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04/03/2015 22:27
Crvena Zvezda survive two match balls for RAVENNA to seize tie-break win
2015 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Belgrade, Serbia, March 4, 2015. On Wednesday night Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD claimed a home victory in the first round of quarter-finals in the 2015 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men against Italy’s CMC RAVENNA. The hosts stormed out to a 2:0 lead in sets but they eventually finished the match only at the tie-break following a terrific comeback by their opponents. After this 3:2 home win (25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 17-25, 17-15) Crvena Zvezda got closer to making the semis but to achieve this feat they will have to win also the re-match coming up next week in Italy.

The hosts imposed their rule in the first and second sets where their Italian rivals seemed to struggle to find their way into the match. After the score was levelled at 16 all, Crvena Zvezda scored seven consecutive points to eventually win the first set by 25-18. In the second set the score remained tight up to 23 all but in the end the home heroes had the upper hand on a terrific attack killed by Aleksandar Gmitrovic. CMC RAVENNA seized the third and fourth sets quite easily and the Italians even had two match balls in the tie-break by the score of 12:14 before Crvena Zvezda changed the course of the set to bring it home at 17-15.

The best scorer of the match was Slovenia’s Klemen Cebulj from CMC RAVENNA with 26 points while three players from Crvena Zvezda scored over twenty points, with Gmitrovic (pictured, #7) totalling 23 whilst Lazar Koprivica and Filip Stoilovic recorded 20 apiece.

Top scorer Klemen Cebulj said after the match: “They played really great throughout the whole match. We were able to cram them in the third and fourth sets but they won in the end. If we had won, it would also have been well-deserved because we played well in all sets. What to say, congratulations to Crvena Zvezda but we will see what happens next week when we play the re-match at home.”

The most prolific player of the home team, Aleksandar Gmitrovic, was evidently happy after the win: “We prepared very carefully for this match and we are very happy because this is a major victory for the team. We will now prepare for the return game, and I believe that we will perform even better than we did tonight. We have seen that we can play on equal terms against CMC RAVENNA, so I expect that we can make the next round of this competition.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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