Cyprus serve Warning

Ireland vs. Cyprus 0:3 (11-25, 5-25, 9-25)

After dropping a set to Malta in its opening match, Cyprus was focused from the start and led by 8-2 at the technical time-out with opposite Antonia Theoti prominent.  Ireland struggled to deal with her serves as she served for seven unanswered points to take it to 11-2 and Cyprus ran away with the set at 25-11.  Theoti and middle blocker Sofia Manitarou kept the pressure on the Irish in the second set.  On Theoti’s serve, Cyprus stretched from 9-2 to 17-2 before Zoi Konstantopoulou served out the final six points of the set which Cyprus took by 25-5.  Cyprus had too much hitting weight for the Irish and led by 8-2 in the third set at the first technical time-out.  Ireland scrambled for every ball in the back court, but Cyprus could not be halted, seeing out the final set by 25-9.

Antonia Theoti topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 15 points, of which an impressive 8 aces.  Teammate Zoi Konstantopoulou added another 10 for Cyprus.  None of the Irish players was able to pile up more than two points in this game.

Petros Patsias, head coach of Cyprus:  “We played 50 per cent better than against Malta and we can play much better.  This morning I told the players the most important thing during the game is to concentrate.  Our serving was much better and our attack transition is getting better day by day.”

Willem Klaas Roosenburg, head coach of Ireland:  “I am happy, they are a professional team.  Our goal was to get ten points in a set and I have a better feeling than after our match against Northern Ireland.  The whole team was down yesterday, but we had a good meeting this morning and, in the dressing room, we sang the national anthem.”

Edel Nolan captain of Ireland:  “We know Cyprus is a really good team, but we fought well and I really enjoyed playing in the match.  We all went out to enjoy the match.”