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26/11/2014 18:01
Rabita BAKU survive match ball to avenge last year’s semi-final blow
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women

Baku, Azerbaijan, November 26, 2014. The ‘Match of the Week’ on schedule for the second round of action in the prelims of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women lived up to everyone’s expectations as Rabita BAKU and Dinamo KAZAN fought for five sets and the home heroines eventually avenged their defeat from last year’s semis with a terrific come-from-behind 3:2 victory (22-25, 23-25, 28-26, 25-21, 15-9). Rabita BAKU even survived a match ball for the team from Tatarstan but eventually outclassed their opponents in the fourth and fifth sets.

Actually Rabita had started the match with the right pace leading the way by 21:17 in the first set but after losing focus and a series of mistakes, the guests from Russia were able to flip the charts around to take the opening set by 25-22. The second set followed the same plot thereby resulting in a 2:0 lead for Dinamo KAZAN that looked well en route to their second straight victory in the competition. However, some excellent play by Thai setter Nootsara Tomkom who had joined the actions halfway through the second set propelled Rabita’s comeback; Tomkom found the right chemistry with Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata as well as with Cuban-born Yoana Palacio who – together with USA’s middle blocker TeTori Dixon – drove Rabita’s comeback and fierce resistance in the final stages of the third set.   

Rabita pressured their opponents from the early phases of the fourth set leading by as many as six points at 13:7 and even though the hosts suffered some more ups and downs, they nevertheless were able to close the set at 25-21 to call for the tie-break. The score was levelled at 8 all there but Rabita then broke away on excellent serving by Tomkom and via the spikes killed by Palacio, who now goes also by her married name, Mahmudova. She was the one who recorded the final point of the match thereby making sure Rabita is back on track after a difficult start of the season which also included a 0:3 defeat to Poland’s Chemik POLICE in the first round of the Champions League.

“We did an excellent job tonight and we showed our character,” said Rabita team captain Aurea Cruz. “We finally got our revenge for last year’s defeat in the semis.”
“Congratulations to my team, they really did a great job tonight,” added head coach Dejan Brdjovic.

“I am not satisfied with tonight’s performance,” commented a visibly disappointed head coach of Dinamo KAZAN, Rishat Gilyazutdinov.     

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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Rookies POLICE celebrate second straight victory to keep immaculate record
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