Spain, NJIT outside Gimeno beat Latvia to stay alive for possible EuroVolley berth

Photo courtesy of the CEV

Spain remains in contention for a berth to the 2021 EuroVolley tournament thanks in part to NJIT outside attacker Alvaro Gimeno.

The Co-EIVA Player of the Year coming off the bench had four kills on a .500 attack percentage as Spain beat Latvia 27-25, 18-25, 28-26, 25-22 on Saturday in Nicosia, Cyprus at the EuroVolley qualification tournament.

Spain opened the day trailing Latvia (3-2, 9 points) in the tournament standings and needed a win to still have a chance at a EuroVolley berth. The win, though, catapulted Spain (3-2, 9 points) into a first-place tie with Latvia entering the final day of the double round-robin tournament.

Only the first-place team from this four-team tournament will qualify for the EuroVolley.

Gimeno, similar to the previous four matches in the qualification tournament, came off the bench as a serving specialist in three of the four games against Latvia.

Outside attacker Victor Rodriguez Perez led the team with 15 kills and was one of two Spanish players with double-digit kills. Opposite Andres Jesus Villena also had 11 kills along with a team-high three blocks.

Spain will close out the qualification tournament against the Republic of Moldova on Sunday. In order for Spain to finish in first place because of the tiebreaker rules, it will likely need to win its tournament finale and have Cyprus beat Latvia or at least force that tournament finale to a decisive fifth game.

Cyprus is on a two-match winning streak following a five-game victory against the Republic of Moldova on Saturday.