Ruiz rules for Spain in win against Greece


Fran Ruiz celebrates in match against Greece

Barcelona, Spain, June 4, 2017 – Spain claimed their third consecutive victory at home in Barcelona since the start of their 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League campaign. With Francisco J. Ruiz scoring abundantly, the home squad achieved a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23) win against Greece.

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Ruiz hammered out 21 points to become the best scorer of the match. Andres J. Villena and Sergio Noda Blanco added 16 each to Spain’s tally in the game. Substitute player Rafail Koumentakis scored 19 times for Greece, including five aces.

This victory helped Spain tie their head-to-head record against Greece in the history of the World League at three wins each.

The fans filling up the sports hall in Barcelona carried Spain on their wings and helped the home players present a great level of performance in the first set. Spain soon demonstrated their intentions of going for the victory with a starting 5-1 lead. Greece trailed behind trying to recover from the disadvantage, but the hosts continued showing top form. A block-out from Sergio Noda represented the 25-21 in favour of the Spaniards.

Greece managed to elude the pressure that the host team and its fans were imposing on the visiting squad, and Arseniadis Konstantinos’s men dominated the second set through actions led by Menelaos Kokkinakis. Greece made good use of the ups and downs of the set to force the 1-1 tie with a block by Andreas Andreadis for 25-22.

The demonstration of teamwork by the Greeks transferred to the third set, as the blocks by the visiting side allowed Arseniadis Konstantinos’s men to take an 8-3 lead. Spain went to great lengths to put the tie back on the scoreboard. With the actions finished by Andres Villena and Fran Ruiz, the Spaniards fought to keep alive their options to take the set. At this point, the support from the stands was essential and a spike by Sergio Noda shaped up the 25-23 win.

Fran Ruiz’s impressive performance put Spain well ahead in the fourth set. The 1.78-metre-tall player catalysed the successful actions of his team, contributing in attack, serve and block to set the course to victory for the hosts. As the Greek players seemed unable to stop the electric Spanish wing spiker, the differences grew bigger for the local side. While Greece forced a late equaliser, Spain kept their intensity and their efficiency. A spike by Sergio Noda and an attacking error on the Greek side gave Spain the 25-23 victory in the set and the 3-1 win in the match, thus turning Pavello Vall dHebron sports hall in Barcelona into a Spanish celebration.


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