Sotola fires 38 as Czech Republic reign in tight four-setter against Egypt


Czech Republic's Marek Sotola scored 38 points against Egypt

Manama, Bahrain, July 22, 2019 – Marek Sotola topped all scorers with 38 points to guide the Czech Republic in their tight four-set encounter with Egypt in FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship Pool G.

The Czech Republic played four closely contested sets and came away with a 3-1 (29-27, 25-27, 28-26, 25-21) victory on Monday afternoon, with Sotola leading the charge and recording 35 attacks and three aces, and Lukas Vasina adding 20 markers.

The Egyptians pushed the Czechs to their limits in the first three frames, as Youssef Hamdy Awad and Shehab Azab Elsayed contributing to their cause with 25 and 20 points, respectively.

As both sides won a set each in the first two sets with two-point margins, the Czech Republic once again had difficulty closing out the set in the third frame as Egypt responded to every attack. The European side eventually managed to gain the two-point edge to get a 2-1 set lead in the match.

In the fourth set, Egypt kept on pushing hard but the Czech Republic have already established a bigger lead down the final stretch that made it easier for them to win the match.

In Pool G’s opening match, Canada recovered from Puerto Rico’s strong run in the third and fourth sets to record a 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 19-25, 25-17) win. Mathias Elser did a magnificent job of involving all his teammates on offence, as five members scored in double figures.

Alexis Tournier, Jackson Bere and Xander Ketrzynski scored equally with 15 points, while Fynnian Lionel Mccarthy and Brodie Hoffer added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Pedro Molina and Johan Leon had 12 points apiece, and Sebastian Negron contributed 10 markers for Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, in Pool H, Cuba edged Tunisia 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-22), showing great balance in scoring as Jose Miguel Gutierrez Suarez, Julio Cesar Cardenas Morales and Jose Carlos Romero Gonzalez sharing scoring chores to beat their rivals. The Cuban trio each scored 12 points, while it was a one-sided affair in scoring for Tunisia with only Yassine Abdelheldi scoring in double figures (15).

The Cubans led on all fronts with 39 attacks, nine blocks and four service winners, outperforming their rivals, who only tallied 29 attacks, seven blocks and two aces.

Poland made short work of Morocco as they logged a straight-set 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-11) win in Pool G. Mateusz Poreba and Filip Grygiel led Poland with 10 points apiece.

Poland also put a solid performance on defence as Poreba and Bartolomiej Zawalski teamed-up at the net with three blocks each. The European side also limited their errors to 17, while Morocco had 37 turnovers in the match.

The winners from Pools G and H will have a playoff for the ninth to 12th classification with the bottom two teams from the same pools moving onto a playoff for 13th to 16th.

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