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05/03/2019 21:00
CSM Volei Alba BLAJ to contest second straight European final, Yamamay vie for third #CEVCupW crown
2019 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Luxembourg, March 5, 2019. CSM Volei Alba BLAJ will contest their second European final in a row after qualifying for the title-deciding stage of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women following another 3-0 victory in the Romanian derby with Stiinta BACAU. The silver medal winners of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League will play Italy’s Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO – two-time winners of the CEV Cup in 2010 and 2012 – in the finals scheduled for later this month.

CSM Volei Alba BLAJ (ROU) vs. Stiinta BACAU (ROU) 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-23)

•    CSM Volei Alba BLAJ continue to make history for Romanian Volleyball! Europe’s vice-champions qualified for the second consecutive season for a European Cup final in less than eight years since the club’s establishment. The team coached by Darko Zakoč crossed another Romanian team, Știința BACAU, in the semis and secured their spot in the final with two 3-0 wins from this derby.
•    The hosts quickly settled the fate of the qualification, as Volei Alba BLAJ, with the standard team on the court, easily claimed the first and second sets – enough to qualify for the final.
•    In the third set, Darko Zakoč decided to resort to some of his less experienced players and as a result, the set was a much closer affair. However, the hosts eventually claimed a second 3-0 victory over BACAU.
•    The many fans in attendance fully enjoyed the experience, as they applauded both teams in the end.

Darko Zakoč, coach of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “Today the game was a bit more relaxed on our side, and we started with a few mistakes that we usually do not make, but this is what happens when we start as the pre-favourites. We solved this small problem and I am glad that we have achieved a great success for us, for a small club that compares with the giants of Europe, because not everyone can qualify for two consecutive years for a European final. We will not just be happy with this qualification, we have great ambitions and we want to win the CEV Cup. Unlike last year, this year we have a 50% chance of winning the trophy. I congratulate the team. I am sorry we did not qualify for the pool stage of the Champions League, because the squad was made for the Champions League, but now we have the chance to play a new final and that is great.”

Florin Grapă, coach of Știința BACAU: “We have to be happy with this result. I congratulate Volei Alba BLAJ, who deserve all the praise and I wish them good luck in the final. It is a very good team and I am sorry we could not do more in the two matches we played with them.”

Nneka Onyejekwe, captain of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “Our goal this year was to have a long run in the Champions League, we did not achieve that, and afterwards we focused on the CEV Cup. We wanted to reach the final, but we knew there were strong teams and we are very happy that we have succeeded in doing so. I thank the supporters for their encouragement, but also for the fair play, because they applauded the team from Bacau too. We will need their support in the final and I am convinced that the Transylvania Hall will be full for that match.”

Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO (ITA) vs. Swietelsky BÉKÉSCSABA (HUN) 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-11)

•    Yamamay e-work BUSTO ARSIZIO needed two sets only from their re-match with the Hungarian national champions to secure their spot in the final – and they swiftly achieved their goal before sealing a second 3-0 victory in as many matches.
•    Once again, Yamamay confirmed their dominance after taking the away matchup with the same result. Despite missing Britt Herbots, struggling with fever, the ‘Butterlies’ were just dominant in the first and second sets with Floortje Meijners and Alessia Gennari top scoring in the end with 10 and nine points, respectively.
•    The hosts relaxed a bit in the third set but their supremacy was not questionable at all. Réka Szedmak of Swietelsky suffered an injury and there was a short interruption of the match as a cat living at Palayamamay eventually entered the court…
•    Nikoleta Perovic top scored for the visitors with 15 points.
•    Yamamay are chasing their third title in the CEV Cup after seizing the crown in 2010 and 2012 – and losing the 2017 final to Dinamo KAZAN of Russia.

Marco Mencarelli, head coach of Yamamay: “We wrote another piece of our club’s history: nothing prevents us now from starting to dream and from thinking positive ahead of the final. We will play against a team that we still have to study carefully because first there are two important national championship matches. We are training well in this period and we saw also with Millennium BRESCIA that we are able to play at a level that puts a lot of pressure on our opponents.”

Bogdan Paul, head coach of Swietelsky BÉKÉSCSABA: “Yamamay were the favourites. They played strong in Hungary and today they simply did the same at Palayamamay; we tried to do our best, and we created problems to Yamamay especially in the first two sets. We did not play well in the third, but the qualification for the final was gone after Yamamay were 2-0 up.”

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News nr. 5 of 34
18/03/2019 13:54:00
BLAJ and Yamamay ready to lock horns in #CEVCupW finals
04/03/2019 12:16:00
Romania’s Volei Alba BLAJ close to second straight European final

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