Victories of Spain, the Netherlands, and Ukraine marked the first day of the CEV Volleyball European Golden League Men. With yesterday’s victories, they have taken a big step toward securing a ticket for the Final Four in late June. From there, teams will have an opportunity to qualify for the FIVB Challenger Cup, playing then to earn a spot in the 2020 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Spain – Estonia 3-1 (25:18, 25:18, 21:25, 25:19)
Andres Villena from Spain with 18 points and Hinderk Pulk from Estonia with 17 points scored were the top scorers of the match.
Fernando Muñoz, head coach of Team Spain: “It was a typical first game in competition. We need to continue and improve our level. We made a great performance in the two first sets.”
Gheorghe Cretu, head coach of Team Estonia: “We had some problems at the start. In the third set we raised to our level, playing better in the serve and spike. The last set was open to both teams. Three mistakes on our end gave Spain the definitive advantage.”
The Netherlands – Croatia 3-2 (25:20, 17:25, 26:24, 20:25, 15:10)
Nimir Abdelaziz from the Netherlands was the top scorer of the match with 26 points. In the Croatian team the best scorer was Marko Sedlacek with 20 points scored.
Roberto Piazza, head coach of The Netherlands: “I am very happy with this important first victory. This game, with its lots of ups and downs, was to be expected since we haven’t played a practice match. This victory is very important towards the Final Four.”
Finland – Ukraine 1-3 (30:28, 22:25, 17:25, 22:25)
The best scorers of the match were Samuli Kaislasalo from Finland with 15 points and Ian Iereshchenko from Ukraine with 18 points scored.
Antti Ronkainen, player of Team Finland: “We had a lot of chances to win points, sets and even the whole match but we didn’t use them like Ukraine did. We knew our opponent was very strong and physical. Our young players need these kind of experiences.”
Joel Banks, head coach of Team Finland: “Of course I wanted to give to the players and home crowd a win, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I am pretty satisfied with our performance, but we also have some things we need to improve.”
Source and Images: CEV