Though they put on a fight from start to end, the ‘Red Lions’ of Luxembourg failed to score their second straight
victory at the first-round EuroVolley qualifier taking place this weekend at d’Coque in Luxembourg City. Austria recorded a 3-1 victory over the ‘Red Lions’ to cement their leadership in the pool. Earlier in the afternoon Moldova routed Lithuania in three sets to stay in contention for a spot in the next round as well and play Luxembourg on Sunday for that much coveted ticket.
Austria vs. Luxembourg 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17)
The ‘Red Lions’ of Luxembourg had played with everything they had the night before and following their 3-2 victory over Lithuania, team captain Gilles Braas and his friends could perform without any extra pressure. Luxembourg played point for point and could keep on chasing Austria whilst their opponents looked a bit nervous, this resulting in a number of service errors. Though the home team delivered an excellent performance, they could not seal the deal in their favour and Austria came out on top at the end of the opening set (25-22).
There was nevertheless no need to panic as Kamil Rychlicki, Chris Zuidberg and Tim Laevaert caught a flying start in the second set and imposed their rule in all aspects of the game. The hosts were able to destabilise their more and more nervous opponents (8-7, 16-12) and closed the set 25-19 by cashing their third set ball.
The third set was a close affair in its early stages (8-7 for Luxembourg at the first technical time-out) before three straight mistakes by the home team moved the score from 12-11 to 15-11 for the visitors. Frantizek Vosahlo replaced Tim Laevaert and Luxembourg attempted a late comeback, yet Austria could finish the set off 25-20 in their favour.
The ‘Red Lions’ of Luxembourg did not think about surrendering and with Vosahlo included in the starting six of set 4, the hosts put on a fight and were able to keep the score close up to 10-all. However, Austria’s middle blockers performed extremely well at this point and Luxembourg did not find a way to respond to this additional challenge; Austria widened their lead from 16-14 to 21-16 and despite fighting through to the end, the ‘Lions’ had to surrender at 25-17, with Austria celebrating their second victory in the tournament.
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches