Serbia qualifies to the Final Four after a ninth win in a row
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Granollers, Spain, June 17, 2012. Serbia qualified on Sunday for the Final Four of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Women. The Serbian team achieved its ninth victory in the tournament after beating Spain 3:1 (25-18, 25-10, 21-25, 25-20) in the last match of the third leg of the competition held in the Spanish city of Granollers and earned its ticket to the Final Round to be played in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The second position of the pool is highly contested since Romania beat Hungary in a clear three setter match – 3:0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-10).
Ever since Romania signed a disappointing defeat against Spain in the second day of the tournament, the squad trained by Atanas Petrov needed a victory in order to continue opting for the second position of the pool. Romania did not fail and achieved an important triumph after beating Hungary 3:0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-10) in the first match of the day.
The Hungarian squad aimed for the first victory in the tournament and tried to dominate the match through the spikes by Bernadett Dekany but Romania managed to shake off their rivals’ animosity taking early leads in each of the sets and imposing an effective performance with Daiana Muresan and Nneka Onyejekwe as main references. Despite the efforts to turn back the tables, Hungary could not obtain its first points in the tournament as Romania proved too strong and closed the match in three sets.
”It was a good game for us. I really did not expect the third set to go as easily as it went, but anyway, the important thing is that we won and it is a good way for us to finish this tournament”, the head coach of Romania Atanas Petrov said. “I am satisfied with the attitude of the team, they had a lot of emotion and this is what really matters. We hope we can continue with this attitude for the rest of the competition and achieve more wins”, added the Romanian coach.
The spirits were very different in the Hungarian team, as head coach Zoltan Jokay pointed out: “We started the match very slow and during the first two sets our mistakes made us lose the match. The third set was really bad for us; we cannot do too much if we keep making so many mistakes”.
Serbia continued its impressive winning streak in the European League after beating Spain 3:1 (25-18, 25-10, 21-25, 25-20) and signed its ninth consecutive victory in the tournament. The Serbian squad consolidated its position of clear leaders of Pool A and certified its qualification to the Final Four with an impressive performance in the last match of the tournament in Granollers, achieving another positive result in the competition, this time on the home ground of the Spanish team.
The efficiency of Serbian serves and the powerful spikes by Ana Bjelica gave the Plavi squad the lead in the match, as the team trained by Ratko Pavlicevic imposed its effective display during the first two sets. The support by the local audience and the direction of setter Patricia Aranda allowed the Spaniards to win in the third period, offering some hope of victory for the home team. Nonetheless, Serbia paved its way to triumph and to the Final Four with a final set in which the visiting team controlled the recovery attempts from the Spaniards to close the period 25-20 and the match.
“Spain played a very good match. It is a very good team and we knew it would be hard today”, Serbian coach Ratko Pavlicevic said. “We just played a little better than them today, that is why we won. We had good concentration and good motivation for victory”. As for the qualification to the Final Four, Pavlicevic said that it was “a big success for such a young group of players”.
“Serbia is a team that is able to maintain a high level of playing throughout the game and created a lot of problems to us today”, Spanish head coach Francisco Hervás said. “We tried to play with personality today. However, for us it was hard to score but we really did try and I have to acknowledge the effort of our players in the game”.
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