National Team News
National Team News
After Leg 3 of the CEV Volleyball European Silver League 2022, two teams remain unbeaten - Sweden and Portugal, who in straight sets beat Luxembourg and Slovenia, respectively, on Wednesday evening. Both encounters looked very similar, as after pretty competitive opening sets, Sweden and Portugal enlarged their advantage on the court. Isabelle Haak and Alexandra Lazic were scoring machines of Sweden, once Julia Kavalenka powered Portugal to the second home victory.
Seeking their chance for the first win in front of the home crowd, Luxembourg opened the game pretty well, keeping the pace with Sweden. Emma Van Elslande was the leader of the home side, scoring six points and recording 86% success in attack, but it was not enough against Sweden, powered by Isabelle Haak (8 points), who in decisive moments proved better.
The visiting side enjoyed a perfect start to the next set, taking a 6-0 lead. Alexandra Lazic decided to join Haak on the top scorers chart and these two made Sweden unstoppable. They kept the momentum also in the third set, making block their powerful weapon (5 stuff blocks). Luxembourg couldn't find any answer, winning only three points by themselves, next seven were given to them by Sweden from their own mistakes. Isabelle Haak topped the scorers chart with 18 points, Lazic recorded two points less.
It looks that Portugal built their castle in Centro Cultural de VIANA DO CASTELO. Their second home game at this venue brought them a second win. After a competitive beginning of the match, the hosts, step by step, were taking a more significant advantage. With an impressive performance from the service line - 6 aces, including 3 from Julia Kavalenka - Portugal prevailed over Slovenia after 28 minutes of play. Slovenia couldn't find a way to quickly shake off after losing the opener, which was consequently pointed by Portugal. The hosts took an early lead and they improved further, reaching a maximum of 13 points at 21-8. Even if Slovenia managed to reduce the gap a bit, the distance was too long and Portugal closed it at 25-14.
In the third part, Portugal was caught napping, actually twice. They started the set being behind, but they quickly made it up and took a 21-15 lead and got a first chance to close the set at 24-20, then Masa Pucelj served three aces. However, the fourth opportunity was not wasted. Katia Oliveira's block gave the home team their second win. Kavalenka topped the scorer's chart with 20 points and 63% efficiency in attack.
Sweden and Portugal will lock horns on Saturday in Lund, while Slovenia will look for an opportunity to bounce back in the match against Estonia.