Volleyball national teams have victorious weekend in European competition
Both Estonian national volleyball teams were victorious in their respective matches on Sunday: the men's came back from 0:2 down against a strong Belgian team in the Golden League and the women's team made easy work of Latvia.
The Estonian men's national volley ball team finished their league round successfully, defeating Belgium 3:2 (20:25, 20:25, 25:19, 25:21, 18:16).
The opening game belonged to Belgium, who held an eight-point lead at one point. The second game was tighter, but the Belgian side was able to hold Estonia off by three or four points throughout the game.
With their backs against the wall, Estonia fought brilliantly: turning a 9:4 lead into 16:4 in the third game and taking the initiative on 16:16 in the fourth game to eventually cap both off with a win.
Estonia held two separate three-point leads in the deciding fifth game, but Belgia took a 13:12 lead in the match held in Tartu. Oliver Venno turned the tide for Estonia in the clutch, bringing the national team five consecutive points and Albert Hurt put a cherry on top of the victory with an ace.
Venno was the high point man for Estonia with 23 points, Sam Deroo won 24 points for Belgium.
National team libero Silver Maar said the victory was a sweet, albeit tough one: "Everyone was in it emotionally, everyone played hard. It was difficult, it is never comfortable being down 0:2. But we are used to it, we have come back from 0:2 behind before. Respect to the team!"
Estonia won all three of their league round matches at home, the Golden League's Pool A will be finished this week, when all four teams will play each other again, this time in Latvia.
"We can be pleased, but we could always do more. We fell short in the beginning, perhaps the focus was not settled. As the match went on, we got better, but we have to improve," Maar noted.
Women's national team takes care of Latvia
The Estonian women's national volleyball team dispatched Latvia 3:0 (25:18, 25:22, 25:19) in their Silver League Pool B match-up.
The first game got off to a competitive start, but the Estonians began taking off from 6:6 and even held a 10-point lead before finishing the set 25:18.
The second game also passed with the Estonians carrying initiative. They took a 8:3 lead, a 14:8 lead and while the Latvians decreased the lead to just one, the Estonian national team capped off the second game with a 25:22 win.
The third game also got off to competitive start, but Estonia opened a 16:9 lead half-way through the game and the national team did not let Latvia any closer than four points en route to a 25:19 game and match victory.
Liis Kullerkann provided Estonia with 14 points, Kadi Kullerkann added 10 points. Vlada Pridatko was the high point woman for Latvia with 15 points.
Estonia now has two victories and one loss in the league round: they opened their round with a 2:3 loss to Portugal, but defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 3:2.
The national team is set to play all three opponents again over the ongoing week.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste