Montenegro, Icelandic ladies keep on rolling at GSSE
2015 Games of the Small States of Europe
Reykjavik, Iceland, June 4, 2015. The Volleyball tournament of the 2015 Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) continued on Wednesday with the first matches on schedule for the men’s competition and another two games for the women’s event. The home heroines of Iceland extended their winning streak to two consecutive matches, the same feat achieved by pre-favourite Montenegro. Luxembourg and San Marino opened the men’s tournament on a high note with hard-fought victories over hosts Iceland and Monaco, respectively.
The teams of Monaco and San Marino opened the programme of the men’s competition in Reykjavik. Monaco caught a good start and set the pace in the opening set (22:17) before the Sammarinese mentor asked for a break and he got his side back on track. San Marino levelled the score at 23 all and an ace by their captain Francesco Tabarini put the final 26-24 on the scoreboard. The second set followed a similar plot but this time around San Marino set the pace right from the outset and continued to do also after the second technical time-out (18:15). At this point, the Monegasque players started arguing with the referee and they ended up receiving a yellow card first and then a red one. This way everything went just easy for San Marino that claimed the second set by 25-21. The players from the Italian peninsula were off to a 5:1 lead in set 3 but Monaco stormed back and played with a lot of intensity to secure this stanza by 25-20. The fourth set was an exciting one. San Marino claimed an 18:12 lead but Monaco responded by changing gear and levelling the score at 24 all. In the end, San Marino prevailed at 26-24 to secure a 3:1 victory which came after their captain Francesco Tabarini scored as many as 31 points. Adrien Gueru paced Monaco with 14.
The men’s competition resumed later in the afternoon with hosts Iceland playing Luxembourg. The first set was a close affair with Iceland eventually taking it home by 25-23. The second set was as close too but this time around it was Luxembourg to have the upper hand (25-22). The players from the Grand Duchy controlled set 3 from start to end (25-18) but Iceland responded by seizing the fourth one (25-19) to call for the tie-break. The fifth and final set was a dramatic one. As the teams switched sides of the court, Iceland was up by 8:6 and the hosts scored also the following point, before Luxembourg stormed back to make it 14:11 and get three consecutive match balls. Iceland survived to two but the third was the ‘lucky one’ for Luxembourg that brought the match to an end at 15-13. Rising star Kamil Rychlicki scored 25 points for Luxembourg whilst Kristján Valdimarsson finished the match on 16 for Iceland.
The second game on schedule for Wednesday featured the women’s national teams of Montenegro and Luxembourg. The pre-favourite side in the competition though they are making their debut at the GSSE, Montenegro controlled the match from start to end seeing off Luxembourg in three sets (25-14, 25-16, 25-14). The score remained close only in the early stages of the second set where Luxembourg kept the pace of their opponent up to 7 all. Nikoleta Perovic top scored for Montenegro with 12 points while Annalena Mach and Dajana Völz each scored six for Luxembourg.
After their victory over Liechtenstein on Tuesday, Iceland played San Marino on Wednesday. The first set was really close but the Icelandic team played better and better to bring it to an end at 25-20. The second followed a similar plot with Iceland leading 24:20 but San Marino came back strong to turn the tide around and seize it by 27-25. Iceland controlled the third set with ease (20:14) and close it out at 25-22. In the fourth set the teams exchanged the lead back and forth a few times but Iceland broke away halfway through and brought the match to an end in four sets (25-17). Iceland’s team captain Jóna Guðlaug Vigfúsdóttir recorded 23 points for the home team whilst Samanta Giardi paced San Marino with 17.
Pictures courtesy by Ólöf Sigurðar
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For further information visit also the official website www.iceland2015.is/english