The men’s national team went to Austria with a makeshift lineup due to injuries, but managed to beat this year’s European Championship co-hosts twice last week in the opening round of the European League.
Coach Alekos Leonis?s squad lacked several key players but managed to win both games 3-1 thanks to impressive performances by Greek volleyball’s new blood, including Yiannis Mantekas, Dima Filippov, Michalis Sarikeisoglou and Panayiotis Pelekoudas.
Greece won the first match on May 26 25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, with setter Filippov providing excellent service to his teammates during his national team debut.
Despite the injury to Andreas Frangos in the first game, Greece still managed to win the second, on May 28, again with a 3-1 score (19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24).
Led by skipper Andreas Roumeliotis, who had 22 points in the second match, Greece overcame the hosts? resistance and showed that its future may well be brilliant under Leonis.
“The point is that whoever gets to be on the court, Greece will play a specific kind of volleyball. I am very happy with the fighting spirit that the young lads have shown,» said the Greek coach. «We will be even better from now on,» he promised.
Greece’s next matches will be in the Netherlands on June 3-5.