Gold Coast, Australia, June 25, 2017 – Mitja Gasparini and Dejan Vincic served three aces each in Slovenia’s 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-17) win over Japan in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League Group 2 finale at Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium on Sunday.
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Klemen Cebulj topped all scorers with 16 markers. Gasparini finished with 15 points, including 12 spikes; then setter Vincic also got into the scoring act with his three aces, three attacks and two blocks. Yuki Ishikawa and Akihiro Yamauchi led Japan with 12 points each.
After winning the Group 3 finals last year, Slovenia went on to win another successful campaign of winning Group 2 in the 2017 edition of the World League.
Slovenia implemented an aggressive attack and serve pattern that resulted in an easy win. The Slovenians established a huge 20-11 lead in the first set with crafty combination plays and tough blocks. Japan staged a late rally but Slovenia kept the pressure on with strong attacks to take the set 25-17.
Slovenia succeeded 26-24 in the second set to gain a two-set advantage over Japan. The set started with a series of multiple deadlocks and lead changes, but Slovenia were first to break away with a two-point margin at 11-9. Vincic was on the receiving end when Yamauchi Akihiro hammered a spike to his face, which resulted in a tied score at 13-13. Slovenia made another run until Ishikawa brought his team back at 23-all. Alen Pajenk had the final say as he sealed the second set win for Slovenia with a massive block.
Slovenia showed no signs of slowing down as they mounted a 16-10 lead and continued to serve strong and defend well at the net. Slovenia worked their way to the end of the set with a consistent offence. Japan’s service error put Slovenia at match point, then Gasparini’s attack guaranteed the gold medal win 25-17.