Spain beat Slovenia in five set thriller at the 2011 CEV Youth European Championship

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Spain beat Slovenia in five set thriller at the 2011 CEV Youth European Championship

The final round of the 2011 CEV Girls’ Youth European Championship is underway in Ankara, Turkey. The most influential final phase of the championship was officially kicked off on 30th April with 12 girls’ teams. A total of six matches were played
on the opening day, while the game progressed with the same format. After exhibiting a shaky performance in their first match, Spanish girls made a great come-back and held off Slovenian team for 3:2 (25-19, 26-24, 20-25, 23-25, 15-8) victory on Sunday, 1st
May. In the final round opener, Spain was defeated by Serbia in straight sets. However, Spain recovered from the shock of defeat by clinching success in the second match. The incredible show of volleyball was staged at the Baskent Sports Hall in TVF Complex.

First set

Spanish team opened the game on a good note. They used Jessica Revero to put some early pressure on the Slovenian side. Spaniards hit the mark with 2-point lead at the first technical timeout (8-6). Amelia Portero of Spain set a great pace for her team with
convincing serves. She threw the ball skilfully and chipped important points. On the other hand, Slovenian side took time to settle down in their positions. Elena Kucej of Slovenia stood against Spanish side and put up resistance. However, Spain kept on moving
ahead and managed to further stretch the gap of points. Slovenia lagged behind with a difference of four points at the second technical timeout (16-12). Eva Mori and captain girl Nika Blagne fought for Slovenia but couldn’t avoid the chances dropping first
set. Spain secured opening set by posting 25-19.

Second set

The loss of opening set simply put Slovenian team in rage. They hit back strongly in the following set and seemed all up for seeking revenge. They started the heavy strike of volleys and pushed Spaniards behind the attack line. They seemed to have their
form back and sparked on the scene with as early 6-1 lead. Spanish team was in utter surprise to see the response in second set. At the first technical timeout, Spain trailed behind with 3 points (5-8). Taking full advantage of the situation, Slovenia put
more pressure on the opposite side. As a result, Spain suffered the set-back and fell victim to the killing spikes and deadly aces of Slovenian players. Slovenia kept its dominance up till the second technical break. Afterwards, Spain attacked with Rivero
and Portero. The good combination of Spaniards helped them come out of the blues. The Spanish musketeers managed to steal points and minimized the gap. The spirited effort of Spanish hitters helped them crop out good results in the end. On contrary, Slovenia
had to regret about the loss of another set. Spanish side extended their lead to 2-0 by winning second set (26-24).

Third set

Despite of great effort and hard work, Slovenia failed to put up with the Spanish side. After dropping two sets in a row, they were caught up in a great psychological pressure. Nonetheless, the Slovenian team continued with their effort in third set. They
hit powerfully and built a lead of 8-5 at the first mandatory stop. Nika Blagne, the captain of Slovenian team played tactfully and grabbed much attention for her prolific shots. She stamped consecutive points and didn’t allow Spain to hinder their performance
this time. Slovenia moved on to second technical timeout with a lead of 16-11. They had learnt a great lesson in the previous set, so they didn’t repeat the silly mistakes in third set. Slovenian side staged a sensible game and captured third set with the
final score of 25-20.

Fourth set

Meanwhile, the game entered fourth flight and the raged up Spaniards started out well. They picked up a lead of four points at the FTT but resilient rivals, Slovenian team bounced back in the game. They chased the score and even surpassed Spain at the second
technical timeout. The useful lead of a single-point helped them pull off success in fourth set (25-23)

Final set

The final decisive set was the real test of skills of both teams. Spaniard made a difference and proved to be better team. They started off with 4-point lead and restricted opponents to a fairly low score. Slovenia could only help 8 points in fifth set,
while Spain hit the finish line and declared match victory.   

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