Gasparini fires from the service line for Slovenia's victory


Slovenians celebrating historical win in FIVB Volleyball World League

Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 17,2016 – Slovenia and Qatar were the two teams to wrap up the first day of World League tournament in Ljubljana. Slovenian team coached by Andrea Giani cruised to a 3-1 win (25-15, 25.-21, 18-25, 25-18).

For both teams this was the debut appearance at the World League. Slovenian team qualified for the World League after winning the European League last year. Being also the runner-up at the 2015 European Championships they are starting the tournament as the top dogs of the Group 3 and also home crowd favourite team. On the other hand Qatar’s participation in the event comes after finishing fourth at the 2015 Asian Championships and jumping 15 places in the FIVB Ranking in just one year.

The first-ever encounter of the two teams started with head-to-head race with neither squad breaking away for more than two-point gap. But it were Slovenians who with the help of superb serves by Mitja Gasparini (total five points) and powerful spikes from team captain Tine Urnaut (four points) went up by seven at 20-13. Inspired Slovenians never looked back and finished off the first set by 10-point margin at 25-15. 

Despite the fact that in the second set Qatar built up their game, the score again remained tied. Neither team managed to secure more than two-point lead with the result leveling at 5, 8, 10, 17, 18, 19. Slovenians turned out to be more focused towards the end of the set and brought it to end at 25-21. Top scorers of the set were Tine Urnaut and Bojan Djukic with five points each. 

Again Qatar started the set stronger and this time they managed to pull away to 16-10. They stayed strong till the end and wrapped the set at 25-18 to stay in the game with Bojan Djukic claiming seven points in total and six in attacks alone. 

In the fourth set Slovenians regained their forces to take the lead at 7-3 and 17-10 to clinch their first win at the World League. Top scorers of the last match of the day were Mitja Gasparini with 19 points and Bojan Djukic with 17.


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