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Record crowd sees Slovenia down Austria

Zass-topThe sensation the co-host of the EuroVolley hoped for didn’t happen. Austria suffered a 0:3 (20:25, 21:25, 20:25) defeat against the favored Slovenians in front of a record-braking crowd of nearly 6.000 spectators after 81 minutes. The Austrian national team never played for a bigger audience.

The Austrian Starting Line-Up consisted of Ichovski, Binder, Schneider, Gavan, Guttmann and Libero Laure. At the beginning the third-placed team in this year’s European League took control. Austria had problems with receiving the ball, so head coach Michael Warm subbed in Frühbauer for Guttmann at the score of 5:11. But its was a little to late, as Slovenia didn’t falter and won the first set after 26 minutes 25:20.

The second set went in a similar direction after the favorites had a quick-start to a 8:3-lead at the first technical time-out. Thomas Zass led his team back in the game with a series of good services and suddenly Austria was up 11:9. Now the spectators went crazy for the first time, the tension was gone. Slovenia’s head coach Veselin Vukovic reacted by taking a time-out. His instructions had an immediate effect as Urnaut and Co. scored five consecutive points. After 55 minutes they also took the second set 25:21.

The third set was the most leveled of all, but in the end the superior Slovenians couldn’t be stopped on their way to the victory.

“I’m very content with my team today. The first game of each tournament is a very hard one. Everything turned out like I expected it to. I want to compliment Austria. It is a very good team. But my players kept their head in all critical situations, like in the second set when they had four or five consecutive aces. We will have less pressure tomorrow against Serbia, because they are the clear-cut favorites”, said Slovenian head coach Veselin Vukovic.

“We had more aces than mistakes with our services. That doesn’t come to often in Volleyball. We had a bad start as we were a little nervous. From the middle of the first set on we had a solid game. To beat a team like Slovenia, everything has to go our way”, added Austrian head coach Michael Warm.


EuroVolley 2011, group A in Vienna
Saturday
Austria - Slovenia 0:3 (20:25, 21:25, 20:25)
duration: 81 minutes
Topscorers Austria: Zass 19, Schneider 8, Ichovski 6

Topscorers Slovenia: Sket 18, Urnaut 16, Pajenk 6