After beating Switzerland without losing a set at the opening of the tournament at Krešimir Ćosić Hall in Višnjik, Croatia was dominant in the second match as well.
At the beginning of the match, Croatia fell behind Belarus, but they finally equalized at 10:10 in the first set. However, once Croatia finally took the lead, Belarus came back ahead at 17:16. Fortunately, Belarus couldn’t hang onto their lead much longer, as Croatia won the first set 25:19.
The end of the second set was much more uncertain, where Croatia was up by 4 points in the middle of the set. Belarus managed to come back and equalize, but with two consecutive points, Croatia celebrated 25:23. After that, Croatia dominated the third set, winning 25:15.
“We are happy to have won three points: our second game, our second victory. We concentrate day by day to try to do our best and grow from game to game every day. In the second set, we gave them a little more space to close the gap. We still have some oscillations, but we are working to have the best possible continuity. We are satisfied with today’s 3 points,” said captain Samanta Fabris, whose ace point at the end of the second set gave them the confidence to win.
“I am satisfied with today’s match. We played great games both today and Thursday, especially today when we were much more stable both in the block and in defense. We also made fewer mistakes. In the second set, we made mistakes that allowed Belarus to reach our advantage, but we took the opportunity to win, and in the third set, we took advantage of their drop in concentration and finally won. Slovakia is waiting for us tomorrow, and now we are going to the hotel for dinner and an analysis of the next opponent. There is no rest, we are going to work, and we hope that tomorrow’s game will end just as well as today,” said Božana Butigan.
“A very strange match. We had good moments, but also a lot of unforced mistakes. We played against Belarus at the beginning of the summer, but we certainly have the capacity and opportunity for an even better game. In the last set, we had three big mistakes that we cannot tolerate if we want to play against the strongest teams in Europe. I’m happy to win, but I’m not happy with the level of our game. I know my players, and I know the level of play we can show. Tomorrow we will have another crucial match against Slovakia. I hope that we will continue with the victories because it is of great importance to us,” coach Daniele Santarelli pointed out.
Croatia plays their next game of Group C tomorrow against Slovakia at 5 pm, followed by Hungary on August 24 at 5 pm and Italy on August 25 at 9 pm.
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