After the 5-set thriller with a happy ending at the weekend against Romania, the Swiss volleyball players faced a supposedly easier task in the European Championship qualifier with Albania on Wednesday evening. The Albanians are only number 35 in Europe and had to play their fourth game in eight days in Schönenwerd.
Albania starts with more momentum
But at least at the beginning of the game there was nothing to see in the concrete coupe arena. The hosts fell behind early on and remained error-prone even after the debut. Coach Mario Motta took a timeout when the score was 15:17. Nevertheless, after a temporary lead, Switzerland should fall behind again and finally lose out with 23:25.
Rest of the Swiss schedule
- Saturday 13 August, 19:00: Albania – Switzerland
- Wednesday 17 August, 17:00: Romania v Switzerland
- Sunday 21 August, 5:30 p.m.: Switzerland – Bosnia-Herzegovina
The 2nd round went more according to Swiss taste. The hosts got off to a good start this time and only had to cope with a debut in the middle of the set. In contrast to the starting set, this time Motta’s timeout had the desired long-term effect and shortly afterwards Julian Weisigk secured the set equalization for Switzerland with an ace to 25:20 – it should mean the turnaround in Aargau.
Sentence equalization as the sticking point
From then on, the favorites showed why they are still undefeated in this European Championship qualifier. After the clear 3rd set with 25:16 points in favor of Switzerland, the team around the Amriswil libero Roman Diem followed up with an even clearer last round (25:10).
This means that the Swiss team still has excellent chances of qualifying for a European Championship finals for the second time since 1971. After the two successful home appearances, she will be visiting today’s opponents in Albania on Saturday, before the away game in Romania on Wednesday (17 August), probably the most difficult task of the qualification awaits.
Web stream srf.ch/sport, 08/10/22, 7:30 p.m.; abr
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