Slovakia, Germany secure playoff spots at women's European Volleyball Championship

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BRATISLAVA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Slovakia grabbed their third straight victory in Group D on Tuesday to secure a spot in the Eight Final of the Women's European Volleyball Championship for the first time in history, beating Belarus in a five-set drama by 3-2 (22-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 16-14).

The home team had managed to miraculously rally from being two sets down, forcing a surprising tie-break. The squad of the Italian-born coach Marco Fenoglio is now leading Group D with eight points.

The crowd in the Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava watched a similar five-set nailbiter as Germany also won their third match in a row, stunning the star-studded Russia 3-2 (18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 14-25, 15-11).

A strong performance by the squad of coach Felix Koslowski upset the holders of a record number of European titles for the first time in many years and clinched the second place in Group D, earning eight points, like the leading Slovakia, and notched a place in the playoffs as well.

The top four teams from each pool (the other three pools are being played in Hungary, Poland and Turkey) will advance to the Eight Final.

Following is the standings of Group D:

W L P SW SL MPW MPL

Slovakia 3 0 8 9 2 265 226

Germany 3 0 8 9 3 268 252

Russia 2 1 7 8 3 259 213

Spain 1 2 3 4 7 21000 262

Belarus 0 2 1 3 9 247 276

Switzerland 0 3 0 0 9 168 228

Note: W-Wins, L-Losses, P- Points, SW-Sets won, SL-Sets lost, MPW-Match points won, MPL-Match points lost.

[ Editor: Shi Ruoqi ]