AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – Play held largely to form Friday on the opening day of the 2012 Mediterranean Boys Volleyball Championships.
A marathon’s worth of action finished with the American Overseas School of Rome sporting a 5-0 record in round-robin play with two more matches set for all eight teams Saturday morning before the consolation and championship games.
Although there was no seeding for the eight-team event, the Falcons would have been given the No. 1 seed based on their regular season play.
AOSR, which went unbeaten during the regular season, only dropped one set in five matches. The first victory was a 25-13, 25-19 triumph over Rome rival Marymount International. The Royals then went on to win their last four of the day to finish 4-1.
Next up are Vicenza, which finished second to AOSR in American Schools in Italy League action, and Incirlik, which both went 3-2. Both can still make the finals if AOSR or Marymount falter in Saturday's early action.
The teams with the top two records meet for the finals at 3:30 p.m., with the two squads with the next best records playing for consolation before that. Naples and Aviano both went 2-3 and are still mathematically alive for the consolation game.
Boys volleyball is only played in the Mediterranean in DODDS-Europe and five of the schools play together in Italy in a season that mirrors their female counterparts. Incirlik and Ankara, which play each other several times during the season and Bahrain joined the others in a tournament that was shortened to two days of competition this season.
As a result, there were 20 matches set for two courts on Thursday, with eight more set for Saturday morning before the consolation and championship games are set.
Bahrain and Ankara, which each lost its first four matches, were the only teams out of contention heading into the final matches Friday. Bahrain earned its first victory with a 25-16, 25-21 win over Ankara.