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13/03/2018 21:52
Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL and Minchanka MINSK set sights on #CEVCup final
2018 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Luxembourg, March 13, 2018. Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL showed once again their high class during the first semi-final match of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women. In their away match, Turkey’s heavyweight took a straight 3-0 win over Germany’s SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN. Despite the great atmosphere in PALMBERG Arena, the home team couldn’t cause a surprise in this first round of the semis. In the other matchup of the day, Minchanka MINSK made history, winning by 3-2 vs. Allianz MTV STUTTGART. Both teams showed high-level Volleyball and gave to the fans some moments to remember!

SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN (GER) vs. Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL (TUR) 0-3 (18-25, 19-25, 20-25)

•    “We don’t have any chances, so let’s take the best out of the situation” – this was the mantra of SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN who saw themselves as the underdog in the first match of the semi-finals against Eczacibasi VitrA.
•    It was the highlight of the season for the German champions to receive such an outstanding team as the ladies from Istanbul.
•    The first set started off in favour of the Germans who were leading at the first technical timeout with 8-7. With unstoppable attacks from Tijana Boskovic and Rachael Adams, the Turkish team came back quickly and took over the lead until winning the first set 25-18.
•    Set number 2 was a close fight with long rallies, successful blocks from SCHWERIN Lauren Barfield and strong attacks by Louisa Lippmann brought the home side the lead at the first technical timeout (8-5). The match was equal until the score of 16-16 before the visitors from Turkey could create a gap of six points, thus leading 22-16. Defending the powerful attacks coming from the other side of the net was impossible and SCHWERIN did not find the right recipe for that, this leading to another set win for the guest team from Istanbul (25-19).
•    Being two sets down, the Germans had nothing to lose and tried to fight their way back into the game. However, the dominance of the Turkish players was evident. Even the support of nearly 2,000 fans in a sold out arena could not change the fact that SCHWERIN did not find a way to stop their opponent. Whenever the hosts got closer, for example at the score of 14-16, Tijana Boskovic (who scored 23 points in the end and had a terrific 79% success rate),  reminded them of their limits and finished long rallies in favour of the visiting team. Winning the third set 25-20, the Turkish team has the best chances to reach the next round with the return match coming up in Istanbul, on March 20.

Louisa Lippmann, player of SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN: “Eczacibasi is a very good team. We were able to keep up until the halfway point of each set but could not bring it home. It is hard to keep the concentration up to the end against such a top team.”

Tijana Boskovic, player of Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL: “We are happy to win the away match. SCHWERIN is a good team and they fight very hard.”

Allianz MTV STUTTGART (GER) vs. Minchanka MINSK (BLR) 2-3 (15-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 8-15)

•     In the first set, the hosts struggled with too many unforced errors, especially in service, and couldn’t cope with the power and strength of the opponent’s services and attacks. Minchanka delivered a very solid blocking game as well to secure a fast 25-15 win.
•    STUTTGART started much better in the second set and responded with more aggressiveness, knowing now what to expect from the other side of the net. A comfortable lead was reached by 23-18, but Minchanka, not giving up, came back and it was a very tight set-win for the hosts in the end (25-22).
•    The third set was “a repeat story” of the previous one, but with the roles being swapped this time. Minchanka started better, but STUTTGART did not give up and challenged their guests who nevertheless stormed to a 25-21 win.
•    In the fourth set, the question “in the air” was only one: would the fans witness a tiebreak or would this set be the end of the match? STUTTGART fought bravely and showed some real team spirit with almost 1,200 fans in their back, which is quite an impressive crowd for a Tuesday evening - definitely not a usual time slot for the local fans. After cruising to a landslide 20-8 lead, due to very consistent service and attack game, the hosts secured an easy win (25-11). All the spectators were waiting for a final showdown to unfold in the tiebreak.
•    The tiebreak was a very “fast story”. Minchanka took a comfortable lead in the beginning (6-1, 8-3) and the hosts couldn’t just recover from that setback.

Ioannis Athanasopoulos, head coach of Allianz MTV STUTTGART:  “We totally slept during the first set, we weren’t on the court. I think this was important for the outcome of the whole match. I had to change a lot in order to find the right mix. But since we did not perform at the level we usually do, I think we have a good chance at winning in Minsk. I believe in my team.”

Viktar Hancharou, head coach of Minchanka MINSK: “It is a little “tradition” for us to play five sets. Right now I am very happy. We have a lot of respect for STUTTGART and so far it is the toughest team we have met on the European stage. However, they made too many mistakes today, and we just had to take advantage of that. I am very optimistic for our home game next week.”

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News nr. 8 of 57
19/03/2018 09:35:00
Turkish ‘Tigers’ confident ahead of re-match with SCHWERIN
12/03/2018 11:22:52
Giant challenge for SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN in CEV Cup semi-finals

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