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26/02/2019 22:00
BLAJ and BUSTO ARSIZIO set sights on #CEVCupW finals
2019 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Luxembourg, February 26, 2019. On Tuesday night, CSM Volei Alba BLAJ and Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO claimed straight-set victories in the first leg of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women semis. CSM Volei Alba BLAJ won the Romanian derby over Stiinta BACAU after only 67 minutes of play, while Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO closed their match after a tight first set against the reigning Hungarian champions, Swietelsky BÉKÉSCSABA. With their win, both teams made a big step towards reaching the #CEVCupW finals.

Stiinta BACAU (ROU) vs. CSM Volei Alba BLAJ (ROU) 0-3 (12-25, 16-25, 12-25)

•    A large crowd came on Tuesday night to Sala Sporturilor in Bacau to see the show from the CEV Cup semi-final between Stiinta and CSM Volei Alba BLAJ.
•    Last year’s Champions League finalist left no chance to their opponent, with ex-Stiinta BACAU player, Ioana Maria Baciu, taking the spoils for the best scorer of the match with 22 points. On the other side, the Bacau team had few chances, as they got no point with the serve in the first set and zero points with the block in the first two sets.
•    In the third set, two junior players had their international debut for Stiinta BACAU, namely Iulia Matanie (15 years old) and Madalina Andreea Airoaie (16 years old).

Florin Grapa, coach of Stiinta BACAU: “We did not manage to play at our opponent’s level and we suffered a hard defeat. In this moment, I think Volei Alba BLAJ has 80% chances to qualify for the final and I want to congratulate my colleague Darko Zakoc for that.”

Darko Zakoc, coach of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “We did not repeat the mistakes we made in the previous match against Stiinta and that is why we won today in three sets. Nevertheless, I wish we remain with our feet on the ground, because the second leg won’t be easy.”

Denisa Rogojinaru, captain of Stiinta BACAU: “Our opponents showed their strength today, as they fully controlled the match. Nevertheless, we still have the second leg to play and we will not go into that match thinking that we will lose it, we will fight for a win instead.”

Nneka Onyejekwe, captain of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “I think today we were very focused on what we had to do, we did it well and I am very happy for this win. Despite the score, I do not think it was an easy match and I hope we will also win the second leg and qualify for the final.”

Swietelsky BÉKÉSCSABA (HUN) vs. Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO (ITA) 0-3 (23-25, 14-25, 18-25)

•    The Italian team started better and managed to keep the three-point difference until the end of the set. The hosts fought well and saved two set points but the away team eventually emerged victorious at 25-23.
•    Thanks to their good defence, BUSTO ARSIZIO started to play more concentrated in the second period, dominated it from the beginning until the end to double their advantage with a 25-14 win.
•    The third set started the same way as the one before. The visitors built a six-point lead, but Swietelsky fought back and reduced their deficit to 17-21. The home team, however, made more mistakes in the rest of the period as Yamamay closed the match 25-18.

Bogdan Paul, head coach of team Swietelsky BÉKÉSCSABA: “Mentally, we were not on the court for the first points of the match. After that, we really had a chance to take the first set. My players fought for every ball, but the stronger side won the game. We have nothing to lose and we will give our best - this is how we will play in the second game in Italy.”

Marco Mencarelli, head coach of Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO: “I do not think we played under pressure just because people think we are the better team. We also had our ups and downs during the game, but overall I think the third set was the most realistic one, which showed the real difference between the two teams.”

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