Men’s Silver #EuroLeague: Croatia Downs Belarus for 1st; Latvia Earns Bronze

  0 Derek Johnson | June 16th, 2018 | European volleyball, International Volleyball, News


Pool play finished up today in the 2018 Men’s European Volleyball League, leaving us with just the Final Four to play. The Golden League has also come to a close, with Estonia taking down Czech Republic in the final and both teams qualifying for the Men’s Challenger Cup. The Silver League doesn’t provide that opportunity, but does give one for relegation to the Golden League next year as the tournament finished up today.


In the 15th edition of the Men’s European Volleyball League, the tournament is split into two divisions: a 12-team Golden League and an eight-team Silver League. All teams are split into four-team pools for their division. In the Golden League, all three pool winner plus Czech Republic (or the team in second if they win their pool), the Final Round host, advance. In the Silver League, the winner of each pool, the next best team and host-Macedonia will advance to the last four.

Overall, this event acts as a qualifier for two teams to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Challenger Cup, which provides an opportunity to make the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Nations League.


Silver League:

  • Skopje, Republic of Macedonia | Boris Trajkovski

Gold Medal Match


  • Croatia def. Belarus 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23)
  • Croatia wins Gold at 7-1; Belarus earns Silver at 6-2

The Croatian side’s chances of winning gold looked bleak in the semifinals, as they trailed 0-2 to Macedonia. From there on, they won six of their next seven sets of action to not just overcome the hole but take out Belarus for first place and the gold medal while the losing side earned silver.

Croatia was all about risk-reward from the serve line, and had 21 serve errors but 11 aces. That aggressiveness kept Belarus out of system at times too, contributing to a four set win with a narrow final two games. In total, just one player for Belarus logged double digit points in Andrei Radziuk (12 points) compared to four for the Croatians, led by outbursts from Leo Andric (29 points) and Danijel Galic (20 points).

Bronze Medal Match


  • Latvia def. Macedonia 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 23-25, 28-26)
  • Latvia wins Bronze at 7-1; Macedonia finishes fourth at 2-6

These two teams had different paths to losses in the semifinals, but it was similar heartbreak. For Latvia, they were undefeated before suffering a defeat in the round. Macedonia on the other hand was 2-4, but held a 2-0 lead at home and could not hold it. In a chance for redemption and Bronze medals, Latvia came out on top in a thrilling four-set finish.

At the end of the day, the serve may have been the difference – as it was in the championship match. Latvia recorded seven more aces (9-2) on two less serve errors (16-18) and slowed the Macedonia attack. Aleksander Ljaftov (20 points) wasn’t effected much, but no other player for the home nation had more than seven points. Switch to Latvia, where a quarter logged over 13 points, led by Romans Sauss (15 points).



Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
15 Jun 17:00 Belarus  3–0  Latvia 25–18 25–22 25–15 75–55 Report
15 Jun 20:00 Croatia  3–2  Macedonia 21–25 22–25 25–22 25–20 15–9 108–101 Report

3rd place match

Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
16 Jun 16:00 Latvia  3–1  Macedonia 25–20 25–16 23–25 28–26 101–87 Report


Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
16 Jun 19:00 Belarus  1–3  Croatia 16–25 25–20 24–26 23–25 88–96 Report

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