2018 MEDITERRANEAN GAMES (INDOOR MEN’S VOLLEYBALL):
- Tarragona, Spain
- June 22-July 1, 2018
The Mediterranean Games, a collection of nations to compete in a myriad of sports including volleyball, is starting in 2018 as opposed to its normal four-year cycle of 2009, 2013, 2017 after the host needed to push it back a tad. For men’s volleyball, pool play has now come to a close as we head to the semifinals to help determine the champion.
In total, there were four different pools, each consisting of a trio of teams. Following a quick round-robin, the lowest ranked team in each pool was eliminated with the top two moving on to the quarterfinals. After that, we move on to the semifinals for both the winners bracket and the 5th-8th place classification with the final ‘other’ matches on June 30 and the championship on July 1.
ITALY DEF. EGYPT 3-0
- Italy def. Egypt 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-19)
- Italy moves to the Finals at 4-0; Egypt falls to the 3rd place match at 2-2
Italy continues to roll through this event, not blinking an eye in a sweep of Egypt. That sets up the Italians to be one win away from gold at the games in a few days, while Egypt will still have an opportunity for an impressive tournament finish and a bronze in the third place match tomorrow.
Egypt actually had the better block (9-8) and hung around in kills (32-26 for Italy), but they could not serve aggressively enough or receive the serve well enough, leading to a 14-1 deficit in aces. That quieted the Egyptian attack, where no player scored more than seven points compared to five at seven or more for Italy, led by Sebastiano Milan (17 points), Giacomo Raffaelli (12 points) and Oreste Cavuto (11 points).
SPAIN DEF. GREECE 3-0
- Spain def. Greece 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-16)
- Spain moves to the Finals at 4-0; Greece falls to the 3rd place match at 2-2
The Spanish men’s team got some revenge on Greece for their female counterparts after Greece took down Spain in the Women’s Quarterfinals yesterday. In the Men’s Semifinals though, the Spanish side was too good in front of their home crowd, as they head to the championship match undefeated to face the defending winners in Italy. Greece meanwhile can still earn a top three finish against Egypt.
As went the match, everything favored Spain on the stat sheet; kills (35-26), blocks (8-4), aces (8-4) and opponent errors (23-21). Most of that came after a tight first though, where the wheels fell of for Greece after Nikos Zoupani (8 points) scored five in the opener but was held to just three points in the final two games yet still led the nation in scoring. Meanwhile for Spain, Andres J. Villena (19 points) scored nine points in the first set alone and two more Spaniards added that magic number of nine to lead to the result.
5th-8th Place Classification:
CROATIA DEF. TURKEY 3-2
- Croatia def. Turkey 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 15-10)
- Croatia moves to the 5th place match at 2-2; Turkey falls to the 7th place match at 2-2
In an exciting back-and-forth match, Croatia upended the Turkish side in five sets to move on to the 5th place match tomorrow. Not only was it a surprise in terms of who won, but how it happened as well after Turkey led 2-1 in sets. Nonetheless, the presence of Petar Dirlic (22 points) and two others at 13 points was enough to overcome Mert Matic (18 points) and Turkey, who had didn’t find as much success with other top options.
TUNISIA DEF. FRANCE 3-1
- Tunisia def. France 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23)
- Tunisia moves to the 5th place match at 2-2; France falls to the 7th place match at 2-2
France went 2-0 in the group stage, but now has lost two in a row, as Tunisia downed them in four sets for an opportunity at a top five finish. Both teams saw a strong individual performance of 17 points from Hamza Nagga for Tunisia and Julien Winkelmuller for France. Amazingly, France had 12 more kills (45-33), one more ace (10-9) and just one less block, but they were sloppy throughout and finished with 21 more team errors – an amazing 51 in four sets.