Bulgaria finishes fourth in European volleyball championship
Bulgaria finished fourth in the European men’s volleyball championship after losing its last two matches against Italy and Serbia.
This was Bulgaria’s fourth consecutive fourth-place finish in a major international tournament in the past 15 months, a streak that included the last two editions of the World League and the 2012 London Olympics.
Unlike its last two opponents, which had a fairly uneventful road to the semis, Bulgaria had to play the toughest preliminary pool and then faced Poland and Germany in the knock-out stage. This appears to have taken its toll and Bulgaria occasionally looked winded, dominating only for short stretches at a time.
Against Italy, Bulgaria took the lead by winning the first set, but Italy methodically imposed its will on the match and Bulgaria rarely threatened until the end of the match. Serbia too led for most of the match in the third-place final, with Bulgaria’s attempt to rally back in the third set snuffed out by Serbia.