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26/02/2019 23:00
Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA achieve historic feat in #CLVolleyW pool stage
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Luxembourg, February 26, 2019. Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA completed a clean sweep of their matches in Pool C of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women to become the only team in history not to drop a single set in the pool stage of the competition. NOVARA beat RC CANNES 3-0 at home to cap their perfect campaign this far. Budowlani LODZ claimed a 3-1 victory at Minchanka MINSK to stay in contention for a spot in the quarterfinals but their dream vanished later in the evening after Imoco Volley routed LKS Commercecon LODZ 3-0 in Pool D.

Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA (ITA) vs. RC CANNES (FRA) 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-15)

•    Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA are the only team with a “clean sheet” so far: the players in blue shirts have won 18 sets in a row and they did not lose any in the pool phase. It is the first time ever for a team to achieve this feat since the 2007-2008 season, i.e. when the CEV introduced the current format of the competition.
•    Lauren Carlini received the MVP award of the game after leading her team to an outstanding 3-0 victory.
•    Over 1,800 people attended the game, including a group of 50 supporters from Cannes.
•    Liljana Rankovic was the best scorer of the game with 14 points, while NOVARA most prolific player was Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (13).
•    NOVARA scored 12 blocks vs. five for RC CANNES. Cristina Chirichella was the best blocker of the match with four stuffs.

Giorgia Zannoni, libero of Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA: “We are proud of our European campaign so far, as we have recorded six wins and did not drop any single set. On Saturday night, we had a bad performance in the Italian league and we wanted to respond and offer a good show to our supporters. Now we look forward to the Drawing of Lots to know our next opponents.”

Riccardo Marchesi, head coach of RC CANNES: “NOVARA played another great game and deserved the victory. We knew it would have been a tough game and I believe we could do something more: after the first set, however, we didn’t stay focused enough to fight against such a great team.”

Minchanka MINSK (BLR) vs. Budowlani LODZ (POL) 1-3 (19-25, 19-25, 25-18, 21-25)

•    The start of the match was close as Minchanka were able to keep their mistakes down to a minimum. However, after 14-all, Budowlani broke away and claimed the first set 25-19.
•    Nadzeya Stoliar played a key role for the home side in the early stages of the second set. However, as the set progressed, the hosts made more and more mistakes and they ended up losing it 19-25.  
•    After a close start, Minchanka edged ahead in the third set (15-11) and with the Polish team struggling in reception, the hosts stormed to a 25-18 win propelled by their experienced captain Aksana Kavalchuk.
•    Jovana Brakocevic-Canzian ‘played solo’ in the fourth set as she took LODZ by the hand to secure a 25-21 win and 3-1 victory. However, this was not enough in the end for Budowlani to qualify for the quarterfinals, following Imoco Volley’s 3-0 victory later in the evening at home against LKS Commercecon.
•    Stoliar top scored for Minchanka with 16 points, including six blocks and three aces. Brakocevic registered 25 for LODZ as Minchanka’s Katsiaryna Sakolchyk, playing her first match after a long illness, scored 13 times for the home side.

Blazej Krzysztalowicz, head coach of Budowlani: “Tonight it was difficult for us to side-out and we had problems in reception too. We made many service mistakes and it was difficult to cope with the middle blockers of Minchanka. Minchanka played a good game. Our team was tired because of travelling, and on top of this, we have had many matches lately.”

Viktar Hancharou, head coach of Minchanka: “I think that the match was equal, but in the end of the sets we did not have enough concentration and emotional strength. Today there were problems with the line-up again, as I had almost none to replace the starting players. That still remains our main problem. We have to have a larger roster for such competitions such as the Champions League. But the game was equal; we fought and played for our fans.”

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