The home team of Luxembourg lost in four sets to Iceland on the second day of the first-round World Championship qualifier being played at d’Coque in Luxembourg City, and this kind of paves the way for the Icelanders to the second stage of the qualification process coming up next year. On Sunday Iceland will be playing the weakest team of the field, Northern Ireland, in what is their last duty on the way to the second stage of the World Championship qualification process and also to the Finals of the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Small Countries Division (SCD). Luxembourg will be playing Scotland on Sunday on the final day of the tournament to officially confirm their spot in the SCD Finals – though they are de facto qualified because they will be hosting the event next year.
Scotland vs. Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-13, 25-4, 25-11)
After losing to hosts Luxembourg on the opening day, Northern Ireland ended up suffering another setback also in their matchup with Scotland. The Scots sealed their 3-0 victory in about one hour of play. Northern Ireland’s reception was a way too weak to be able to pose a threat and the Northern Irish team did never find their way into the match, clearly losing in straight sets to their Celtic neighbours.
Iceland vs. Luxembourg 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17)
Luxembourg caught a flying start to their match with Iceland and claimed an impressive 16-7 lead in the opening set. They almost finished every single attempt successfully but after that Team Iceland kind of woke up. The players from the north produced a 15-8 run but this was ultimately not enough to change the course of the game and win the first set. The ‘Red Lionesses’ of Luxembourg cashed the opening set 25-21 and with that started dreaming about making it to the second stage of the World Championship qualification.
However, Iceland did not give in and by displaying a very solid block and defence system they imposed their dominance in the second and third sets which they comfortably won 25-19 and 25-17.
Team Luxembourg responded with a 6-2 run in the fourth set but Iceland regrouped and produced the same quality of play they had shown in sets two and three. After a comeback, they edged ahead leading 8-6 at the first technical time-out, widened their advantage to eight points at 16-8 and cruised to a well-deserved 25-17 set win to celebrate a 3-1 victory.
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