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10/03/2015 23:00
Atomic Girls outclass Romanian champions to make CEV Cup semis
2015 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Sopot, Poland, March 10, 2015. It was another superb performance by the home heroines to highlight another great Volleyball night on Tuesday at the Ergo Arena. The hosts of PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT routed once again Romania’s champions Stiinta BACAU in three sets (25-14, 25-17, 25-13) as they had done last week and this way claimed a spot in the semis of the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women scheduled for later this month where they will be playing Turkey’s Galatasaray Daikin ISTANBUL.

The first part of the game was very tight and the Atomic Girls could not manage to play with the necessary consistency as they were cheered on by some 1,500 fans. However, after leading the way by 16:11 at the second technical time-out, they got more and more confidence and the quality of their performance improved steadily. The key to their victory in this set was definitely the reception – the Atomic Girls indeed recorded 64% of positive and 27% of perfect contacts with the ball, being also cruel in attack. All in all, three aces and another three blocks powered SOPOT to a speedy 25-14 set win. The only bright element in Stiinta’s performance was Ioana Baciu, but she only managed to score three points for her side by the end of the set.  

In the second set Atom stormed out to a 6:2 lead, paving their way to an easy control of the operations for the remainder of this game. In the middle of that set Anna Miros (Podolec) substituted the home side’s best scorer, Katarzyna Zaroslinska. After a superb serve by Izabela Belcik, Stiinta’s head coach Florin Grapa tried to calm down his team, nevertheless Atom continued to play at a very high level. It was only for a short moment when the Atomic Girls lost their focus, but their mentor Lorenzo Micelli stopped the game for a time-out, and they got back on track and finished their work with the score of 25-17. The Romanian girls were completely powerless in attack and without any real consistency at blocking they had no chance to stop the Polish team. Denisa Rogojinaru performed fairly well for Stiinta BACAU in attack, but the Romanian champions could not show some solid reception to be able to stay in the game. Additionally, Charlotte Leys delivered a strong performance for the home side finishing the set on seven points.

Having already pocketed their ticket to the semis, PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT started the third set with an almost completely re-shuffled line-up, with Deja McClendon, Anna Miros, Zuzanna Efimienko, Anna Kaczmar and Falyn Fonoimoana joining Brittnee Cooper and Agata Durajczyk. Surprisingly, the ‘second lines’ played even better than their colleagues had done in the previous sets, as if they were trying to show off their real skills in front of coach Micelli. Also Romanian mentor Florin Grapa tried to change the course of the game with some substitutions however it was impossible for him to stop the triumphal march of the hosts. The Atomic Girls scored point after point and they eventually finished their job rallying to a terrific 25-13 set win to seal the final 3:0.

“I am happy with the score, and especially that every player from my team enjoyed the opportunity to play during this match. All of them definitely wanted to show their best. That match was also a kind of preparation for us as we are going to play the finals of the national cup this coming weekend. We also realised that tonight we would play a crucial game. Now we have to play with Galatasaray and I think I would have preferred to meet Omichka OMSK REGION in the semis because in my opinion the Turkish team is stronger than the Russians. However, it does not matter to me if we play the first game home or away. We showed already in our double clash with Prosecco Doc-Imoco CONEGLIANO that we simply have to play our best to move on to the next stage of the competition,” the head coach of PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT, Lorenzo Micelli, commented after this easy and speedy victory.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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