Israel secure title in the 2024 CEV Volleyball European Silver League Men, Finland get closer to the trophy in the Women's competition


Article Fri, Jun 14 2024
Author: Adrian Costeiu

Israel secured the title in the 2024 CEV Volleyball European Silver League Men, with a fantastic comeback in the final against hosts Austria, cutting a two-set deficit to clinch a 3:2 win, with a roller-coaster of a fifth set delivering the co-hosts of the CEV EuroVolley 2023 Men the title.

The two sides have previously met twice in the league round, with Israel taking two wins, 3:2 (25:23; 25:17; 26:28; 23:25; 16:14) and 3:0 (25:20; 25:21; 25:15), but this time around Austria recorded the better start and dominated the first two sets, going agonisingly close to the title.

After taking the first two sets, 25:22 and 27:25, Austria were in the driver’s seat, especially as the final was on their home court,, in the UVC Raiffeisen Volleydome in Ried im Innkreis, but Israel woke up and delivered a fantastic finish to the match, tilting everything into their balance.

A 25:19 win in the third set signalled a comeback, as outside spikers Shay Mayo Liberman and Iliya Goldrin entered the groove, combining for 36 points. Another outside spiker, Mark Rura, also shined on the court, delivering 19 points, as Israel fought through thick and thin and secured a 29:27 win in the fourth set, pushing the match into a do-or-die situation.

Austria started better and even had the lead, 5:4, but from that moment on, Israel took control and had a one or two-points advantage throughout the whole set. After two missed match points, a block from Ofeck Hazan delivered the win, 16:14, as Israel celebrated a huge win and a crucial trophy for their development.

In the first leg of the final of the 2024 CEV Volleyball European Silver League Women, Finland extended their winning run to seven matches, taking their first win of the final, a 3:0 dominating performance against Portugal, which sets the Scandinavian side up for a title.

Finland had previously secured six wins in six matches in the league round, dropping only three sets, continuing their excellent run of form in the first leg of the final, played on Portugal’s home court.

There was nothing Portugal could do to steady the ship, after dropping the first set, 17:25. The closest they could get was in the second set, 21:25, but with Finland’s Rosa Bjarregaard-Madsen and Ada Aronen combining for 33 points, the match was literally over.

The third set in the Desportivo Municipal de Santo Tirso had no real story to be told, as Finland jumped to a dominating 25:11 win, as they now need to secure only two sets in the second leg, played in Tampere, on Sunday, 16 June, to clinch the trophy