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Slovenia start home-turf volleyball championship with a win

Ljubljana, 27 August - Slovenia won against Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the Volleyball Men's World Championship in Ljubljana on Friday.

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia, coached by Romania's Gheorghe Cretu (pictured), beat Cameroon (3:0) at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in front of some 7,000 spectators at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Opening of the World Volleyball Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Opening of the World Volleyball Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in front of some 7,000 spectators at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
Slovenia beat Cameroon (3:0) in their first match at the 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

In a vibrant atmosphere of some 7,000 spectators, Slovenia justified their role as favourites and defeated last year's runners-up in the African Volleyball Championship. Although the Slovenian players had some problems at times, especially at the beginning of the face-off, victory was never really in doubt.

Tonček Štern was the most efficient Slovenian player with 18 points, including five aces. Klemen Čebulj added eleven points. Cameroon's top scorer, Christian Voukeng, also scored eleven points.

Gheorghe Cretu, Slovenia's head coach, who joined the team just before the tournament to replace Mark Lebedew, said after the match that he had not expected anything else but the win.

"We started really nervously, but I guess that's part of such a big competition. All the pressure that builds up throughout the preparations, all the expectations are now lifted off our shoulders," said Jan Kozamernik, Slovenia's middle blocker.

At the invitation of the Slovenian team, firefighters who helped put out in July the largest wildfire Slovenia has ever seen attended the match to cheer them on.

Now Slovenia face France on Sunday and Germany on Tuesday. This is their second campaign at the world championships after they placed 12th in Italy in 2018.

The 2022 Volleyball Men's World Championship is co-hosted by Slovenia and Poland.

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© STA, 2022