Norway routs England to finish first-round qualifier on top of the charts
2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men
Kettering, England, January 5, 2014. Norway beat England 3:0 (28-26, 25-13, and 25-20) in a tense final match. Both teams had already qualified for the second round of the 2014 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship - Men, but wanted to go into this undefeated. This is the first time the English team has qualified for the second round of the competition that is now slated for late April.
Norway took the first point of the match with a powerful spike from Sverre Flaskjer. Both teams were closely matched, with England taking an 8:7 lead at the first technical time-out. England crept ahead to an 11:9 lead, but Norway quickly equalized to 12:12. Thanks to well placed hits by Nathan Fullerton and Toby French, and an ace from Joel Roberts, England had a 16:13 lead at the second mandatory stop. A potent swing from Norwegian Bjarne Huus closed the gap to 15:16. After being matched point for point, England stormed ahead with a well placed hit from Joel Roberts to a backcourt gap to give them a 21:18 lead. A hit off the block took England to set point at 24:19. Norway fought back to a 23:24 comeback. A long battled point took the score to 24:24. A mistake by England gave Norway a chance of set point at 26:25. At this stage, nerves were affecting both teams and after a series of errors, Norway finally won the set 28-26.
Both teams came back fighting in the second set but Norway took a lead of 8:5 at the first technical time-out. They then raced further ahead to 12:5 assisted by powerful serves from Bjarne Huus. England began to come back into the game thanks to an impermeable double block from Nathan Fullerton and Alexander Calpin which took the score to 7:12. Nice high passing from England’s James Richard closed Norway’s lead to 16:12 at the second technical time-out. The pressure got to England, and Norway’s Sondre Alvheim and Christian Sørum managed to find gaps on the court to push their lead up. A hit from Bjarne Huus took Norway to set point at 24:12. Norway missed the serve to lose their first attempt at set point, but a powerful hit from Christian Sørum gave them a 25-13 victory.
After a swing hit from Toby French, England led 8:5 at the first technical time-out of the third set. The Norwegian coaches adjusted the team’s tactics to allow them to quickly equalize 8:8 once play resumed. Despite characteristically good hits from England’s Robert Poole, Norway had a 16:10 lead by the second technical time-out. England was definitely still in the game and a powerful hit by Leon Davis-Chambers prevented Norway getting to set point at 23:17. A well placed ball by Norway’s Christian Sørum took them to set point at 24:18 and it was only a handling error by England that allowed them to win the set and the match (25-20).
Norway finished first in the Pool and England second so both teams qualify for the second round of the Championship scheduled for late April. Norwegian coach, Haruya Indo, said he was “very proud of his team” and they were “ready for the next round.”
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