The Finns worked hard for a home win but were beaten again by Belgium
Tampere, Finland, May 23, 2015 – Belgium beat Finland for the second day in a row, and in another five-setter (29-31, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 15-11), to keep up their fine World League form. The first set was competitive to say the least: with Belgium dominating the block, and Finland scoring aces and spiking superbly, the sides could barely be separated, and an amazing eight set points were reached, then saved, before Olli-Pekka Ojansivu finally converted one for Finland to win it 31-29. Urpo Sivula racked up an impressive eight points for the Finns, with Sam Deroo and Gert Van Walle managing six each for the Belgians.
Belgium however regrouped and hit back in set two. Despite good play from Urpo Sivula and Lelu Ojansivu, Van Walle and Deroo got the upper hand, and with the Finns making too many mistakes, the Belgians took the set 25-20. Finland got the upper hand in set three however, and after trailing, hit an extraordinary six points in a row from Antti Siltala’s serve to take the set 25-23 and lead 2-1.
In the fourth set the two teams remained close, but the pendulum swung again. Led by Sam Deroo’s spiking, the Belgians attacked more clinically, and took the set 25-21 to level the match 2-2 in sets. Nobody should have been surprised: in their last six FIVB Volleyball World League clashes, these two sides have gone to five sets on five occasions.
And on this occasion, Belgium prevailed. Led by the attacks of Deroo, they just had the edge, and closed out the set 15-11. Sam Deroo was the match's best scorer, with 22 points; Urpo Sivula clocked up 21 for the Finns. Belgium secure four World League points; Finland at least have the consolation of two points after taking both this weekend's matches to five sets. Next weekend the teams meet again in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Follow the match text commentary here