European teams continue to perform well in FIVB World League
News from the FIVB
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 23, 2013. Iran proved its place in the World League by getting its first win Sunday, while Germany also secured a win, the Netherlands beat Portugal and France got its second victory in a row to close the fourth week of action in the 2013 FIVB World League. Russia and Italy shared victories in Surgut on Friday and Saturday with the “Azzurri” topping the charts of Pool B with 15 points, 2 ahead of the 2012 Olympic gold medalists. The Netherlands are ranked first in Pool C with 13 – though they lost one of this weekend’s matches to Portugal – while – to continue with the European teams – two wins over Argentina have powered Bulgaria to second place in Pool A, with the same number of points (11) so far collected by triple world champions Brazil.
In Iran’s second ever home match, the team got its first victory 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, and 15-12) against Serbia. Iran reduced their personal mistakes and improved its ability after Friday’s defeat. Iran’s top scorer was Hamzeh Zarini with 18 points. Serbia’s Nikola Kovacevic made 17.
Germany followed up on Saturday’s straight-set win to edge Cuba once again on Sunday, this time by 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 24-26, and 25-23), thereby securing their second win of the season. Similarly to Saturday’s game, the Germans’ good reception was the key to their success. “Cuba played a really good game,” said Germany’s coach Vital Heynen. “They were pushing us really hard, and for a long time we were not seeing the way to win the game. Today we were on the lucky side”.
The Netherlands beat Portugal 3-0 (36-34, 25-23, and 25-22) in their second FIVB World League match of the weekend on Sunday after the “Oranjes” had been beaten 2:3 on Saturday. France got its second victory in a row, on Sunday night in Toulouse, beating Poland after a long and uncertain game. Winner in five sets on Friday night in Rouen, France needed 2 hours and 28 minutes to beat Poland in a solid and clean tie-break. On Friday night, they had to overturn a delicate situation in the fourth set to stay alive and, eventually, to win. In Toulouse, on Sunday night, France did lead almost all the game to beat an inconsistent Polish team 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, and 15-13).
Bulgaria ended Sunday’s FIVB World League matches with a win against Argentina 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-21, and 31-29). Bulgaria’s Todor Aleksiev and Tsvetan Sokolov were their team’s leading scorers with 21 and 23 points respectively. Argentina’s Bruno Romanutti led his team with 17 points.
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