Slovenia National Volleyball Team Reaches the Semi-finals of the Second World League
The men’s national volleyball team of Slovenia got 8 wins in the qualifying tournament for entering the elite division of the world volleyball league and got to the semi-finals where they will compete against the Dutch national team. In the second semi-final match, Australia and Japan will play.
Slovenian volleyball players defeated the Portuguese in the final match of the qualifying tournament in the second division of the World League with the score 3:1. This game was of no tournament value, so the head coach of Slovenia Slobodan Kovač gave a chance of proving themselves to those players who rarely checked in during the previous meetings.
Thus, they were highly motivated and demonstrated their zeal to win at the beginning of the match. Thanks to the productive serves by Alen Šket, Slovenia led the score 6:2. Before the second break, several accurate aces increased the gap of Kovač’s trainees to 16:10. Finally, the Slovenes were able to consolidate the success, when at the score of 18:14, they managed to win 4 points in a row. A successful attack from the second line by Matej Kök summed up the first set to 22:14.
The Slovenes started the second set well and broke ahead with the score of 5:2. Then the Portuguese managed to seize the initiative and twice called the score with a minimum gap of 11:10 and 17:16, but the set end was still with the Slovenes. At the score of 20:20, Gregor Ropret’s exact serves followed, and then the ace by Šket consolidate the advantage of 25:21.
Slobodan Kovač’s trainees played an unsuccessful third set, but in the fourth set, they managed to get around and seized the initiative, while a 3-point dash in the fourth set tipped the beam with a score of 13:13.
If successful in the game with the Netherlands, Kovač’s trainees will play with the winner of the Australia-Japan pair for the right to compete in the elite First Division of the World Volleyball League.
Slovenia – Portugal 3:1 (16, 21, -23, 19)
Slovenia: Štern 9, Pajenk, Kozamernik, Šket 22, Gasparini, M. Kök 16, Vinčić, Štalekar 7, Koncilja 7, Kovačič, Toman, Ropret 3, Urnaut, Čebul.
Portugal: Guerreiro, Cvetičanin 4, A. Ferreira 18, M. Ferreira 1, Casas, Da Silva 1, Simoes 3, P. Martins 3, Oliveira, L. Martins 4, Sequeira 15, Rodrigues.
Egypt – Finland 1:3 (-22, -13, 18, -22)
Slovenia 9 8 1 24 points
Netherlands 9 7 2 21
Australia 9 6 3 16
Japan 9 5 4 16
China 9 5 4 15
South Korea 9 5 4 12
Slovakia 9 4 5 13
Czech Republic 9 4 5 12
Portugal 9 3 6 10
Finland 9 3 6 10
Turkey 9 3 6 9
Egypt 9 1 8 4
Semi-Finals, Gold Coast
Saturday, 24 June, 9:10 a.m.: Slovenia – Netherlands
11:40 a.m.: Australia – Japan