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13/03/2019 20:30
Dinamo MOSCOW rise to the occasion to end VakifBank 28-game winning streak
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Moscow, Russia, March 13, 2019. Dinamo MOSCOW ended VakifBank’s winning streak in the CEV Volleyball Champions League after a series of 28 straight wins for the Turkish powerhouse. The Muscovites did so as they claimed a truly exciting and dramatic match 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13) to cause the first sensation of the women’s quarterfinals. VakifBank had suffered their last CL setback in April 2016 when losing the gold medal match to Italy’s Pomi CASALMAGGIORE. It is the second win for Dinamo against a Turkish top team this season – as they had previously edged Fenerbahce Opet at the tiebreak in the fifth leg of the pool phase. The return match next week in Istanbul will decide which one of these two mighty teams will progress to the semis.

•    The start of the match was very intense and it set the tone for what was to follow. Dinamo showed their blocking prowess as VakifBank responded with excellent serves. The tactics of the visiting team worked just fine in the first set as the Turks claimed a 25-20 win.
•    VakifBank had to work hard for every point they scored and this left the impression that Dinamo would stand a chance at winning this game.
•    The respective stars – Nataliya Goncharova and Ekaterina Lyubushkina for Dinamo, Zhu Ting and Lonneke Slöetjes for VakifBank – were up to their roles and Lyubushkina was especially prolific in the third set where she scored almost as many points as Goncharova did (six vs. seven).
•    Slöetjes made a crucial mistake at the end of the third set, which helped Dinamo seal their win.
•    The course of the game changed many times but Dinamo came back from a 3-7 deficit in the tiebreak to end VakifBank’s winning streak in the competition.

Alexander Sukomel, head coach of Dinamo: “I am proud of my team and girls; they did a great job! It was not easy, but it was possible!”

Helena Havelkova, player of Dinamo MOSCOW: “It was an extremely tough match and I just tried to concentrate on every ball. I am proud that we did it! We lost the fourth set but we regrouped in the fifth and eventually won! I did not think in that moment about the result and the score, I just thought about every ball.”

Nataliya Goncharova, player of Dinamo and top scorer with 26 points: “We had a great game as a team. We tried not to make too many mistakes. Before the game it was the common opinion that VakifBank are a very strong team and that they are the clear favourites of this round, but we proved that we can show our game!”

Maja Ognjenovic, player of Dinamo: “It was one of our best matches this season! Actually, sometimes we win 3-0 in the Russian league, but today we had the opportunity to show that we are a worthy opponent for one of the best teams in the world! We were great as a team in this match, we supported each other and we won. We prepared for about seven days before this match and I am happy that we have achieved the desired result.”

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