Strong performance of Swiss rookies against Pool leader Bulgaria in Fribourg
2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Women
Fribourg, Switzerland, June 24, 2012. Bulgaria stretched its winning record to 9 consecutive matches in preliminary Pool B of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Women as the group around Italian-born head coach Marcello Abbondanza edged in straight sets (25-11, 26-24, and 26-24) the local favorites of Switzerland on Sunday in Fribourg.
Bulgaria opened with a terrific 6:0 to set the tone of the match and even though Laura Sirucek stepped up for the home side, still Bulgaria totally dominated the scene there going for a speedy 25-11.
Switzerland was able to put up good resistance in set 2 up to 14 all, and eventually went to the front once again anchored by Sirucek (18:14). A mistake in defense helped Bulgaria’s comeback (19:17) but still Switzerland was playing with good quality and great fighting spirit (21:17). Bulgaria fought its way back to 22 all and a series of ties followed until the guests from the Balkans clipped the final 26-24.
Switzerland played with glowing hearts also in the third set going up 8:7 and 12:8, so Bulgaria’s head coach Abbondanza was forced to bring back in action Diana Nenova and Elitsa Vasileva as the score was still in favor of the home side (15:13). The Swiss stretched their lead up to 23:18 but it was not enough to bring it home, as the home heroines dissipated three set balls (24:21) with Bulgaria storming back to seize the match in straight sets with another 26-24.
Dobriana Rabadzhieva top scored for Bulgaria with 22 points while Elena Steinemann paced the home ide with 13.
“You always want to win but in spite of three defeats I am still proud of my players and the way they fought throughout this weekend in Fribourg” said Swiss head coach Svetlana Ilic. “Our goal was to play our best during this home round of the European League and I think we did it. These weeks have contributed some unique experience to our young players and they have been taking their lessons every single day. We were able to stand for two sets such a strong Bulgarian side. Our reserve Laura Tschopp started the game from the bench but she did an excellent job as she joined the match bringing some fresh energy to the group. She stabilized the defense and she added her strong personality and character, she was just perfect today” concluded Ilic.
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