Cyprus routed Andorra in three sets and hosts Iceland claimed a nail-biting five-set match with Scotland to open the programme of the first-round qualifier for the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship taking place this weekend in Reykjavik, which counts also for the qualifying stage of the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Small Countries Division. The eventual winners and runners-up will progress to the second stage of the World Champs qualification coming up in May 2017 as well as to the SCD Finals due to take place next year in Iceland as well.
Cyprus vs. Andorra 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-13)
Cyprus had a convincing win over Andorra in the first match of the tournament that counts for the first stage of the European qualification process for the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship as well as for the qualifying stage of the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Small Countries Division. The short match (57 minutes) ended in a landslide 3-0 victory for Cyprus with each set finishing almost with the same score (25-12, 25-12, 25-13).
Attack efficiency set the two teams apart with Cyprus scoring 39 points and Andorra only 21. The top scorers of the Cyprus team were Gabriel Georgiou and Vladimir Knezevic, each with 11 points. Cristian Salvador was the top scorer for Andorra with seven points. Dimitre Letchev, head coach of the Cyprus team, said that even though the team of Andorra fought for every ball, the two teams are performing at different levels, with Cyprus being a semi-pro team compared to their opponents.
Iceland vs. Scotland 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13)
The second match of the day in Reykjavik was between Iceland and Scotland which the hosting team won after an exciting five-set match 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13). The teams gave spectators a fantastic show with great Volleyball from the beginning to the end. The fifth set was a nail-biter and when teams switched courts the Scottish team led 8-6. The Icelandic team evened the score 10-10 and finished it off 15-13 in their favour after a few dramatic last minutes.
Theódór Óskar Thorvaldsson was the best scorer of the Icelandic team with 18 points, and Seain Cook scored 22 for Scotland. The game captain for the Icelandic team, Lúðvík Már Matthíasson, said good serves and receiving paved the way towards the win and he is optimistic for the days to come.
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