Czech Republic defend Bronze Nations League title

Czech Republic extended their reign at the Bronze Nations League after their 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22) win over Estonia at Gymnase Alice Milliat on Sunday.

Czech Republic came out the gates in the first set with a 12-6 advantage but Estonia overcame their service blunders to reduce the gap to 17-12. Estonia could not recover as the defending champions ran away with the set with a 25-19 win.

Both teams showed matched intensity at the start of the second set to produce a deadlock at 6-all, but Simonek’s (21) great service game gave Czech Republic a 10-6 headway. They exploded with a 22-14 outburst that helped end the set 25-20 to gain the two-set edge.

The Czechs jumped to an 8-1 lead in the third set, but the Estonians staged a 25-23 comeback. The Estonian side carried their momentum in the fourth set with a 4-1 advantage but this was a temporary setback for the Czechs as they rallied back to tie the score at 8-all. The next plays went down to the wire with an intense exchange of points but the Czech Republic managed to close the match at 25-22 to win the tournament.

The Czechs started with two match victories on Saturday against Great Britain and hosts France, respectively. They defeated Great Britain 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22) and rallied from two sets down to win 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-11) against the home team.

Meanwhile, Great Britain finished second in the tournament with two victories, while France placed third and winless Estonia placed fourth.

After splitting their victories on Day 2, Great Britain closed the tournament on high note with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) rout of France. This was the first time these two teams met in an official competition.

The home team only managed to win on Day 1 against Estonia 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-10, 25-19). The French team are building up on their campaign as they host the next Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.

Photo credit: ParaVolley Europe