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20/05/2012 20:46
Latvia thrashes Cyprus to qualify to next round
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Limassol, Cyprus, May 20, 2012. Latvia scored a convincing away victory in straight sets (12-25, 24-26, and 22-25) over Cyprus Sunday night to qualify for the second round of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women in combination with their straight-set home victory a week earlier in Riga.
Following a disastrous first set for the home team and a 0:5 lead by Latvia in the second, Cyprus managed to somewhat pull together and rallied for six straight and took the lead, widening to as many as four points by 17:13 and 18:14. But Latvia inched back to tie the score at 22:22 and cancelled Cyprus’ sole set-ball at 24:23, going for three points on unforced and inexcusable grave errors and a block of Sandra Breiksa on Irina Koudouna finished it off at 24-26.
With its dying breath in the third set, Cyprus dropped an early lead (7:3) and barely managed to attempt a comeback from 17:23 when they narrowed the gap to 21:23, before Lana Sorokina scored the two decisive points to end the match. Eventually, Cyprus was betrayed by the players brought on to come back from the defeat of the first match, setter Tania Timokhova Siskou and outside hitter Manolina Konstantinou.

“This match was very similar to the first, last week,” said Latvia’s head coach, Janis Leitis. “We won an easy first set and were a little confused in the second, but eventually we were mentally tougher. Whenever we served well, we were the better team”.

“The way in which we lost the second set was suicidal,” said the head coach of Cyprus, Manolis Roumeliotis. “The only positive aspect of this match was the performance of our junior players, who justified their inclusion in the senior team”.

Latvia had six aces to Cyprus’ four and added 13 block points to 10. The visiting team also out-attacked the home team with 43/96 (45%) to 33/97 (34%). Another deciding factor was the 25 unforced errors of Cyprus. Breiksa was top scorer of the match with 20 points, followed by her teammate Viktorija Brice with 17. Irina Koudouna scored ten points to emerge as Cyprus’ best scorer.
Latvia will now enter the second round Pools scheduled for next September, joining Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Click here for more information, including detailed stats of the match

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