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26/11/2019 22:10
ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ come back from two down in exciting #CLVolleyW night
CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women

Luxembourg, November 26, 2019.  Leg 2 arrived with three matches on the menu and it was ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ from Poland who produced the performance of the night coming back from two sets down away at Ukrainian side Khimik YUZHNY.  The other two matches went to form, with Turkish giants Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL taking a commanding straight sets win away in Finland, while NANTES VB won by the same score in Budapest. 

Watch highlights of all the evenings matches on EuroVolleyTV

Pool A

LP SALO (FIN) vs. Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL (TUR) 0-3 (22-25, 10-25, 14-25)

The home crowd of over one thousand people were up for this one, and their team fed off the atmosphere in the early stages racing to a 6-1 lead.  However, this was as good as it could be for LP SALO who by the time they reached 8 points the scores were level.  In truth the Turkish giants from Eczacibasi VitrA were just too strong for their Finnish counterparts, but boasting many of the world's best players that was probably evident before the first whistle.

Led by captain Anna Czakan, the reigning National Champions from Finland stuck with Eczacibasi VitrA for the majority of the first set and were still in contention come the twenties.  But in the end clash, power and experience told as Tijana Bošković steered her side over the line. The second and third sets were both a masterclass from the side based in Istanbul, with Lauren Gibbemeyer and Natalia Pereira particularly effective.

However, it was Tijana Bošković who ended up top scorer (16 points) and also took home the MVP award, along with Nette Peit from the home side.  That now makes it two wins in two for Eczacibasi VitrA who lead the way in Pool A, while LP SALO are still looking for their first Champions League Volley win of the 2020 season.

MVPs Nette PEIT (6 spikes) and Tijana BOŠKOVIĆ (16 points) receive their plates after the match

Ezcazibasi VitrA ISTANBUL’s coach Marco Aurelio Motta: “It was a good match, but in the first set we made more mistakes than normal and gave 11 points to the opponent. But in the second and third sets we played better and got the game under control. We play a lot of matches and it’s all about concentration.”
Ezcazibasi VitrA ISTANBUL’s captain Kim Yeon-Koung: “It was good to play in Finland and we had many fans for us. It was my second time here. The game was good, we won in three sets. LP SALO played good in the first set. We had problems with our flight and we couldn’t practice on Monday so our bodies weren’t ready in the beginning. Anyway I’m happy for the win.”
LP SALO’s head coach Tomi Lemminkäinen: “The first set was good and we played well although Eczacibasi’s mistakes obviously helped us. Our attitude was good and we even exceeded ourselves if you look at the score (22-25). I’m a little bit disappointed with the attitude we showed in the last two sets. The opponent had a great serve and we couldn’t attack from the middle anymore. I’m admiring the skills of their players, no matter who sets the ball, it’s always on the net for the attacker to hit it.”
LP SALO’s middle blocker Kayla Haneline: “Not getting full practice after the break I just tried to enjoy the moment and make the most out of it. I tried to to do the best I can with what I have now. When we have our full lineup ready and healthy, it will definitely help us to fight and play good matches further on.”

Pool C

Khimik YUZHNY (UKR) vs. ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ (POL) 2-3 (25-23, 25-17, 20-25, 18-25, 8-15)

Khimik YUZHNY and ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ opened the programme of Leg 2. The Ukrainian newcomers who progressed to the pool phase through rounds 2-3 hoped to use the home court advantage and earn a coveted win. They were just a step away from making it as after a fierce battle they led 2-0.

However, the Polish side who came to Yuzhny with a big group of their passionate fans didn't give up. Both teams fought hard, delivering to the 1,550 spectators at the venue many spectacular defences. The reigning champion of Poland managed to bounce back and emerge victorious in the fifth set.

The game was a great performance of Katarina Lazovic and Izabela Kowalinska (8 points in the third set) as both scored match-high 22 points, and it was Lazovic who grabbed the MVP award. Tetyana Kozlova of Khimik YUZHNY tallied 20. It's the second triumph in five-sets for ŁÓDŹ in as many matches.

Eva Mori, player of ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ: “It was a good game. First of all, I want to say big thanks to our opponent for the beautiful battle. In the first two sets Khimik played well while we didn’t show our best skills. But step by step we found our game and won this match.”

Tetyana Kozlova, player of Khimik YUZHNY: “In the first two sets we showed that we can win a match in the group stage of the Champions League. But in the third set we made a lot of mistakes that’s why lost the set and eventually we lost the game as well. We turn to fight for the next matches.”

Dmitriy Maryukhnich, assistant coach of Khimik YUZHNY: “We analysed the game of our opponent very deeply. When we followed our plan, we had the game under control. After that, we made some unforced mistakes that’s why the opponent came back in the race and began to play more confidently than in the first sets and eventually won the game.”

Marek Solarewicz, head coach of ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ:  “It was a very important victory for us because it became our fifth in a row in official games but we had to work hard for it because of our own mistakes. I suppose that Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA is the favourite of our group but it is the Champions League and anything is possible here. Khimik can give a big fight to other opponents in such a fantastic atmosphere.”

Pool D

Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST (HUN) vs. NANTES VB (FRA) 0-3 (23-25, 22-25, 11-25)

After a slow start to the game, Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST started to fight their way back and even secured a four-point lead towards the end (22-18). However, the French team did not lose composure and managed to turn the score around to secure a 25-23 win.

The second set followed a similar plot, with NANTES VB comfortably taking the lead in the early stages. Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST fought back, and managed to level the score, but it was the visitors, led by eventual MVP Lindsey Vander Weide and Lucille Gicquel to celebrate in the end (25-22).  

NANTES VB did not give the hosts any chance in the third set, as the home side seemed to have lost their faith after losing the first two sets by a minor difference. The French team closed the game in straight sets to top the charts in the pool with maximum six points from two matches.

Jakub Gluszak, head coach of Vasas Obuda BUDAPEST: “If you play the Champions League, you cannot play with so many ups and downs. We fought back a couple times when trailing by quite many points, but in key moments, we lost of our confidence and everything. We gave too many easy points to NANTES VB, who was the better side today so we have to congratulate them.”

Cyril Ong Vathanara, head coach of NANTES VB: “It was really difficult for our team to play in this atmosphere. We played with our hearts and sometimes luck was on our side too. Our counter-attack transitions started to get better and better and this was decisive. After the first two sets, Vasas did not have the energy to change the course of the match.”

Get more on the Champions League here

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