The Greek men’s national volleyball team has returned to Athens from Slovenia as it left the 2019 EuroVolley tournament with a 3-0 loss to Russia on Saturday in Ljubljana.
For the first time in a decade Greece is among the top 16 teams in European volleyball, after advancing from the first round of the 24-team tournament, with one win and four defeats, on the points difference over Portugal and Romania. In fact it eclipsed Portugal by a single point.
In Saturday’s Round of 16 match against Russia Greece was not a match for the favorite that won 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 in the Slovenian capital. Russia has qualified to play its host on Monday in the quarterfinals.
Greece achieved its objective target of qualifying to the second round in its first appearance in the European championship finals since 2009, but still has a great margin for improvement in order to at least get within reach of past glories such as the bronze medal at the 1987 championship in Belgium.
The squad of coach Dimitris Andreopoulos appears promising even in the absence of arguably Greece’s best player, Mitar Djuric, but definitely needs some improvement in its central blockers.