Hosts Cyprus were joined by Luxembourg in confirming tickets to the semi-finals of the 2016 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championship – Men for the Small Countries Division, after both topped their respective pools on the opening day of the competition in Nicosia. Two more tickets to the semis will be sealed on Saturday, when Northern Ireland meet San Marino and defending champions Scotland take on the Faroe Islands.
Cyprus found little resistance in either of their matches, shutting out Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-13, 25-6, 25-11) and outlasting the Faroe Islands 3-0 (25-7, 25-14, 25-20) as well. Coach Dimitre Letchev took the opportunity to bring on his reserves for some extensive on-court time, with Nikolaos Eleftheriou emerging as the best scorer for the hosts after two games.
Led by top scorer of the tournament so far, Steve Weber, Luxembourg edged 2014 gold medallists Scotland 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 27-25) and cruised past San Marino 3-0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-16) to advance directly through to Saturday’s semi-finals.
To complete pool play on Friday, Northern Ireland bounced back from their morning defeat to Cyprus, edging the Faroe Islands 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20) for second place in Pool A. Earlier, Scotland had come back from two sets down to beat San Marino 3-2 (12-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-10) which eventually gave them second place in Pool B.
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