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Eurovolley2023: Round of 16 – Romania eliminates Croatia after a thrilling tie break. All easy for France against Bulgaria

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Round of 16 of 2023 CEV Eurovolley started today at Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, Bulgaria, with first two games.
And the first two teams to progress to quarterfinals are Romania, who eliminated Croatia at tie break after a 2-0 lead, and France, who sweep hosts Bulgaria in straight sets without major problems.

In details, in an amazing five-set battle, Romania, third in Pool D played in Israel, secured a 2-3 (17:25, 20:25, 25:17, 28:26, 12:15) victory against Croatia, advancing to the quarter-finals and marking their most significant progress in the competition since 1995.
Croatia, on the other hand, competed in Pool B in the same venue in Varna, securing the second position after the dominant Slovenia.
With remarkable victories over Ukraine, Spain, and Bulgaria, they only failed against Finland and unbeaten Slovenia.
Romania’s journey was equally noteworthy. Although they landed third in Pool D in Tel Aviv, they managed a good 3-2 win-loss record, including their stunning 3-1 win against Olympic champions, France. They also celebrated wins against Türkiye and Greece, while succumbing to Portugal and Israel.

Interestingly, Croatia triumph over Romania in all four encounters between 2014 and 2015!
But not today.
Romania took the field on a perfect way, leading 2-0 in sets, before Croatia made a desperate comeback in the third. The fourth set witnessed a dramatic contest and, although Romania was close to the victory at 24-23, the rivals managed a last-minute attempt, winning the set 28-26. The decisive fifth set saw Romania’s determination decisive, securing a 15-12 win despite Croatia’s several comeback attempts.

Alexandru Rata had an amazing performance scoring 30 points (and 61% in attack, including 2 winning blocks and 3 aces) to the Romania’s win. Close to him Croatia’s captain, Petar Dirlic, who scored 29 points through 51% in attack, including 4 winning blocks and 2 aces.

In the second game of the day, France has triumphantly secured a spot in the quarterfinals following a clear straight-set victory against hosts Bulgaria. Playing amidst the home fans in Varna, the Olympic champions sweep the home team with scores of 25:21, 25:21, and 25:15.
In the initial moments of the match Bulgaria, led by their supporters, start better. However, their momentum was canceled with Earvin Ngapeth, who scored decisive points to overturn the score. This shift, marked by Ngapeth’s ace and monster blocks, paved the way for France’s first set win at 25-21.
France continued to push also into the second set, with resounding 8-1 start. Despite Bulgaria’s desperate efforts and improved blocking, they couldn’t stop the growing gap, eventually falling again with the score of 25-21.
In the French team showcased their all their power with five aces, completely destroying the rivals and taking their victory with a resounding 25-15 score.
Middle blocker Barthelemy Chinenyeze stood out with a 77% attack record and 13 points, closely followed by Timothee Carle, who also contributed 10 points.
Bulgaria’s top scorer was middle blocker Aleks Grozdanov, who scored 10 points too.

With this win, France will face Romania in the quarterfinals, a rematch following their earlier encounter in the group stage (and, as already mentioned above, they lose with the score of 3-1…).

Tomorrow, on Saturday, here in Varna, Slovenia will face Türkiye while Portugal will play against Ukraine.
In Bari, Italy, the hosts and defending champions will face North Macedonia, while The Netherland will play against Germany.


🏐| CEV EUROVOLLEY 2023 | All results of September 8

ROUND OF 16 | Palace of Culture and Sports | Varna 🇧🇬

• 17.30 (Local Time) | Croatia (2B) – Romania (3D) 2-3 (17:25, 20:25, 25:17, 28:26, 12:15)

• 20.30 (Local Time) | France (1D) – Bulgaria (4B) 3-0 (25:21, 25:21, 25:15)


🏐| NEXT GAMES | Saturday, September 9, 2023

ROUND OF 16 | Palace of Culture and Sports | Varna 🇧🇬
• 17.30 (Local Time) | Slovenia (1B) – Türkiye (4D)
• 20.30 (Local Time) | Portugal (2D) – Ukraine (3B)

ROUND OF 16 | Palaflorio | Bari 🇮🇹
• 18.00 (Local Time) | Italy (1A) – North Macedonia (4C)
• 21.00 (Local Time) | The Netherlands (2C) – Germany (3A)


🏐| SPECIAL EUROVOLLEY 2023 | Quick links:

Eurovolley 2023 Calendar
All News


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