Slovakia's blockers made a great contribution to straight-setter against Japan
Poprad, Slovakia, June 2, 2017 – Milan Bencz
and Matej Patak
led the way as Slovakia pleased the home fans in Poprad with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 27-25) victory over Japan in their opening match of their 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League campaign. Slovakia’s coach Andrej Kravarik, who was promoted from the assistant coach position only a few days before the start of the competition, made his successful debut on the new post.
Quick links - Volleyball:
Bencz scored 18 points (3 kill blocks) to top the charts of the match. Patak added another 15 (5 kill blocks) for Slovakia. Masahiro Yanagida and Shuzo Yamada scored 17 and 12, respectively, for the Japan.
After a 3-1 victory in the 2016 edition, Slovakia improved their World League win-loss record to 2-0.
In the beginning, Slovakia dominated in defence. Their domination at the net was also clear and the home team built an early 8-4 lead. The Slovak team, pushed by the great fans, continued to play well. After a successful block by captain Emanuel Kohut
the score was 16-11 in favour of Slovakia. With a total of nine blocking points, the home side won the first set by 25-20.
The second set was levelled at the beginning, but then Stefan Chrtiansky
made a point in a difficult situation, Peter Ondrovic
hit the ace and Slovakia opened a 13-9 lead. Slovakia played very well in attack, while the Japanese players showed their typical performance with some amazing actions in defence. The Slovaks stayed in control towards another 25-20 win.
Japan came back from a 20-22 deficit in the third set and even had two set points, which they failed to covert. In the fantastic ambience created by the fans on the stands, the home team finally emerged with a 27-25 close to win the game in straight sets.