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08/01/2012 21:00
Sweden sweeps three matches in Brcko to qualify for second round
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Men

Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, January 8, 2012. Sweden’s guys qualified for the second round of the 2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship by sweeping all of their matches at the first round qualifier that was completed this Saturday in Brcko. Sweden joins Pool A that will take place in Montenegro to be joined by the hosts, plus the national teams of Italy, Greece, Finland and Belarus.
The Swedes opened their campaign on Thursday by resisting to a furious comeback of the hosts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who loudly supported by the home crowd, fought back from two sets down (21-25, 20-25) to call for the tie-break (25-22, 26-24). There captain Wilhelm Nilsson and his friends got together to go for the final 11-15, by performing well especially with their blocks (the team totaled 9 at the end of the match). “We are disappointed but the Swedish team is good and their coach is able to orchestrate the group very well. We improved the quality of our play in set 3 and 4 but did not stand the pressure in the tie-break” commented home head coach Ljubisa Ristic.

Bosnia got back some hope after claiming another five-setter on Friday, this time edging England whose best attacker, Jermaine Milers, scored a total of 31 points. “It was a tough match and the Bosnian guys simply improved the quality of their play throughout the game” commented English mentor Rogerio Ponticelli. “They were also helped by their great fans here in Brcko”.
Sweden scored a second win by defeating Lithuania 3:1 (25-15, 22-25, 27-25, 29-27) in a match that gradually turned into a neck-to-neck race, especially in set 3 and 4. Johan Martensson (29 points) and Wilhelm Nilsson (16) stood out for the Swedish side. “We showed some excellent team spirit” commented enthusiastically head coach Goran Persson.   

Sweden eventually crowned its campaign in Brcko with a speedy 3:0 win over England (25-21, 25-18, 25-20) to book a spot for the second round of the European Championship coming up in April.
It was a splendid display of composure and team work for the Swedish side that dictated the tempo all the way through once again well anchored by Nilsson (14 points) and Martensson (10).
“This success does not come as a surprise because we prepared really well for this tournament” singles out coach Persson. “It was very important to win the first match with Bosnia and then we could play with more confidence our next games”.
The tournament was rounded out by the defeat of the home guys, who went through their third consecutive five-setter, eventually losing to Lithuania (19-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 12-15) to finish third in the final standings of the group. “I am not surprised by the victory of Lithuania because we had a chance to bring it home in the tie-break but we did not exploit it. My team is still young and very inexperienced, so this tournament has been a valuable help for the future. We have to take our lessons and work hard for the next competitions” concludes home mentor Ljubisa Ristic.

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08/01/2012 20:00:00
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