Serbia National Team recorded a great victory against Germany without any problems in their first match at the 2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship, even if this was supposed to be a match for the top spot in Pool B in Brussels and Antwerp (Belgium). However Serbia easily defeated Germany in straight sets, partially 25:21, 25:17, 25:15. EuroVolley runners-up Germany had a chance only in the opening set in which György Grozer managed to impose his play. But it all vanished in the rest of the match. As a matter of fact, German superstar underperformed: his attack success rate was bad (36%; 5/14) and he finished the match on single digits (6 points) which does not happen to him very often. On the other side, Aleksandar Atanasijević top-scored for Serbia with 14 points, allowing the new head coach Slobodan Kovač to make a successful debut at official matches.
In a super match, Slovakia have managed to defeat Spain in the tie-break to earn the win at the EuroVolley 3-2 (25:23, 25:23, 20:25, 16:25, 18:16). Peter Michalovic had a fantastic performance for the winning side, scoring 26 points, while Jesus Vilena scored more points, finishing the match with 33 points on the other side.
Andres Villena – Opposite of Spain, best scorer of the match
“In sets one and two we were always in the lead, so we could have won this game in three. It’s no use that I scored 34 points – you win as a team. And in this case, it was the other team.”
Andrej Kravarik – Coach of Slovakia
“If my heart were not so strong, it would be broken. Even in the first two sets, which we won, it was such a big fight. And a tie-breaker is always a lottery. But we are very pleased with this start of the tournament.”
Led by a fantastic crowd of supporters of both sides, Belgium and Austria played a good match, in which the home side emerged with a straight-set victory. While in the first and the third sets Belgium were clearly in control of the scoreboard, in the second, Austria put on a fight and the home side had to survive a late Austrian comeback. Belgium’s Hendrik Tuerlinckx and Austria’s Thomas Zass and Alexander Berger shared the top-scoring honours of the match with 11 points each, while Thomas Rousseaux also contributed with four of the home team’s seven winning blocks that made the biggest difference in this match.
2019 CEV European Volleyball Championship, pool stage – Day 2:
POOL A (Montpellier, France)
Bulgaria – Romania 3-0 (28:26, 25:20, 25:20)
Italy – Greece 3-1 (17:25, 25:23, 25:19, 25:18)
POOL B (Brussels & Antwerp, Belgium)
Serbia – Germany 3-0 (25:21, 25:17, 25:15)
Slovakia – Spain 3-2 (25:23, 25:23, 20:25, 16:25, 18:16)
Belgium – Austria 3-0 (25:17, 25:23, 25:17)
POOL C (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
North Macedonia – Turkey 0-3 (20:25, 23:25, 13:25)
Belarus – Russia 1-3 (25:23, 17:25, 22:25, 10:25)
POOL D (Rotterdam & Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Czech Republic – Ukraine 1-3 (21:25, 19:25, 25:19, 22:25)
Estonia – Poland 1-3 (22:25, 27:25, 22:25, 17:25)
Netherlands – Montenegro 3-0 (25:13, 25:17, 25:15)
Source and Photos: CEV