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28/02/2019 01:39
Zaksa waste nine match points in dramatic fall off quarterfinal list!
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, February 27, 2019.  Poland’s Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE lived through a nerve-wracking drama on Wednesday night in Italy and went from wasting nine match points in the third set against Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA to losing the match in five sets, thus generously handing their spot in the quarterfinals of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men over to compatriots PGE Skra BELCHATOW. Earlier in the day, the other Italian team in Pool B, Azimut Leo Shoes MODENA, were missing some of their star players in Karlovy Vary, but despite the absence of Ivan Zaytsev and Tine Urnaut, they accomplished their mission to claim a 3-0 victory over Czech national champions ČEZ KARLOVARSKO. This gave them momentary hopes of staying alive for the next round, but they soon vanished with the results coming in from the other pools.


ČEZ KARLOVARSKO (CZE) vs. Azimut Leo Shoes MODENA (ITA) 0-3 (18-25, 21-25, 19-25)


•    MODENA travelled to Czech Republic without some of their best players but ČEZ KARLOVARSKO fought as much as they could. The hosts had problems to cope with the float services of Luuc van der Ent and Wessel Keemink in the first set, which ended with a successful video challenge by MODENA.
•    The second set was a lot closer but MODENA were able to accomplish their goal of achieving a 3-0 victory.
•    As many as 2,154 fans attended the last CL match held this season at KV Arena in Karlovy Vary.

Filip Rejlek, player of ČEZ KARLOVARSKO: “They do not make as many mistakes as we do; we started the first set very well, but we did not defend a few balls and we gave them some free points. It is not possible to play as we did and to win against MODENA. They showed us that we cannot think that we are the best team in the Czech Republic and we can play at the same level of MODENA, Lube or Zaksa. We need to push more, improve and listen to the coach and just learn something new every day. This is Volleyball.”

Giulio Pinali, player of Azimut Leo Shoes MODENA: “The key was to make as few mistakes as possible, and try to play the best we can. We played a good game, even though we had some lows but we were able to come back. It is rather unusual that some of our top players did not come with us, but our coach had faith in us, so we trained hard to play this game and for me all players today did very well!”

Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) vs. Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE (POL) 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 34-32, 25-21, 15-12)

•    Champions League and Club World Championship silver medallists Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA had already qualified for the quarterfinals as leaders in Pool B. They scored their sixth win in a row in as many matches played in the pool. The Polish team of Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE, mentored by Andrea Gardini, finished second, but did not qualify to the next round of the competition.
•    Zaksa were still missing one of their strongest players, Belgian outside hitter Sam Deroo, replaced on the court by Rafal Szymura. On the other side, coach Ferdinando De Giorgi decided to start with Belgian setter Stijn D’Hulst and wing spiker Jacopo Massari, letting his star players Bruno Rezende and Osmany Juantorena take some rest.
•    After a balanced start of the match (13-13), the visiting team came out on a three-point advantage in the opening set thanks to some great serving and emerged victorious by 25-20 due to their great side-out attacks. Zaksa claimed an early lead (17-12) in the second set and were able to hold on to it (21-15) until the end (25-22), with Bruno Rezende and Osmany Juantorena finally on the court on the opposite side.
•    Zaksa was very close to the 3-0 win, as they were leading 24-20 in the third set. But the Italian team re-opened the match – first, dramatically winning the third set by 34-32, then dominating the fourth with the blocks of Cuban star Robertlandy Simon (25-21).  The tie-break was balanced through 9-9, but then it was a one-way street for Lube (15-12).
•    Tsvetan Sokolov and Robertlandy Simon were the best scorers of the match with 23 points each, while Rafal Szymura was Zaksa’s top point-maker with 22.



Sebastian Swiderski, president of Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE (also a former player of Lube): “We wasted a great opportunity! A team like ours must absolutely close the match after leading 24-20! You can’t give a second chance to the opponents, especially when they are a team as great as Cucine Lube.”

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