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04/04/2018 23:29
Home teams pull out dramatic wins in first night of #CLVolleyM Playoffs 6
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, April 4, 2018. Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA stormed back after losing a close opening set to pull out a 3-1 home victory over 2013 gold medal winners Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK – and they are now two sets away from qualifying to the Final Four of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men. The same applies to their compatriots from Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA as Italy’s reigning national champions claimed a 3-1 home victory as well in the eagerly anticipated ‘Match of the Week’ and derby with three-time CL winners TRENTINO Diatec. Germany’s VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN came back from two sets down in an effort to add another chapter to their sensational campaign this season but hosts Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE stormed back after trailing in the tiebreak to secure a dramatic 3-2 home victory. All re-matches will take place next week and determine the sides joining hosts Zenit KAZAN in the Final Four due to take place on May 12-13 in the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (ITA) vs. Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK (RUS) 3-1 (24-26, 25-15, 25-19, 25-21)

•    Lokomotiv came back from 22-24 in the first set and the Russians sealed a 26-24 win with four straight points.
•    PERUGIA responded by dominating the second set (25-15) where they recorded three aces and four blocks.
•    The third set was a much closer affair with the hosts prevailing courtesy of their higher success rate in attack (46 vs. 36%).
•    The fans in attendance erupted in euphoria after Marko Podrascanin sealed a 3-1 win for the home side at the end of the fourth set.
•    Aleksandar Atanasijevic top scored in the match with 21 points. 

Stefano Recine, Team Manager of Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA: “It was a very difficult match, against a high-level opponent, physically strong and with high-quality players. Our players tonight were very good, because after the shock that they suffered at the end of the first set, lost in that way and during which we had done everything better than the opponent did, we blanked out a bit in the end. Our players were mentally very good and strong.”

Plamen Konstantinov, head coach of Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK: “We knew it was going to be a difficult match for us. I think that after the first set, PERUGIA put more pressure on us with their serves. Our service also worked well, but they were mainly float ones. Jump serves did not produce the expected and desired results for us. I think their service changed the course of the match after the first set. In some sections of the third and fourth sets we could have gotten closer and played point for point, but we missed two or three opportunities and I think that there we also lost the match. There is a second match and we are playing it at home next week, but PERUGIA were good and they deserve my congratulations for the victory. We will try to come back stronger next week.”

Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) vs. TRENTINO Diatec (ITA) 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 28-26)

•    It was the fifth match featuring these two teams in the CEV Volleyball Champions League. They previously crossed their paths in the 2009 and 2016 semi-finals and in the Playoffs 6 of the 2012 edition as well.
•    TRENTINO Diatec line-up included the Estonian opposite Renee Teppan, as Luca Vettori suffered an injury just at the end of the warm up.
•    The home team immediately took control of the operations in the opening set, where they claimed a 22-18 lead thanks to services of Dragan Stankovic (six points with 67% of efficiency and two aces) and Micah Christenson, to seal a 25-22 win.
•    TRENTINO Diatec got back on track in the second set and were able to claim it 25-23 after a great serve of Simone Giannelli, that allowed Teppan to easily spike the ball to seal the final score.
•    CIVITANOVA set the pace from start to end of the third set (25-19), while in the fourth they won a very physical fight, with Osmany Juantorena sealing a 28-26 win for the home side with an ace.
•    Juantorena was the best scorer of the match with 19 points (16/30 in attack). Tsvetan Sokolov added 18, while Filippo Lanza scored 18 times for the visitors.
•    For Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA this is the second win out of five CEV Champions League matches against TRENTINO Diatec this far.
•    Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA are now only two sets away from securing their third Final Four appearance in a row after winning bronze in 2016 as well as in 2017.

Osmany Juantorena, outside hitter of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA: “We suffered too much the high-level performance of TRENTINO; I think we should have showed more patience instead of playing more of a physical game. Anyway, the most important thing at this point of the competition is the victory, so we eventually got what we wanted and this without having to play a tiebreak.”

Angelo Lorenzetti, coach of TRENTINO Diatec: “Our main goal was to play a balanced match against our opponents, and we did it. However, I am very disappointed that we missed the winning hit, when we needed it.”

Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE (POL) vs. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN (GER) 3-2 (25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 15-13)

•    The hosts used their service to set the pace in the early stages of the first set (4-1, 8-5) before the visitors somehow woke up after the technical break with their Greek outside hitter Athanasios Protopsaltis helping tie the score at 8-all. It was a very close race up until the end with many long rallies before Mateusz Bieniek sealed a 25-23 win for Zaksa.
•    Zaksa set the tempo of the game also in the second set but a German lead at 13-10 prompted a time-out by the coach of the home side, Andrea Gardini. The hosts responded well as they made it 13-13 and edged ahead at 15-14 with an ace of Maurice Torres. Sam Deroo delivered a truly outstanding performance at this stage and after claiming a four-point advantage at 23-19, Zaksa closed the set out at 25-21.
•    The visitors played a much better game in the third set leading 5-3 and 8-6 before Zaksa levelled the count at 9-9. Such a close race continued up to 12-all before the Germans scored four points in a row. Two straight mistakes made by Lukasz Wisniewski moved the score to 19-15 for the Häfler and despite some errors towards the end of the set, the visitors sealed a 25-22 win.
•    VfB setter Simon Tischer found the right timing and chemistry with Protopsaltis and David Sossenheimer to shape up an 8-5 lead for the Germans at the first technical timeout of the fourth set. The fourth set was an intense battle with Zaksa coming back from 8-12 to 14-15. However, after that, the hosts somehow ran out of fuel and VfB scored four times in a row to get the advantage they needed to go for the tiebreak (25-22).
•    The final set seemed to run according to the visitors’ plan as Protopsaltis scored repeatedly and a missed attack by Rafal Buszek made it 11-7 for the Häfler. At this stage, the reigning Polish national champions showed their character and fighting spirit with 2,000 fans rooting loudly for them as Buszek levelled the count at 11-all. An ace by Buszek moved the score to 13-11 and Deroo’s attack sealed a dramatic win for Zaksa at 15-13.

Vital Heynen, head coach of VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN: “It was a good match, with a lot of drama and it is a pity that we could not win it in the end, especially after my team showed so much character to come back from two sets down.”

Sam Deroo, star player of Zaksa: “We somehow lost our rhythm after the first two sets, as we wanted to win very quickly and the visitors showed that they are a good team because they fought for every ball. The question of who will progress to the Final Four remains an open one; we can win in Germany as much as we did here at home.”

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News nr. 27 of 117
05/04/2018 12:00:00
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03/04/2018 18:15:00
Six elite teams vie for much-desired ticket to Kazan

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