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21/01/2015 02:12
Rookie Chemik loses at home to Agel, but moves on in Champions League
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women

Szscecin, Poland, January 20, 2015.  CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League rookie Chemik POLICE lost at home to Agel PROSTEJOV by 2:3 (25-11, 20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 12-15), but the one point that the Polish team earned from this Pool A fifth-leg clash against the Czech standout was sufficient to stamp the ticket to the playoffs of the 2015 women’s edition of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

It was a game of two equal rivals, who had similar features: bravery and very good defense. The Czech champion Agel turned out to be the slightly better team.  It looked like Chemik, just as during the first game between these teams in Prostejov, would quickly and undoubtedly settle the score with their opponents.  Right from the start the hosts put a lot of pressure on the Czech team with their strong attacks by Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale and Ana Bjelica.  Chemik’s block was working very well and the best outside spiker of Agel, Liannes Castaneda Simon, could not go through it.

“The first set went completely not as we had planned it; we played badly,” said Miroslav Cada, Agel’s coach, during the press conference after the game.  “In the second set our play was different.  We knew that the key to our success was going to be the good defense, because Chemik has very good spikers.  We managed to execute this plan and we are very happy that we have won.”

The second set was a demonstration of the best features of the Czech champion.  The visitors played very well from the serving line and defended equally well, but most of all Castaneda Simon restored her efficiency.  At the same time Giuseppe Cuccarini’s players lost their concentration.  The effect was that even with a weak reception of Prostejov’s team it was easier for them to control the game.  They took advantage of that and the spikers received support from Stefanie Karg and Tatsiana Markevich.  In the team from Police, Anna Werblinska was the best scorer in this part of the game.

“Our opponents set very difficult conditions on the court,” said Anna Werblinska, Chemik’s captain.  “After the first, quite easy, set, our rivals improved their serves, played very well in defense and we had to fight for each point.  Our opponents managed to score a few points more and in the end that made us lose the game.”

The third set gave hope to the more than four thousand fans, gathered at the Azoty Arena in Szczecin, that their team would manage to finish this game in four sets and receive the full set of points to guarantee themselves the first place in Pool A.  The hosts managed to improve the efficiency in blocking, and in offense Ana Bjelica and Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale were scoring points again.  Their superiority was undeniable.

“We knew what the key to success was in the game against Chemik and we used our tactical plan in each set,” said Paula Pereira Soares, Agel’s captain.  “We are very happy that we won, but it is a shame that we have so many good teams in our pool, because not all of them can go to the playoffs.”

Bearing in mind what sort of volleyball both teams presented in the fourth and the fifth sets, one could not help agreeing with this statement.  The fight on the court was really fascinating and on both sides of the net the teams were a great match for each other.

“Congratulations to Agel for this victory.  They played very well,” Giuseppe Cuccarini, Chemik’s coach, said.  “But I would also like to congratulate my players, because it was yet another, including the Polish league, very good and exhausting game.”

Click here for more details including match statistics.

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