Thessaloniki, Greece, June 26, 2016 - Greece brought Slovenia's winning streak to an end with a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 29-27) win as both teams completed their pool play obligations in the FIVB World League, ahead of next weekend's Final Four in Frankfurt.
Slovenia had claimed their ticket to the finals yesterday and Greece received good news overnight from the other pools in Tunis and Almaty, meaning both teams were already qualified for Frankfurt regardless of the result. The two sides will meet again on Friday in Frankfurt in the semifinals of the competition.
The two first sets were very close with both sides trading victories to make the match tied at one set-all.
In the third a poor spell by Slovenia saw Greece go 12-7 up, a lead which they hang on to until the end of the set. A simple error by Pajenk handed the set to the hosts, 25-21.
Greece also started the fourth set with a bang, racing out to a 3-0 lead. They controlled the situation after that and looked poised to calmly finish things off. It was at the very last minute, however, that the Slovenian spikers stepped up in counter-attack. It took Greece five match points in the fourth to bring the game home before they prevailed, 29-27.
Rafail Koumentakis scored 19 points and Andreas Frangos added another 15. Slovenia generally outplayed Greece in most skills, but conceded 38 unforced errors (to Greece's 33), with Mitja Gasparini their top scorer on 15 points.