Luxembourg’s Lions set sight on historic Novotel Cup crown

After their quite sensational win in the matchup with Denmark on the opening day of the tournament, on Saturday the hosts of Luxembourg extended their winning streak at the annual Novotel Cup cruising to a commanding 3:0 victory in their clash with Switzerland (25-14, 25-21, 25-22).

It was a real team effort right from the start where the ‘Lions’ opened proceedings with an 8-1 run in the first set which set the tone for what was going to follow. Tim Laevaert, Gilles Braas and Jan Lux imposed their tempo on the opponents from Switzerland and after leading by 15:5 and 21:9, they closed the first stanza with an impressive 25-14 score. The second and third sets were a much closer affair with the teams exchanging the lead back and forth up to 19 all as more than 1,000 fans cheered the home heroes on at d’Coque Gymnase in Luxembourg City. The final section of the third set fully belonged to Luxembourg with Arnaud Maroldt, Chris Zuidberg and Kamil Rychlicki securing the win at 25-22 for the home side. Luxembourg is therefore close to securing their first Novotel Cup title in history with the last match against Iceland determining the eventual winners of the annual tournament held in the Grand Duchy’s capital.

The women’s national team of Luxembourg got back on track after losing their opening match to Denmark on Friday. They did so with a solid performance which contributed to a 3:0 win in the clash with Liechtenstein (26-24, 25-17, 25-11). Only the opening set was some kind of an uphill climb for the Lionesses who drew level at 23 all and after that eased past at 26-24. Annalena Mach and Betty Hoffmann joined forces with their teammates to put more and more pressure on their opponent and this resulted in dominant 25-17 and 25-11 set wins to secure Luxembourg’s first victory in the competition going into the tournament’s final day and the matchup with Iceland.

Denmark are well on course to secure the gold medal following their 3:0 win over Iceland (25-17, 25-12, 25-19) earlier in the day.

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