In first match of the day, Serbia destroys Netherlands in straight sets (25:18, 25:18, 25:17) in a match lasted 71 minutes.
European Champions have learned their lesson from a defeat against France just 24 hours later, and sweep the rivals in do-or-die match in Round 2 of the 2019 European Volleyball Olympic Qualifier in Berlin, Germany.
This was a do-or-die match for the continental rulers because they would say goodbye to the Tokyo event in the case of a defeat. The Netherlands had no relevant chances to extend the match even though they had a 6:2 lead in the 3rd set but then, Serbia made a 9:0 run.
Nemanja Petrić was the top scorer for Serbia with 15 points (79% attack, 11/14), while Thijs Ter Horst scored 12 points on the other side.
Nemanja Petric, Serbia’s Captain: “We made a great start today and were really aggressive on the service. All players had a great concentration and focus on the field. It is great to have a free day tomorrow because it is Christmas in Serbia. Of course we will need it to prepare for Bulgaria. This is an important game for us; they are a great team with a lot of strong players.”
Nimir Abdel-Aziz, The Netherlands’s Captain: “It was really a bad game from us and Serbia played well. That´s it. You don´t have a chance against teams like Serbia when you play this way.”
In second match, Bulgaria wins a battle lasted five sets, thus the things are now much more complicated in Pool B, after this match!
The Bulgarian national team has managed to defeated France in five sets and to create a huge opportunity to reach the semifinals of the Volleyball Olympic Qualifier. It was a tight game until the fifth set when Bulgaria had a really convincing performance, beating the rivals 15:8. Tsvetan Sokolov was the man of the match, scoring 23 points, while Jean Patry scored 20 points for France.
Laurent Tillie, France head coach: “Bulgaria played very well. Good attack, hard service and it went into a really good fight between us. Obviously it was a strange game as we don’t have the consistency at the moment. We have to work on it but we are still alive, so everything is ok and there is still the chance to reach the semis.”
Bulgarian captain Viktor Yosifov: “It was a crazy and tough match. We beat one of the best teams in Europe. We created a lot of trouble with our service which decided the match in the end. We are happy about the start and hope that we can continue that way.”
Germany will be playing in the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, after beating Belgium in straight sets 3-0 (25:18, 25:23, 26:24). Belgium have lost the chances of reaching the ticket for Tokyo, but it was really an exciting match.
Grozer was the top scorer of the match, while Belgian captain Sam Deroo made 19 points for Belgium.
2019 European Volleyball Olympic Qualifier, pool stage – Round 2:
Netherlands – Serbia 0-3 (18:25, 18:25, 17:25)
Bulgaria – France 3-2 (25:23, 17:25, 25:22, 19:25, 15:8)
Belgium – Germany 0-3 (18:25, 23:25, 24:26)