Alcala de Henares, Spain, June 21, 2014. Spain beat Germany by 3:1 (25-17, 25-19, 13-25, 25-23) in the second game of leg 3 in Pool B of the 2014 CEV Volleyball European League - Women, after completing a dazzling performance and upsetting the defending champions in a disputed and spectacular match.
It was history repeating at the Pabellon Caja Madrid sports hall for the second day of the weekend, as the match followed a similar pattern as the opening game of the leg. Just as it happened on Friday, Spain presented an exceptional level of performance in the first two sets, since the efficiency in attack and defense propitiated a convincing dominance of the locals during the two initial periods. Germany tried to put an end to the Spanish brilliance using its physical prowess represented in mighty blocks, but the distribution by Maria Jose Corral and the finalization by Helia Gonzalez and Amelia Portero gave wings to the Spaniards, in order to close the sets at 25-17 and at 25-19. The outline of the clash lived on Friday seemed to appear once more, especially after Germany completed its reaction in third period. The squad trained by Felix Koslowski entrusted its performance to the spikes by Anja Brandt and with the blocks as main argument, the visiting side clearly dominated the set, closing the period with an overwhelming 13-25 and bringing to life again Spain’s biggest fears. Nonetheless, history followed a different course this time. In the fourth period, both teams displayed an outstanding exhibition of high-class volleyball, featuring excellent digs, endless points and unstoppable fight, in an extremely disputed set. None of the squads showed signs of budging, so the tie persisted. However, the support from the Spanish fans marked the path that the local players took in order to break the parity. The spikes by Helia Gonzalez helped the Spaniards to the final 25-23 to avoid the tie-breaker and to celebrate the first victory in the competition for the young Spanish side.
Helia Gonzalez was the top scorer of the match with 27 points for the winning side, while Jana Franziska Poll was Germany’s most prolific player with 15.
Lena Moellers, captain of Germany: “It was a hard day for us. We started the first two sets like yesterday, playing very unorganized and not well. In the third set, we showed our true level, and in the fourth period we were so close to win, but we could not end up beating Spain. The match seemed exactly like the one we played yesterday, but it was different this time. We have a lot of young players, so we need more practice and more time to find our real level.”
Pascual Saurin, head coach of Spain: “I am very happy for the group. Ultimately, this is the reward for so much hard work. For the past weeks, we have been progressing and I think that the team is playing better and better. However, up till now, we had something missing that kept us from winning. Today we were close to live it again, but fortunately we managed to respond in the right way, so I am very satisfied with this victory. The players deserve the joy of experiencing the victory.”
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