Home » YEC M: Bulgaria achieved first win

YEC M: Bulgaria achieved first win

by WoV
source: cev.lu

In a heavily disputed encounter Bulgaria defeated Serbia, the reigning European champions by 3:2 and denied them the first victory at 2013 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship. Bulgaria’s Milen Iliev was the top scorer, while Lazar Dodić was the best scorer in the losing team.


Serbia – Bulgaria

After initial assessment of each other’s strength, Bulgaria made the first move and went five points ahead before the second technical time-out (16-11). The Serbian players reacted reducing the gap to just two points (19-21), but could not complete the turnaround. Bulgaria routinely brought this set to an end at 25-22. 

Through the first part of the second set Serbia was slightly in front leading by a couple of points. By the second technical break the home side expanded the lead to 16-11. After the pause, Serbia continued to defend well and maintained the gap for a while. However, Bulgaria narrowed its lag to one point (18-19), thus putting the pressure on the home side. Serbia responded swiftly, and wrapped up the set at 25-20. 

In the beginning of the third set, at 3-1 to Serbia, Mihail Tsvetanov of Bulgaria got injured and had to leave the court. That was a pretty big blow for the Bulgarian side, but they did not surrender. On the contrary, they immediately turned the score in their favor at 5-4. Both sides were pretty evenly matched in these moments. However, after a great battle for every point, the home side finally managed to get away to a four-point lead at 14-10. Bulgaria struggled in these moments, as Serbia was firmly ahead. The home side expanded the lead to 18-12, but once again could not finish, and Bulgaria seriously threatened closing the gap at 22-23. Bulgaria’s Milen Iliev then tied the result at 24-24 with an ace, but after a couple of points Serbia responded with an ace of their own (by Nedjeljko Radovic) for the final 27-25 and 2:1 in sets. 

The fourth set Bulgaria started better, as they went to the first technical break leading 8-5. Bulgaria successfully maintained the gap until the second technical time-out (16-13). Serbia was eager to close in, but could not find the right rhythm, and the match went into the tie-break.

In the beginning of the fifth set Bulgaria tightened up their defense and Serbia struggled to score. However, through the mid section of the set, the home side managed to tie the result at 8-8. After a time-out called by Bulgaria’s head coach Ivan Halachev, his team went two points ahead (10-8). Now, Serbia called for a break, and then immediately equalized at 10-10. After yet another time-out for Bulgaria, Serbia again went down 10-12. This time the home side could not recover and they booked the fourth loss out of four matches played.

Ivan Halachev, head coach of Bulgaria: ”This was a victory for prestige, obviously. We had many problems in our team, many injured players, but still I think that those who played performed well in this tournament.“ 

Milan Djuricic, head coach of Serbia: “We expected to win this match. The guys fought well, they did their best, but once again I am reiterating that we are missing one key player in the team who would assume responsibility and score in the decisive moments.” 

Mihail Tsvetanov, captain of Bulgaria: “This was a difficult match, we stayed there until the end and we won. As for me, I sprained my ankle, it is a light injury, and I will be back soon.”

Miodrag Milutinov
, receiver in the Serbian team: “We were missing good serves in this match, and good blocking as well. We were not so good in attack either. Overall, an exciting match for the fans but disappointing for us.”

Bulgaria vs. Serbia 3:2 (25:22, 20:25, 25:27, 25:17, 15:12)

To read more about this competition click on Youth European Championship 2013 M.

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