Scoring trio lead Slovenia to second straight World League group title win
Slovenia took it up a notch higher in the FIVB Volleyball World League with the Group 2 title win - a follow-up of their Group 3 title victory last year
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Urnaut, Gasparini and Cebulj rank among the top 10 best scorers in Group 2, along with other finalists like Wouter Ter Maat of the Netherlands, Paul Carroll and Nathan Roberts of Australia, Yuki Ishikawa and Masahiro Yanagida of Japan.
The three Slovenians combined for a total of 425 points in their 11 matches. Last year, they also led their team to an astonishing debut by winning the Group 3 title. This year, they proved that they are really a top-flight team with their Group 2 title victory.
Slovenia ended their 2017 World League campaign with 10 wins and one loss. Their only defeat in the tournament was the five-setter against Japan.
Slovenia clearly bounced back from that preliminary round loss to Japan, when they faced each other in the final. The European side dominated in attacks, blocks and serves to come out on top of Group 2 with a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-17) win over the Asian squad.
Cebulj top-scored, and Gasparini and Urnaut also helped out to run the Slovenian offence that overpowered the Japanese frontline.
In the bronze medal match, Australian captain Paul Carroll made their home fans proud after their 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 28-26) win over the Netherlands. The Australians had to overcome their five-set loss to Japan on Saturday and endured three sets of intense battle with the Netherlands in the medal round to finally end their campaign on a high note.
Australia showed mental toughness to earn the win, as the Netherlands also fought hard in each set. Carroll was almost unstoppable from the flanks with 16 attacks, but also contributed in defence with two blocks.
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