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31/01/2018 00:44
Noliko MASEIK surprise Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE, BERLIN Recycling Volleys without any serious problems vs. Spacer’s TOULOUSE
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, January 30, 2018. BERLIN Recycling Volleys and Noliko MAASEIK claimed victories in their matches in the 4th leg in Round 4 of the CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men. The BR Volleys conceded only one set in their away match vs. Spacer’s TOULOUSE and now have two wins and two losses to their name in Pool D. The other match between Noliko MAASEIK and Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE was a real volleyball thriller, with both teams constantly exchanging the leadership. Eventually, Noliko took the win by 3-2, grabbing this way a second victory in Pool E, while this was the first loss for Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE.

Spacer’s TOULOUSE VB (FRA) vs. BERLIN Recycling Volleys (GER) 1-3 (20-25, 25-15, 23-25, 18-25)

 •    BERLIN Recycling Volleys managed to open the match by winning the first set by 25-20. Thanks to a better play in block and defense, and to an impressive service series at the beginning of the match, the visitors took the lead by 8-2. However, Spacer’s TOULOUSE's setter Dimitri Walgenwitz started to play with the middle blockers and it seemed that the French team were about to turn the result in their favour. Nevertheless, the players around head coach Luke Reynolds took back control of the game and closed it by 25-20.
•    Spacer’s TOULOUSE opened the second set with two consecutive aces by Nicolas Burel. The good opening of this part of the match forced the visiting team to take a time-out by the score of 4-1. However, Spacer’s TOULOUSE kept on the winning track, pressuring their opponents with good service and again some good blocks.  Bram Van den Dries suffered an injury, but despite that problem he continued performing at highest level possible. Luka Basic from Spacer’s TOULOUSE managed to close this part of the match by 25-15, having recorded his third block in the match.
•    In the beginning of the third set Spacer's TOULOUSE took the lead and by the time of the first technical time-out the score was 8-6 for the hosts.  Aleksandar Okolic from BERLIN Recycling Volleys then found a proper reaction to the situation and with three consecutive blocks gave the leadership in the set back to his team. The hosts from Spacer’s TOULOUSE seemed to have lost a bit of concentration and made too many mistakes, especially in spiking.  More than 2,000 spectators in the sports hall in Toulouse were cheering up for their favourites and this gave the French team wings to fly - they scored four straight points to make the result 19-22, coming closer to their opponents. However, the team from Berlin managed to keep calm and won this part by 25-23.
•    In the fourth set, the BR Volleys controlled the game, mostly thanks to their good service and by avoiding errors. Although the hosts from Spacer’s gave their best, they couldn’t make a comeback in the match and the visitors closed this part by 25-18, claiming this way the victory by 3-1.

Dimitri Walgenwitz, setter of Spacer’s TOULOUSE : “Despite the loss, there was a good atmosphere in the Palais des Sports "André Brouat". We were playing in front of more than 2,000 fans, who were supporting us. Of course, I am not happy to lose 1-3, but considering our situation with many injured players, it was difficult to make substitutions as the coach would want to, so I think we gave off what we could. Tonight, the Spacer’s team showed a fighting spirit against the BR Volleys."

Pierre Pujol, setter of BERLIN Recycling Volleys: "Our aim tonight was keeping alive the possibility to play for a spot in the Playoffs against JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel at home, so it was important to get the three points. We suffered from a lack of concentration in the second set. Spacer’s TOULOUSE took the best from this situation, won the set and the match became more complicated. During the third set the two teams delivered many long rallies, until  we managed to come out on top at 25-23."

Noliko MAASEIK (BEL) vs. Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE (POL) 3-2 (26-24, 24-26, 25-20, 22-25, 17-15)

•    After  two hours, some 2,150 fans in Maaseik’s Steengoed Arena had witnessed an incredibly tight game, and as a consequence it went to a tiebreak: 26-24, 24-26, 25-20, 22-25.
•    Timo Tammemaa’s block and Nicolas Bruno’s spikes offered Noliko an early 8-4 lead in the tiebreak, but Sam Deroo didn’t want to lose in his home country and dragged his side over from 8-7 to 12-13. Jolan Cox and Jay Michael Blankenau claimed two match points for MAASEIK. Zaksa replied, in vain. Tammemaa’s serve right in the corner finished a tremendous game: 17-15.
•    Jolan Cox topped the charts with an amazing tally of 32 points, of which four aces. Tammemaa’s ace proved to be the decisive one. Sam Deroo was best scorer for Zaksa with 24.
•    It’s the first time Noliko MAASEIK post two victories in the group stage of the Champions League since 2014.
•  This was Noliko’s first victory against a Polish team in seven years. However, their 3-0 win against JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel was overshadowed by a 15-17 loss in the Golden Set. The last real triumph against a Polish opponent dates back to 2008 against AZS CZESTOCHOWA: 3-1.

Jolan Cox, opposite hitter of Noliko MAASEIK: “Fighting, fighting, fighting, that was the recipe for this win. If you can keep up with a  team like Zaksa, chances will come. And we took them. If we can keep up this level, everything is possible in the two games to come.”

Sam Deroo, outside hitter of Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE: “Yes, we are a little surprised by the level MAASEIK showed today. Especially in defence and on the high attacks, they showed a higher level than we expected. And maybe, after two defeats, we were mentally not at our best since we are not really used to lose a lot.”

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