Montenegro’s women crown with gold first appearance at GSSE
2015 Games of the Small States of Europe
Reykjavik, Iceland, June 6, 2015. After Luxembourg had claimed the men’s gold medal on Friday, it was then the turn of the women’s national team of Montenegro to get the party started at the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) that came to a close on Saturday in Reykjavik. Though they were making their first appearance at the GSSE, Montenegro left immediately their mark sweeping all of their matches without dropping a set to secure the first spot of the podium. Following the results from the last day of action, San Marino and Iceland settled for the silver and bronze positions, respectively.
Going into their final match of the tournament, Montenegro had already secured their gold medal but they wanted to finish their campaign with a clean record. And though they rested some of their most experienced players and opted for some of the second lines, Montenegro did not leave a chance to Liechtenstein, sweeping them aside in three consecutive sets (25-11, 25-10, 25-18). The players of Montenegro lost a bit their focus in the third set but still could control it from start to end. Danijela Dzakovic top scored in the end with 11 points while Alejandra Maldonado paced Liechtenstein with 8.
In the other match of the final day, San Marino and Luxembourg played for a spot on the podium. If they had won, Luxembourg would have finished the tournament in second place with hosts Iceland dropping down to third. Another series of options were on the table: a 3:1 or 3:0 victory would have secured second place for San Marino and third for Iceland, whereas if San Marino had won at the tie-break, Luxembourg and Iceland were to finish second with the tie to be broken by the set ratio. Still San Marino were much determined to vie for silver and this way they started out very strong claiming the first and second set by 25-16 and 25-17. The third set was a little closer and more exciting as it looked like Luxembourg were going to stretch the match to a fourth stanza. However, San Marino did not lose composure and brought the match to an end (25-22) thereby securing their silver medal.
2. San Marino
Picture courtesy by Andres Sighvatsson
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