Bulgaria and Romania top Pool A charts after completion of third leg
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Craiova, Romania, June 30, 2013. Bulgaria completed on Sunday the third round of action in prelim Pool A of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Women by edging Hungary 3:1 (21-15, 21-16, 17-21, and 21-17) to cement their leadership in the group with 18 points out of nine matches. In the other match of the day, the home heroines of Romania got past Turkey with a similar score (21-17, 19-21, 23-21, and 21-19) to keep second place in the charts with 16 points and stay in contention for a spot in the final four scheduled for July 13-14 in Varna.
Hungary caught a good start in their match with Bulgaria going up 7:5 in the first set paced by the spikes killed by Renata Sandor. Bulgaria responded well and moved to the front at 14:10; although Sandor and Edina Dobi did their best to support Hungary’s quest, Bulgaria claimed the first set at 21-15. The provisional leaders of the Pool started out strong in the second set (7:3) as Elitsa Vasileva regularly found a way through Hungary’s block. Sandor and Debi were once again the players who played most effectively for Hungary but Vasileva and Dobriana Rabadzhieva were not to stop and the second set came to a close at 21-16. Things changed in the third set where Sandor found a way through the tall Bulgarian block so that Hungary moved to the front at 14:13 first and then again at 17:14. Though Vasileva and Rabadzhieva attempted a comeback for Bulgaria, this time it did not work and Hungary could call for a fourth set. After a close start, Vasileva helped the side mentored by Italian head coach Marcello Abbondanza take the lead at 17:15 and even though Sandor and Debi tried to respond for Hungary, Strashimira Filipova did not let her opponents come too close and finished the game at 21-17 for a valuable 3:1 win.
In the other match of the day Romania got off to a good start before Turkey went to the front paced by the excellent spikes killed by Birgül Güler. Ioana Baciu and Nneka Onyejekwe eventually woke up and flipped the charts around with Romania going up 17:15 before the home side wrapped it up at 21-17. Gözde Yilmaz and Güler played superbly in the second set for Turkey and even though the home side responded with Onyejekwe and Diana-Dora Carbuneanu, the guests could go for the 1:1 (19-21). Alina Ilie and Adina Salaoru set the tempo of the game for Romania in the third set (14:10) and even though Güler helped Turkey fight back, Salaoru and Ilie scored the last rallies to make it 2:1 for the home side (23-21). The local favorites were able to take control of the game right from the start in the fourth set and anchored by the trio composed by Ilie, Salaoru and Baciu they cruised to the final 21-19 and a well-deserved 3:1 victory.
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