Russia, Italy, Serbia and Bulgaria all lost the first set in their respective quarterfinals matches but bounced back in the next three to notch semifinals seats in the 2013 Men’s European Volleyball Championships in Poland and Denmark.
European Volleyball Championsh
2013 Euro Volley - Italy def. Finland
World No. 2 Russia ousted France with a scoreline of 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21. The Andrei Voronkov-coached team was led by Nikolay Pavlov and Dmitriy Muserkiy, who had 18 points apiece and had ample help from Alexey Spiridonov (10) and Dmitriy Ilinykh (11) who also finished with double-figures scores.
“My goal number one was to break the great defence of France and when we did it, we started to improve this element in our team,” said Voronkov in a quote from eurovolley2013.dk.
And the Russians did attack France’s vaunted defense, which only produced 4 blocks the entire match. Russia had a total of 50 attack points whilst also playing good defense on the net with a total of 12 blocks.
In another quarterfinals match, Italy defeated Finland, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22. Finnish Urpo Sivula finished with a game-high of 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Italians.
“We again had to change the starting six and that affected our performance in the first set. We have to find the balance in our game, but when that came together in the second set, I think we play very good.”
Coach Mauro Berruto said in an interview with eurovolley2013.dk.
Indeed, the Italians needed a balanced attack and got what they were looking for as four players finished with 14 points or more for Italy led by Ivan Zaystev (18), Luca Vettori (17), Thomas Beretta (14) and Emanuele Birarelli (14).
Serbia and Bulgaria completed the semifinals cast with similar 4-set wins over Belgium and Germany, respectively.
2013 Men’s European Volleyball Championships Scores
Quarterfinals – Sept 25, 2013 (Wednesday)
Venues: NR Gi Arena (Aarhus, Denmark) and Hala Ergo Arena (Gdańsk/Sopot, Poland)
Italy def. Finland, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22
Russia def. France, 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21
Serbia def. Belgium, 22-25, 25-22, 30-28, 25-18
Bulgaria def. Germany, 28-30, 27-25, 25-22, 25-20
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