Sofia, Bulgaria, September 23, 2018 – Bulgaria’s end to the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship was bitter as co-hosts lost 3-2 (25-19, 25-14, 21-25, 19-25, 15-10) to Canada failing to get a revenge for the dropped five-setter four years ago in Poland. The Lions fell short in their attempt for a first comeback from two sets down at a World Championship since 2006.
Being eliminated earlier in the day with Russia win over Finland Bulgarians failed to show up for the first two sets. Things were so bad that head coach Plamen Konstantinov was forced to use 12 players as early as the middle of the second. But it couldn’t prevent a new all-time low for a points scored in a set at a World Championship as Bulgaria lost Set 2 14-25.
The Lions finally lived up to their nickname in the third as Todor Skrimov hit three monster serves to put Bulgaria 24-20 ahead on the way to 25-21 victory. Nikolay Uchikov came big in the fourth with a 75% kill rate in attack for 25-19 to force a tiebreak.
In it Bulgaria used the momentum to lead 3-2 as Nikolay Penched hit a 117 km/h ace. But Canada went on a 7-2 series to clinch it 15-10 and secure second place in Pool G.
Despite coming on the court only late in the second set Nikolay Uchikov finished with 20 points to lead all scorers. John Gordon Perrin accounted for 18 of Canada’s to finish the championship with 148.