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12/01/2017 21:55
HPK claim first round of much-awaited Finnish derby with LP SALO
2017 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women

Salo, Finland, January 12, 2017. HPK HÄMEENLINNA claimed on Thursday night the first round of the Finnish derby with LP SALO on schedule for the 16th Finals of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women. HPK cruised to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-21, 25-20) after delivering a sterling performance at Salohalli.

The start of the match was very entertaining and of a high quality as both teams looked extremely focussed and charged. HPK broke away after the first technical time-out moving the score from 7-8 to 18-11 before eventually taking the first set 25-20. The second set followed the same plot with LP SALO leading 8-6 but HPK fought back even stronger; LP SALO tried to stand the challenge with the help of Victoriia Tuchashvili and Nadezhda Gokhshtein but HPK were just too strong and finished the set at 25-21 with a point from Piia Korhonen to double their lead in the match.

LP SALO looked determined to vie for a fourth set as Noora Kosonen and Pauliina Vilponen found a way through the block of HPK; however, though the hosts claimed a 16-14 lead, HPK imposed their rule towards the end of the set to close the match with a 3-0 victory.

Piia Korhonen, opposite of HPK HÄMEENLINNA said: “We had a good game tonight, serving and blocking really good. We made some mistakes but the opponent made even more. I took quite a lot of responsibility, which is nice. It started to work fine since the beginning of the match but I think we can still get better.”

Luca Chiappini, head coach of HPK: “Both teams played high-quality Volleyball. The key to success was our defence, since it was more stable than theirs was. My players did a good job even though LP SALO played a good match and we kind of missed out on the early stages of each set.”

Noora Kosonen, outside spiker of LP SALO: “There were some good moments but in each set we gave away some six points in a row to our opponent. This cannot happen, especially when we are playing a team as good as HPK. It is going to be hard to fight back from here; we need to improve our game and make fewer mistakes. We also have to show more spirit when performing out there on court.”

Tomi Lemminkäinen, head coach of LP SALO: “A 0-3 loss makes me sad but this was one of the best matches I have ever seen here at Salohalli between two Finnish teams. HPK had great defence tonight and we had to work hard to score points. None of the points we scored was an easy one. We have now lost three matches in a row to HPK and all of them by 0-3. We have nothing to lose from the rematch in Hämeenlinna. If we win there, we can get to the golden set.”

Nadezhda Gokhshtein and Piia Korhonen received the awards for the MVPs of the match presented by the host of the game, Traktoauto.

The remake will be played at Elenia Areena in Hämeenlinna on January 25. Before that, LP SALO will contest a match of the Finnish national league – Mestaruusliga – against LiigaPloki PIHTIPUDAS on January 14.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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