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Volleyball: Egypt win Group 3 of the 2015 FIVB World League
After five years of absence from the FIVB World League, Egypt’s volleyball men won the 2015 FIVB World League Group 3 and will now play in Group 2 next season.
In a final that promised a lot both teams lived up to the occasion providing a thrilling final game in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Débutantes Montenegro won 6 out of their 7 games during the campaign, losing only to Turkey in the early stages.
While, after losing their first game 2-3 against Spain, Egypt also impressed in their first season back with 6 straight victories including a 3-1 semi-final victory against the finals hosts Slovakia.
The Egyptians started the match on the front foot taking advantage of their good serves to win the first set 25-20.
Montenegro responded with a strong start to the second set, and while Egypt levelled the score at 17-17, the Europeans managed to control the final moments to win 25-21.
The Egyptians were always ahead in the third set, and despite losing one of their best players Abdallah Bekhit due to injury at 20-17, the Pharaohs were able to seal the set 25-23 to lead the match 2-1.
In the fourth set, a fierce start by Montenegro led them to a 6 points lead at 22-16. Egypt came close to a heroic comeback after saving a number of set points to close the gap to one at 23-24. It was too little too late as the team from the Balkans won the set 25-23 to level the match at two sets a piece.
The strong performance from Egypt at the end of the fourth set proved to be morale boosting as they took their fine form to the final set of the match.
The five time African champions won 7 points in a row to be one point away from victory at 14-8. Montenegro saved one match point but followed it by a serving error to send the Egyptian players celebrating.
Egypt claimed top spot on the podium of the Group 3 tournament to enjoy the perfect comeback to the World League as they now guarantee a spot in Group 2 in the 2016 season.
Speaking of what this victory means to his team, Egypt’s coach Angiolino Frigoni expressed his delight after the game:
“We won and I am proud of it. We had some problem, our setter was injured, but I had a lot of confidence in my second setter, I know that he can play well. Again, this is a big result for Egypt and important for our ranking. We came back to World League after lot of troubles and we made a result.”
“We will play in second group next year and we will meet stronger teams. Now we will concentrate on African Championships in the middle of July. Our season just started.” He concluded.