Much as the national volleyball team tried to repeat in the finals of the European League the feat it had achieved in the semifinals, it failed to overturn the advantage Montenegro had got from the first leg in Thessaloniki and suffered a second loss on Saturday, this time at Budva with a 3-1 score, to finish second in the competition.
After losing 3-2 at home, Greece needed a 3-0 or 3-1 win at Montenegro, and took the first set 25-22. In the second set Greece was 7-6 ahead when bad luck struck it with the injury to Panayiotis Pelekoudas. From then on it was far tougher for the Greeks.
Montenegro swept to a 25-18 win in the second set, and won the other two 25-18 and 25-21 to claim the trophy and a spot in next year’s World League, the top-tier competition in international volleyball.
Greece coach Sotiris Drikos attributed the loss to the lack of satisfactory reception, but added that “the players’ attitude is exemplary as they have been training and playing for 12 months non-stop.”