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09/10/2016 21:35
Road to #EuroVolleyW – Hungary storm back from heavy loss to book ticket to Azerbaijan and Georgia after golden set win
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Érd, Hungary, October 9, 2016. After losing in three sets the first matchup with Romania they contested last week in Piatra Neamt, Hungary women’s national team fought their way back to first claim the re-match by 3-1 (14-25, 25-11, 27-25, 25-19) and after that also the golden set that followed (15-13) to secure their progression to the Final Round of the 2017 women’s EuroVolley. Hungary will be making their second consecutive appearance in Europe’s premier competition for national teams – after their historic comeback in 2015 which came after a long hiatus lasting for 28 years.

Romania came out with all guns blazing and it looked like they started from where they left last week – taking four straight points before Hungary claimed their first one. Romania stormed to a five-point lead at the first technical time-out before Hungary came within just one point later on. However, Romania set the pace for the remainder of the set, thus closing it out with a more than comfortable 25-14 win.

Hungary surged back in the second set and claimed the lead with the help of their star players Greta Szakmary, Dora Horvath and Zsuzsanna Talas. The coaches could not hide their nervousness and received each a yellow card before Romania closed in by narrowing their deficit down to just two points. Romania coach Davide Delmati incurred in yet another yellow card, this resulting in one extra point for Hungary which eventually won the set as Adina Salaoru served out of bounds (25-22). 

The score remained tight in the early stages of the third set where both teams played to the best of their abilities as they knew this could prove decisive towards determining the final outcome of the match. In the end, Hungary survived to three Romanian set balls – if they had converted just one of these, Romania would have secured their progression to the Final Round – before emerging victorious at 27-25. That same close fight continued in the fourth set – but Hungary edged ahead towards the end and Horvath cashed the first of five match balls for the home side (25-19).

A golden set was then played to determine the eventual winners of this double header. Hungary claimed an early three-point lead and this prompted a Romanian time-out. Delmati stopped the actions once again as Hungary stormed to a 10-6 lead and he got the desired effect, as Romania came closer. The score was levelled at 13-all – but after that Szakmary stamped a terrific block and she repeated that same action a few moments later to secure Hungary’s participation in the Final Round of the 2017 women’s EuroVolley.

Jan De Brandt, head coach of Hungary (pictured above): “We played terrible at the beginning of the match. The key moment came in the third set, and after that we were just unstoppable. It is another historic achievement for Hungarian Volleyball and I am of course happy with that.”

Davide Delmati, head coach of Romania: “It is hard to say anything, because we failed to qualify after a golden set. Hungary showed tonight that they have a great team. We fought as much as we could, but we made some mistakes in the key moments.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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