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Slovenia win another EuroVolley silver as they lose to Serbia

Paris, 29 September - The Slovenian men's national volleyball team won another silver at the European Championship after losing the final match to Serbia 1:3 in Paris on Sunday.

Paris, France
The European Volleyball Championship finals between Slovenia (green) and Serbia (blue).
Photo: Tomaž Bregar/STA

Paris, France
The European Volleyball Championship finals between Slovenia (green) and Serbia (blue).
Photo: Tomaž Bregar/STA

Paris, France
The European Volleyball Championship finals between Slovenia (green) and Serbia (blue).
Photo: Tomaž Bregar/STA

After making an improbable run in the home arena in Ljubljana, beating the European champions Russia and world champions Poland in the process, Slovenia had to concede to Serbia even though they won the first set.

It was a complete turnaround for Serbia, who eliminated the home team France in the semi-finals in an epic battle which lasted five sets, and then beat Slovenia for their third gold at the European championships, coming after the wins in 2001 and 2011.

For Slovenia this is meanwhile the second silver medal on the European stage, coming after the second place at the championship played in Italy and Bulgaria 2015, when the Slovenians had to concede to France in the finals.

This time, Slovenia was powered to the finals by the home crowd who came in thousands to Stožice Arena to cheer for the home team as it made its was from Group C and to the finals past Bulgaria, Russia and Poland in the elimination matches.

Captain Tine Urnaut was a bit disappointed after the loss, telling reporters that the team had wanted to win badly but admitting that the Serbs played better, especially on defence.

He was nevertheless happy with the experience, saying that Slovenia were actually proud of winning another silver, pointing to the Slovenian crowd who came to France and saying it was "something phenomenal".

"Great thanks to them for supporting us in Slovenia, through all the matches, for coming here in Paris and I'm sorry that we haven't managed to come in first today," added the 31-year-old veteran.

The Slovenian volleyball team will be welcomed home on Monday together with cyclists Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar at an event in Ljubljana's Congress Square.

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© STA, 2019