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09/01/2020 23:59
France vs. Germany for one ticket to Tokyo
CEV Tokyo Volleyball European Qualification 2020 - Men

Berlin, Germany, January 9, 2020.  France will face hosts Germany in the final of the men’s continental Olympic qualifier in Berlin on Friday, which will determine who puts their hands on single available Tokyo 2020 ticket. The French mounted a remarkable return from two sets behind in Thursday’s first semifinal against Slovenia. In the second, Germany knocked Bulgaria out in four sets.

Semifinal: Slovenia vs. France 2-3 (25-13, 25-22, 14-25, 21-25, 9-15)

France accomplished a phenomenal comeback from two sets down in their semifinal against Slovenia to emerge with a 3-2 (13-25, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, 15-9) victory and a spot in Friday’s decider. With Toncek Stern leading the way with eight points, Slovenia left France no chance to properly enter the match in the first set and completely outplayed the opponents. They stormed in on an 8-2 run and continued to expand the gap towards a 25-13 landslide. The second set was less one-sided, but Stern continued to spike away to keep his team in control. He nailed eight points in attack including the one that ended the set at 25-22 to double Slovenia’s lead. The Slovenes maintained a slight lead for a while in the beginning of the third set, but after 10-8, the French resurrected for their spectacular comeback with a 13-1 run to break away with a 21-11 advantage and then cruise on comfortably to a 25-14 close. With four in a row, France went 10-7 ahead in the fourth set and took control of the scoreboard for good. They piled up as many as eight kill blocks towards the 25-21 win, with Jean Patry spiking the last point, to level the match. Antoine Brizard exploded with three aces within a five-point run, which gave France an 8-3 advantage in the tie-breaker. Through the end, the French were unstoppable. Nicolas Le Goff hit the winner for 15-9 to complete the incredible turnaround. Jean Patry’s 22 points made him the best scorer of the match. Toncek Stern accounted for 20 on the Slovenian side.

Semifinal: Bulgaria vs. Germany 1-3 (20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 23-25)

In the second semifinal of the European qualification tournament in Berlin, the German team capitalised on the great support of the home crowd to put a stop on Bulgaria’s winning streak with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23) victory. Ruling at the net, in both attacking and blocking, Germany prevailed throughout the first set. Denys Kaliberda was the man of the set delivering three spikes and three stuffs towards the win, which setter Lukas Kampa fixed at 25-20, surprising the Bulgarians with a hit on second touch for the last point. As the second set started unfolding in favour of the Germans leading to a gap as wide as seven points, Bulgaria’s coach Silvano Prandi made some changes to his line-up and the team almost caught up in the money time. Andrea Giani’s boys, however, held up and Tobias Krick hit through the middle for the 25-23 win that gave the Germans a two-set lead in the match. The third set was very competitive through 18-18, but then Bulgaria scored four times in a row to run off with a 22-18 lead and never looked back. Tsvetan Sokolov found a clever way to finish the set with an elegant off-the-block hit for 25-20. The fierce battle continued throughout the fourth set as well. What made the big difference were Krick’s fantastic blocks and the prolific spiking of Christian Fromm. But when it mattered the most, at the back end of a double German match point, it was György Grozer who took the responsibility to spike the winner and close it off at 25-23. Grozer was his team’s best scorer of the match with 17 points to his name, one short of Bulgaria’s Sokolov.

For further information, visit the official event website

News nr. 4 of 17
10/01/2020 23:12:00
France on their way to Tokyo!
08/01/2020 23:59:00
Bulgaria v Germany and Slovenia v France in Berlin semifinal match-ups

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