Vikings make quick work of Scottish rookies
2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Edinburgh, Scotland, December 21, 2016. Viking TIF BERGEN advanced in the 2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men with the minimum of fuss, beating City of EDINBURGH 25-18, 25-15, 25-21 in the Scottish capital.
City of EDINBURGH, playing in Europe for the first time this year, had their moments - most notably saving five match points - but they failed to put the Norwegian defence under any sustained pressure. Viking TIF BERGEN took control of the first set with some solid serving and some power hitting from Vetle Hylland on the outside. A service ace from Hylland brought up the first technical time-out 8-4 in the Norwegians' favour and EDINBURGH struggled to close the gap in the set.
Some decent serving from Euan Gibson gave the hosts some hope midway through the set but it proved difficult for EDINBURGH to put together a run of points. Niall Collin and Daniel Traylor gave glimpses of what EDINBURGH were capable of but an explosive hit through the middle from Jon Erlend Haukas took BERGEN to 22-15 and they closed out the set 25-18.
EDINBURGH showed more resilience at the start of the second set with BERGEN’s service game letting them down at times and Connor Boyle having some success through the middle.
The Scots closed the gap from 10-15 to 13-15 under Gibson’s serve but when he served long to give BERGEN a three-point lead at the second technical time-out, the Norwegians took full advantage. The hosts only managed two more points in the set as BERGEN won it 25-15.
With the tie won, BERGEN head coach Scott Olsen changed four of his starting six at the start of the third set. The Norwegians continued to dominate but there was a late rally from EDINBURGH as they clawed back from 16-24 to 21-24 under some strong serving from captain Collin before he eventually served out on the sixth match point.
“It pretty much went according to plan. We saw from the first leg that they are a scrappy team and they pick up a lot that you wouldn’t expect. But this is where we were seven or eight years ago and we had to play in Europe to take it to the next level,” said Olsen.
City of EDINBURGH coach Ally Jack stated: “I couldn’t have asked of any more from my players. Their height advantage was a significant factor but our passing game held together well. If we were playing this opposition every week, you’d see a big difference.”
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