Bulgaria blank Greece on day one
EUROVOLLEY - POOL A (MATCHDAY 1)
Greece’s men’s national volleyball team did not get off to a good start at the European Championships in France, falling 3-0 to powerhouse Bulgaria in their opening match.
After going undefeated in qualifying to reach their first major tournament in a decade, the Greeks were hoping to continue their winning ways. This would be a tough task, as the Bulgarians reached the quarterfinals or better in each of the last six European Championships.
Greece, making their 15th European Championship appearance (with their best result being a third place finish back in 1987), got off to an ideal start by leading 10-7 early in the first set. However, Bulgaria proved too strong and soon went up 15-19. Bulgaria then took the set 22-25.
The Bulgarians dominated the second set, comfortably winning it 16-25. Greece fought back in the third set, as Bulgaria held a narrow 10-11 lead. Nevertheless, this lead would soon be 11-17 in favor of the Bulgarians. Eventually, Bulgaria went ahead 16-24, before Greece saved four match points. In the end, Bulgaria held on to win the set 20-25, clinching a 3-0 win over Greece.
Despite the loss, Greece are still very much alive in the competition, as the top four (out of six) teams in each group will advance to the knockout phase. Greece return to action tomorrow against another volleyball powerhouse, Italy. The Italians got off to a perfect start, sweeping Portugal 3-0 on day one. Besides Bulgaria, Italy, and Portugal, France (hosts) and Romania are also in Group A along with Greece.
GROUP A STANDINGS:
1. Italy - 3 points
2. Bulgaria - 3 points
3. France - 0 points
4. Romania - 0 points
5. GREECE - 0 points
6. Portugal - 0 points
*Match won 3–0 or 3–1: 3 points for the winner, 0 points for the loser
*Match won 3–2: 2 points for the winner, 1 point for the loser