Romania in pole position, Austria edges Bosnia and Herzegovina in thrilling five-setter
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Vienna, Austria, May 22, 2014. Austria scored its first victory in Pool F of the second qualification round for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women. On home soil, head coach Zuzana Tlstovicova’s squad overpowered Bosnia and Herzegovina in a thrilling five-setter by 3:2 (28-26, 21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 16-14). In the second match of the day in Vienna, Romania shut out Slovakia by 3:0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-21) to take the first place in the current standings.
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Austria 2:3 (26-28, 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 14-16)
Austria was in control through the most part of the first set extending its lead as far wide as 19-12. After 24-19, Bosnia and Herzegovina saved seven set points, but on the eighth the home guys converted for 28-26. Mostly due to its fantastic blocking efforts, the team from the Balkans dominated the second set to win it by 25-21. In set 3 the Bosnians were trailing behind until the second technical time-out, but then with some productive serving emerged on top again for 25-21 to take the lead in the match. In the fourth set Austria stepped up its serving, reduced the number of errors and to shoot up to a 25-18 win and prompt a tie-breaker. The fifth set kept the home fans on the edge as the southern Europeans went up by 9-5 and then by 13-11, but in the end the Austrians showed more character and celebrated with the victory after 16-14.
Lisa Chukwuma contributed 26 points to the victory, while teammate Srna Markovic added another 25. Substitute Ana Gajic was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best scorer with 17.
Darko Antunovic, team manager of Austria: "This was a fantastic game of our team versus a tough opponent! Awesome how they have returned from 1:2 sets down. Also in the fifth set Bosnia andHerzegovina had mostly the lead. Katharina Holzer, our youngest player, has brought an excellent performance. Now against Romania we will play for the second place."
Slovakia vs. Romania 0:3 (14-25, 21-25, 21-25)
Romania completely dominated the direct clash between the two teams that had won the two games on the first competition day in Vienna. In the first set, Slovakia was competitive only through the first technical time-out. Then the Romanians made a 12-1 run and never looked back to close it off at 25-14. Similarly, they definitively took control of the scoreboard after 7-8 in the second set. This time Slovakia held up a little better thanks to improving its attack, but this was merely enough for a 21-25 loss. Even stepping up their serving efforts further did not help the Slovaks in the next set. Romania’s offense was playing better and better with middle blocker Nneka Onyejekwe shining as the main spiking weapon contributing to the convincing 3:0 after another 25-21 in part three.
Onyejekwe piled up 18 points, 14 of which in attack at an impressive 93% success rate, to become the best scorer of the match. Miroslava Kuciakova was Slovakia’s top point contributor with 11 points.
Click here for more details on the 2nd Round of qualifications, including match statistics and photos.