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02/03/2016 23:06
CIVITANOVA smash Turkish champions to progress to CL Playoffs 6
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Civitanova Marche, Italy, March 2, 2016. Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA claimed on Wednesday a ticket to the Playoffs 6 of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men after edging Turkey’s Arkas IZMIR 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 32-30) at Eurosuole Forum thereby confirming their supremacy from the previous round played two weeks ago (3-0). The Italians have now to wait for tomorrow’s match between Halkbank ANKARA and DHL MODENA to know the name of their opponent in the next round of the competition.

After a very good start by Arkas IZMIR (7-3), the first set was totally dominated by CIVITANOVA up to the final 25-14 with some great serving contributed by Osmany Juantorena (three aces) and blocking (four stuffs), in addition to the nine errors made by the team mentored by Glenn Hoag.

Arkas IZMIR stormed back in the second set powered by the attacks killed by their opposite Antonin Rouzier (who scored six points in this period). The score stood at 13-8 for the visitors from Turkey after the French star player capitalised on a great defence by libero Ahmet Karatas. After that local mentor Gianlorenzo Blengini decided to ask for the contribution of some of his second lines, like for instance Alessandro Fei who replaced Ivan Miljkovic, 2008 Olympic champion Reid Priddy and Simone Parodi who stepped in for Juantorena and Klemen Cebulj, and as a result CIVITANOVA re-opened the fate of the set closing in at 24-23 after trailing 21-14. Finally it was the Brazilian spiker of Arkas IZMIR Mauricio Borges who scored the next rally and secured the 25-23 set win for the Turkish team.

However, the chances of Arkas IZMIR to re-open the quest for a spot in the Playoffs 6 were soon cancelled as Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA started the third period by displaying perfect Volleyball directed by the superb performance of their American setter Micah Christenson. The Italians moved up to 19-13 and then seized the set with the commanding score of 25-18, with a terrific 62% of efficiency in attack, and with their pace-makers being Serbian middle blocker Dragan Stankovic (four points, 100% of success rate in attack) and Osmany Juantorena, who scored six points apiece. After claiming this set, CIVITANOVA had already secured their progression to the Playoffs 6 of Europe’s elite competition.

In the fourth set, which did not have any influence on the final outcome of this double header, both coaches used most of their reserve players and CIVITANOVA were able to have the upper hand after a close final rush that went well into overtime (32-30).

“We are very happy with our qualification for the Playoffs 6,” said CIVITANOVA’s setter Micah Christenson “but not at all with our performance tonight. We could secure our qualification for the next round in the second set but we didn’t, maybe because after winning the first set we thought that we had already the ticket to the Playoffs 6 in our pocket. And it wasn’t like this. We must learn to be concentrated all the way through if we want to get good results in the next round of the competition, where we will play against a very strong team be it Halkbank ANKARA or DHL MODENA. In any case, we and our fans are all very happy tonight.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

Click here for a video interview with Micah Christenson

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