New European League champions to be crowned in Varna!
2016 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Varna, Bulgaria, July 2, 2016. On the final day of the 2016 CEV Volleyball European League – Men, the Former Y.R. of Macedonia and Estonia will fight for a much coveted gold medal and also for the right to possibly join the FIVB Volleyball World League Group 3 in 2017. On Friday both teams went through thrilling five setters, with the Former Y.R. of Macedonia defeating Final Four debutants Austria 3-2 (25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-13), while Estonia had a close match with hosts Bulgaria to eventually win 3-2 (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 14-25, 17-15).
The two finalists have many things in common, apart from emerging victorious from Friday’s semi-finals. Both teams came out of the League Round undefeated, with six victories in as many matches they contested in their respective pools. In Pool A,
the Former Y.R. of Macedonia competed with Final Four hosts Bulgaria, Denmark and Albania. Estonia swept all of their matches in Pool B, defeating along the way Final Four rookies Austria, Belarus and Luxembourg.
These results follow their great performance in the 2015 edition of the competition, when the Former Y.R. of Macedonia and Estonia reached the Final Four, which was played in Walbrzych, Poland. In fact, they crossed their ways in the semis where
the Former Y.R. of Macedonia swept Estonia aside 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-22). As a result, the Estonians will be up for revenge on their way to reach their dream – a first ever European League gold.
After their straight-set semi-final win in 2015, the Former Y.R. of Macedonia lost to Slovenia in the final 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-17), missing out on their first ever gold. This way Slovenia advanced to the FIVB World League Group 3 and just reached the gold medal match of that competition’s Final Four in Frankfurt, where they will be facing the home team of Germany on Saturday. Can the Former Y.R. of Macedonia repeat Slovenia’s triumphal march?
Having the experience of losing in CEV Volleyball European League Final Four, both the Former Y. R. of Macedonia and Estonia have improved since their last matchup and are wiser ahead of their upcoming clash. Which team will make history by claiming their first ever gold medal in the tournament? We will find out tonight!
Picture: the undisputed top scorer of the 2016 CEV Volleyball European League - Men, Nikola Gjorgiev, will be trying to steer the Former Y.R. of Macedonia to what would be a historic gold medal
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