May 26 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Bulgaria, ranked ninth in the world, secure three set (25-18, 25-20, 25-23) victory
A valiant effort was not enough as the men’s GB volleyball went down to a straight three set victory in their opening group game this morning.
They improved set upon set and almost took the third before the experience of Bulgaria saw the ninth-ranked team take the win.
There was a solid start for Team GB, ranked 92nd in the world, who matched their opponents in the early stages.
A spike from Mitcham’s 22-year-old Dami Bakare lifted the crowd to move it back to an 11-6 deficit and Bulgaria coach Nayden Naydenov had to call a time-out following another two points for the hosts.
But their skipper Vladimir Nikolov helped his side into a 17-11 lead and a long serve from Jason Haldane gifted Bulgaria the first set with a 25-18 victory.
The early points were shared in the second set before Bulgaria began to take the ascendancy once more.
But captain Ben Pipes moved them to back within two points with an ace, only for Bulgaria to move 12-9 in front.
A kill from the Dami Bakare, a dental student, brought the deficit back to just two at 15-13, and despite Newham’s Peter Bakare coming on with Bulgaria on set point a deft touch from Pipes moved it back to 24-20.
However, the next point went to Bulgaria and with it the set.
GB took a 3-2 lead in set three, the first time they had been ahead in the whole encounter, and a block from Mark Plotyczer moved that to 5-3.
Dami Bakare was at his best, taking two points in quick succession as they held an 8-6 lead at the first break.
A three-point lead at 10-7 saw Naydenov call a time out, but that done little to help the Bulgarians.
They reduced the deficit to just two at 13-11, and it worked with Pipes winning the next point.
But the ninth-ranked Bulgarians used their greater international experience to get in front at 16-15.
It was toe-for-toe as each side exchanged points and in the closing stages Bulgaria moved into a 24-23 lead in a tight third set where Great Britain showed they could compete against the world’s best despite losing the set 25-23.