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31/01/2017 21:28
Zenit KAZAN rally to fourth straight win in Pool C
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Kazan, Russia, January 31, 2017. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN again gave a fight to Zenit KAZAN and barely edged the Russian champions in the second set, which brought the teams to a total of 78 points. The head coach of the German team, Vital Heynen admitted after the match that, maybe, it is for the better since after the match in Germany, he spent € 2,500 on beer for the fans and players and might have had to invest the same amount yet again. Zenit KAZAN eventually celebrated their fourth straight win in Pool C – 3-0 (25-18, 40-38, 25-17).

VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN claimed the German Cup on Sunday night and arrived in Kazan late in the evening, a day before the re-match with the Tatars. The head coach of the visitors from Germany, Vital Heynen, made the decision not to exhaust the players with a midnight training and let the leaders enjoy some rest. In the first set, the Germans failed to cope with the terrific serves of their Russian rivals. Two straight aces contributed by Matthew Anderson sealed a 25-18 win for Zenit.  

The second set of the match played at Saint Petersburg Arena will probably go into the Volleyball chronicles of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men as one of its most spectacular and breath-taking episodes. Zenit KAZAN clawed back after trailing behind its German rival (19-23) and that comeback was followed by a genuinely amazing Volleyball marathon before the Russians cruised to a solid but hard-fought victory with the overwhelming score of 40-38! Maxim Mikhailov scored eight points alone in this set.

This was too devastating a setback for the visiting team so the Germans’ performance in the outbreak of the third set was rather weak. After a poor start, VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN could not close in and the defending champions cruised to their fourth straight victory in the pool.

“I believe that the audience was pleased with a true feast of Volleyball tonight. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN were really tuned up, playing at ease, without any pressure, and the 40-38 score of the second set speaks rather vividly for that,” said the head coach of Zenit KAZAN, Vladimir Alekno after the match.

“I cannot say that I am happy, because we lost, but I am satisfied with the way my team played tonight. We learned a very good lesson from this game, and if Zenit KAZAN wants to play once again, I will readily accept the challenge,” said Vital Heynen.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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