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Eurovolley 1/8 Finals: Hosts Slovenia claim a spot in the quarterfinals by beating Bulgaria in four sets


For Slovenia this is first win over Bulgaria in the official matches of these two teams. After a thrilling finish, Bulgaria steal the hard-fought first set, coming out victorious. Slovenia started the second set with a 4-point setback but then they staged a good comeback with strong serving and impressive blocking, leaving the opponents at only 17-points. Slovenia proved to be the better side in the end of the third set as well, claiming an 8-point lead and even increasing the gap towards the end of set. Encouraged by the great support from the home supporters, Slovenia controlled further course of the match, taking a deservedly 3-1 victory, with Klemen Čebulj top scorer with 17 points. Martin Atanasov and Tsvetan Sokolov scored 12 each for Bulgaria. Russia and Slovenia will meet in the quarterfinal match on Monday

Jani Kovačič – libero (SLO):
After the first set it was difficult to come back. It was a miracle that we won next three sets really easily. We showed everyone that we can play well. Our fans are amazing throughout the whole championship and I hope they will come also to the next game on Monday.”


Alberto Giuliani – head coach (SLO):
I am happy also for the first set. Ok, we lost it, but we played well also in the first set. After that I think our serve made the difference and also our block against Sokolov in particular. He is an important player in Bulgaria’s attack. We played good tactically and with heart. We lost the first set, which is dangerous, but the reaction was unbelievable. We closed this match and now we have another opportunity to play against Russia. We want to win this match.”

Tsvetan Sokolov – opposite (BUL):
We have expected a tough match against Slovenia because they played in front of their home fans. They have played a great match, we played a little bit bad and at the end Slovenia deserves compliments. I wish them good luck. The atmosphere here in Ljubljana is really nice. The hall was full, which was really good for us but also for the host team. In front of their supporters they played amazing!

Aleks Grozdanov – middle-blocker (BUL):
The match was awful on our part and they were incredible in serve. Our game today was not on a high level, so the result is bad for us.”

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Eight Final Matches (NED) – APELDOORN, NED
The Netherlands – Germany 1-3 (17:25, 22:25, 32:30, 23:25)
Poland – Spain 3-0 (25:18, 25:13, 25:16)

Eight Final Matches (SLO) – LJUBLJANA, SLO
Russia – Greece 3-0 (25:16, 25:15, 25:16)
Slovenia – Bulgaria 3-1 (25:27, 25:17, 25:16, 25:17)

Eight Final Matches (BEL) – ANTWERP, BEL
Serbia – Czech Repulic 3-0 (31:29, 25:21, 25:18) —GALLERY
Belgium – Ukraine 2-3 (22:25, 25:21, 25:14, 18:25, 10:15) —GALLERY

Eight Final Matches (FRA) – NANTES, FRA
France – Finland 3-0 (25:16, 25:23, 25:21)
Italy – Turkey 3-0 (25:22, 25:18, 25:21)

Source and Photos: CEV

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