Spectators in Herning can see demanding group, in which everyone can be winner. Huge proof for this statement is surprise made by Slovenia in Balkan game against Serbia. In second game “Suomi” beats “Oranje”.



SLOVENIA – SERBIA 3-1 (20-25 25-23 25-22 25-19)

Line-ups and scores:
Slovenia: Ropret, Urnaut (15), Pajenk (12), Gasparini (17), Cebulj (12), Kamnik (6), Plot (L) Vidic, Pokersnik, Flajs, Vincic (2), Sket (2)
Serbia: Jovovic, Nikic (5), Lisinac (6), Atanasijevic (21), Kovacevic (17), Podrascanin (6), Rosic (L) and Rasic (1), Petkovic (1), Stankovic (3), Petric

The first set started with a serving error from both teams and it seemed like they needed some time to adjust to the arena with many technical errors in a very even first set. No team could get a lead by more than a few points until Serbia pulled away at the end of the first set, 25-20.

Slovenia came out to the second set on fire, eager to come back in the game. They were up 3-0 and dominated the set. Serbia started clawing back and was at 4:5 in a set that saw many short plays and a lot of technical errors. Serbian hard hitter, opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic, both earned his team a lot of points with hard and precise serves and lost points with serves in the net or out of bounds. Slovenia got the edge and made less mistakes than Serbia to win the second set 25-23.

Was this the start of a sensation? Slovenia had the edge in the third set as well acing out the Serbs with several great aces and Serbia continued to make more mistakes than the opponents. Slovenia was on track for the third set which they won 25-22 after Serbia got level at 17-17.

The fourth set saw Serbia aggressive and determined leading 9-3 before Slovenia got the nerves under control and started to get back in the set with good attacking and defending at the net. Slovenia had the right confidence and believed they could win over the defending champions in the first match of EuroVolley 2013 in Herning. Serbia took the lead 14-11 but continued to make technical errors. Slovenia had their part of errors and most points in this match were determined after short rallies. Slovenia showed most initiative and completed the sensation as they beat 2011 European gold medallists Serbia.

“First of all I want to congratulate Slovenia on their win. I think that we chose the hard way to go through these Championships losing the first game. They played better than us but we can still go through from the group” said Serbia captain Dragan Stankovic.
“This is the biggest win ever in Slovenian Volleyball and we are very proud of this achievement. But this is only one game, so the guys need to think about the game with Finland. It is a shower, dinner and straight to bed as we still have a lot of work to do to make it through to the next stage” Slovenia mentor Luka Slabe said.

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsSlovenia4949%11627%60%37Serbia4345%8920%46%32

Team Leaders:


ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsMitja Gasparini171350%047Aleksandar Atanasijevic211544%2414



FINLAND – NETHERLANDS 3-1 (23-25 25-22 27-25 25-20)

Line-ups and scores:
Finland: Esko (4), Kunnari (19), Shumov (9), Sivula (21), Siltala (8), Ma.Oivanen (9), Kerminen (L) and Tervaportti, Rajala, Mi.Oivanen (1)
Netherlands: Abdel-Aziz (5), Maan (12), Koelewijn (7), Klapwijk (23), Rauwerdink (9), Kooistra (9), Jorna (L) and Ter Horst, Freriks (1)

Finns started game better, having 5 points advantage during first techincal time out (8-3). Throughout whole set Dutch players chased the result, having only one point behind at second technical time out (16-15). Good performance by opposite Niels Klapwijk and setter Nilmir Abdel-Aziz helped “Oranje” in taking first set over (23-25).

Good performance by Dutch team lasted also at the beginning of second set, though game on both sides was quite equal. Netherlands throughout bigger part of set had small advantage (7-8, 14-16). After second TTO, team coached by Tuomas Sammelvuo started serving better, which gives them benefits. Dutch team struggled in reception and “Suomi” took control, grabbing second set (25-22).

Finland played consequently also in third set, gaining lead from beginning (8-4). Team coached by Edwin Benne tried to come back to the game, but couldn’t be closer because of numerous simple mistakes. “Suomi” had quite big advantage to take set without nerves, but squandered it. Dutch players got even setballs, but didn’t use it, Finland didn’t make the same mistake and won set after dramatic finale (27-25).

“Oranje” didn’t give up in fourth set and led 5-8, however it was their last dash. The longer set lasted, the worse was game by Netherlands. Finland used this chance, getting small advantage (16-14, 21-19). Some points in last part of game got setter Mikko Esko and outside hitter Antti Siltala. “Suomi” finish off “Oranje” and got win after 4 sets (25-20). Team’s leader was opposite Urpo Sivula with 21 points.

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsFinland4341%23548%81%27Netherlands5041%12435%69%33

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsUrpo Sivula211740%406Niels Klapwijk232043%2111

Description and press conference: CEV

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