Russia Tops Pool A After Close Call vs. Greece

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 02nd, 2017 | European volleyball, International Volleyball, News

FIVB World Championships – European Qualification Women

May 24- June 4, 2017


Russia is the lone undefeated team left in Pool A, after surviving a four-set battle with Greece. Austria and Hungary also were victors on Day 3 of action in Osijek, Croatia.


Austria 3, Georgia 0

The Austrians were well in control of the match by the first timeout of each set and cruised to the 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Georgia on Friday.

The difference in the match was the Austrian attack, which hit at a 52 percent efficiency, compared to a 28 percent effort for Georgia. The Georgians committed 30 errors in the match, including 16 from the service line.

“This is our second victory at this tournament and I am very proud of my team,” Austrian coach Svetlana Ilic said. “We have been working really hard to achieve this kind of results.”

Sma Markovic led Austria with 15 points, all on kills, while Nikolina Maros added nine points with seven kills and two blocks.

Tinatin Tchautchidze put up eight points for Georgia, with seven kills and the team’s lone ace of the match.

“It was a good experience for us and I think we learned more about ourselves and improved our game,” Georgia’s Ann Kalandadze said.


Russia 3, Greece 1

Greece gave Russia all it could handle in two of the four sets on Friday, but could not overcome the No. 1 ranked Russians, falling 25-10, 24-26, 25-16, 25-23.

Russian led Set 1 from start to finish, then had a 24-23 lead in Set 2, but could not close the door as Greece scored three straight to steal away the 26-24 win. Set 3 was nearly all Russia, but Greece led late in Set 4, only to succumb to a Russian rally, falling 25-23.

“We have been working really hard and I believe we reached our limits and could not do more than this since a world-class team like Russia was standing on the other side of the net,” Greek coach Georgios Rousis said. “We will be trying to do our best until the end of the tournament and to improve with each match.”

Both teams managed 10 blocks in the match. Russia got a boost from 11 aces (to just four for Greece) and a 51 percent hitting effort.

Nataliya Goncharova guided the Russian charge with 21 points, including 19 kills and two blocks. Irina Zariazhko-Koroleva added 16 points, with 10 kills, four blocks and three aces. Iuliia Kutiukova and Irina Fetisova chipped in 10 points apiece.

Maria Nomikou tallied 16 points for Greece, with 13 kills, two aces and a block, while Anthi Vasilantonaki added 13 points.


Hungary 3, Croatia 2

The home team suffered from poor serving and bad reception and defense as Hungary came back from a 2-0 deficit to steal away the 19-25, 30-32, 25-15, 25-21, 15-11 victory.

Croatia rallied late to grab a 25-19 first set win. The Croatians led 24-22 in Set 2 and had to fight off six Hungarian set point chances before stealing away the 32-30 win. That comeback was all Croatia had in the tank as Hungary led nearly start to finish for the next three sets.

Hungary racked up 16 aces in the match, including 10 over the final three sets. Croatia served up 10 aces, but just two after the opening two stanzas. The poor serve reception started in Set 3 as Croatia managed just an 18 percent execution rate. Due to the struggle on serve receive, the Croatians fell off in terms of hitting efficiency as well, dropping to just 28 percent in the final stanza.

Edina Dobi and Greta Szakmary managed 19 and 18 point respectively to lead the Hungarian side. Szakmary managed 16 kills and two aces, while Dobi tallied nine kills, five blocks and five aces. Rita Liliom (13) and Eszter Nagy (12) also posted double-digit point tallies.

Katarina Barun Susnjar did everything she could to lead Croatia, racking up 25 points, with a match-high 19 kills, three blocks and three aces. Samanta Fabris (16), Ema Strunjak (12) and Karla Klaric (10) rounded out the double-digit point scorers for the home side.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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