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03/06/2017 22:27
Cyprus and Luxembourg net Volleyball titles on final day of GSSE
2017 Games of the Small States of Europe

San Marino, June 3, 2017. The 2017 edition of the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) came to a close on Saturday with Luxembourg and Cyprus taking the top honours from the men’s and women’s Volleyball competitions, respectively. After Debora Pini and Silvia Bulgarelli had claimed a historic Beach Volleyball gold medal on Friday, San Marino had something more to celebrate since their men’s and women’s Volleyball teams won bronze and silver, respectively.

San Marino knew before their last match with Cyprus that they had secured at least bronze in the women’s Volleyball tournament after earlier in the day Iceland had dropped two sets in their matchup with Liechtenstein (3-2; 25-11, 23-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-11). However, the home stars were not satisfied with that and put up a fight against pre-favourite Cyprus. San Marino emerged victorious at the tiebreak (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12), thus taking the silver medal behind Cyprus – who needed to take one point from their final match in the tournament to cement their first place in the standing. Luxembourg settled for the bronze medal after beating Malta 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-20) earlier in the morning.

“This was our best match in this tournament,” commented San Marino coach Luigi Morolli. “We were well prepared and my girls were just perfect in some aspects of the game, like for instance in defence and at blocking. This is a good result, which pays back the hard work we put into this. We were close to winning the gold medal when leading 2-1 in the match with Cyprus and when we came back from 20-24 to 23-24 in the fourth set; we were almost there but we are still very happy with this silver medal.”

Final standing – women’s Volleyball

1.    Cyprus
2.    San Marino
3.    Luxembourg
4.    Iceland
5.    Malta
6.    Liechtenstein

San Marino’s men knew they had won at least bronze after earlier in the day Cyprus had beaten Monaco 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19). Luxembourg retained the gold medal they had won two years ago in Reykjavik and did so by routing San Marino 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17) in the final match of the Games. “We have some regrets because of a few decisions made by the referees in the first set but we are happy with this bronze medal because taking into account the level shown by the top teams in this tournament, this is like gold for us,” said San Marino coach Stefano Mascetti. Valerio Guagnelli and Ivan Stefanelli, who have been two ‘pillars’ of the Sammarinese team for quite some time, bid farewell to competitive sport at the end of the match with Luxembourg receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.  

Final standing – Men’s Volleyball

1.    Luxembourg
2.    Cyprus
3.    San Marino
4.    Monaco
5.    Iceland

The President of the Sammarinese Volleyball Federation, Gian Luigi Lazzarini, was visibly happy at the end of the Games: “We took four teams to the GSSE and three won a medal. The players, their coaches and also all those working at the Federation, including the many volunteers, deserve much credit for these results. We have been working hard to develop young players and this has produced the desired results – and we expect more to follow in the future.”  

For further information visit the official website

Click here for a comprehensive gallery of the Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions

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