11 respectively. Kamil Rychlicki and Arnaud Maroldt recorded 15 each for the home side but still that was not enough to stop the march of their Eastern European opponents. Moldova’s ocular supremacy at the net is testified by the 17 blocks that the players around head coach Artur Romascan killed in three sets.

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