In the European Women’s Volleyball Championship first match of Group C, hosted in Zadar, Croatia defeated Switzerland with a convincing 3-0 (25:20, 25:19, 25:21).
In the Krešimir Ćosić Hall in Višnjik, the Croatia women’s team opened the European competition with a celebration against Switzerland and without losing a set after 71 minutes of play. In the first set, middle blocker and freshly 21-year-old Božana Butigan had a 100 percent performance in the attack by scoring five points.
Daniele Santarelli’s team was decisive for the outcome in the middle of the first and second sets, while Switzerland offered the fiercest resistance in the third set, in which they had a 12:8 lead. However, another great period followed for Croatia, winning 12 of the next 15 points and taking the 20:15 lead to calmly bring the match to an end by a maximum of three points.
Laura Miloš with 18 points and captain Samanta Fabris with 13 points were the most effective for Croatia against Switzerland.
This is Croatia’s fifth consecutive victory over Switzerland in the last ten years.
“I couldn’t sleep all night because of the excitement. This is the first European Championship for me, the first game. The victory was significant to us, and I am overjoyed that we started this tournament with a victory. We are focused on the opponent who is coming to us next because we are going from game to game,” said Miloš after the match.
“The first match is never easy. Everyone is nervous, so we didn’t know what awaited us during this match. Our game was not the best, but at certain moments we had outstanding actions. Some situations, we can still correct, even though we don’t have much time. This was a good start; we showed a good game, although, in the first set, we did not have a strong defense and blocks,” said coach Daniele Santarelli.
Before the match, the European Championship opening ceremony was held, which was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, accompanied by Minister of Sport and Tourism Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Defense Mario Banožić, and Minister of Labor and Pensions, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrović.
Italy and Belarus, and Hungary and Slovakia will meet today in Group C. Croatia will play against Belarus in the second round on August 21. Group A is played in Belgrade, Group B in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and Group D in Cluj, Romania.
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