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Tiebreaker Times

2024 FIVB Challenger Cup

Belgium secures FIVB Challenger Cup semis spot with sweep of Sweden


Belgium booked a spot in the top four after dispatching European Golden League champions Sweden, 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 in the FIVB Challenger Cup knockout quarterfinals on Thursday evening at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

The Belgians forged a semifinals match-up with Puerto Rico – which beat Kenya earlier in the day – on Saturday, still at the same venue.

The trio of Manon Stragier, Britt Fransen, and Pauline Martin led the way for Belgium, which folded to Sweden in the semifinals of the European Golden League just last month to settle for bronze.

“It was important for us to win the service-receive, it was a big part of the game today which I think we dominated throughout the whole game,” said Martin on the victory.

FIVB-Challenger-2024-Belgium-vs.-Sweden-Pauline-Martin-2818 Belgium secures FIVB Challenger Cup semis spot with sweep of Sweden 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Stragier scored 17 points on 13 spikes, three blocks, and an ace, while Fransen added 12 points on six attacks, five blocks, and a service ace.

Martin also delivered 11 points for the 13th-ranked Belgians.

Ahead by just two in the third, 18-16, Belgium put up a 6-3 blast to reach match point, 24-19. Fransen scored four in that rally off two blocks, one drop ball, and a quick attack.

FIVB-Challenger-2024-Belgium-vs.-Sweden-2963 Belgium secures FIVB Challenger Cup semis spot with sweep of Sweden 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Errors by the Belgians along with a block by Sweden’s outside hitter Alexandra Lazic on Martin let them inch within two, 22-24.

However, Kaat Cos hammered the final blow on a crosscourt kill.

Anna Haak spearheaded the Swedes with 15 points, while Lazic added 14.

#ReadMore  Jorge de Brito excited about Bella Belen, Jema Galanza’s addition for FIVB Challenger Cup
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