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08/02/2018 23:30
A #CLVolleyW Thursday of highlights as VakifBank ISTANBUL and Chemik POLICE win in tiebreaks
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Luxembourg, February 8, 2018. Defending champions VakifBank ISTANBUL of Turkey had to fight hard, but eventually overcame Dinamo MOSCOW 3-2 in the #CLVolleyW Match of the Week to claim the fourth win in as many matches, while Chemik POLICE stunned Maritza PLOVDIV with a comeback to prevail 3-2 and improve their win-loss record in Pool C to 3-1.

Wednesday's results in full:



VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR) vs. Dinamo MOSCOW (RUS) 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 25-11, 21-25, 15-9)

  • Olympic gold medallist Zhu Ting of VakifBank ISTANBUL and Russian superstar Nataliya Goncharova topped the scoring charts with 22 points each.
  • Dinamo MOSCOW came back to claim the opening set after having trailed 1-8.
  • VakifBank ISTANBUL outplayed Dinamo MOSCOW with 24 block points.
  • At the same time VakifBank committed 27 unforced errors over the entire game.
  • VakifBank ISTANBUL captain Gözde Kırdar, middle-blocker Milena Rasic, and rising star Zehra Günes gathered 6 block points each.

VakifBank ISTANBUL captain Gözde Kirdar: “After the bitter loss in the Turkish national league last Saturday, we started very nervously into the match against Dinamo MOSCOW. We won 3-0 in Moscow, but we knew that Dinamo are a very strong team. They played better than in the first match. Our problem was that we made too many unforced errors in a row. That is the reason why we struggled sometimes. I can say that we are tired of playing two matches within one week. And we had heavy training sessions too. However, we handled it pretty well in the end. I have to thank our fans. I am very happy to see so many young people watching Volleyball.”

VakifBank ISTANBUL coach Giovanni Guidetti: “I am happy with my team’s effort today; they never gave up. I am happy we fought till the end. On the other hand, I am very happy that after a very bad match in the Turkish league, we won against Dinamo MOSCOW. But I am not happy about our attacking game and reception. If you score 24 block points, you cannot commit so many mistakes.”

Zoran Terzic, coach of Dinamo MOSCOW: “It is always very nice to play in Istanbul and against VakifBank. This sports hall is incredible. VakifBank are a very strong team and one of the best clubs in the world. It was very hard to play against VakifBank in front of their spectators tonight. They created a great atmosphere. I am very satisfied about the result even though we lost the game, especially because we lost 0-3 in Moscow two weeks ago. However, I think we can play better, as we showed today. I think we will prove this in the Russian championship too.”



Maritza PLOVDIV (BUL) vs. Chemik POLICE (POL) 2-3 (19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 11-15)

  • Chemik POLICE’s blockers kept the ball alive on many of Maritza PLOVDIV’s attacks during the first set. With good defence, six points from Alexandra Holston and plenty of opponent errors, the visiting team closed the set at 25-19.
  • Maritza drastically reduced their errors in the second. Inspired by the home crowd, the Yellow-and-Blues broke away in the score before Nasya Dimitrova aced twice in a row to shape up the final 25-18.
  • With three consecutive aces Lora Kitipova helped Maritza wipe out a four-point deficit in the third set. Simona Dimitrova stepped up her efforts on all counts. She spiked successfully to deliver a set point, which she converted herself with an ace to stamp the 25-23 win.
  • Malwina Smarzek was on fire in the fourth set (eight points) and Chemik opened a six-point gap. Maritza fought back to tie at 20-20, but the next five points were for the Polish squad.
  • The home squad opened a 7-3 lead in the fifth set, but allowed seven consecutive points for Chemik, which soon brought the Polish team to match point. Seconds later, Natalia Medrzyk finished the game off at 15-11.
  • Malwina Smarzek was the best scorer of the match with 20 points for Chemik. Three players shared the honours on Maritza’s side with 17 points each – Nasya Dimitrova, Desislava Nikolova and Simona Dimitrova.

Maritza PLOVDIV coach Ivan Petkov: “This was a very emotional match for us, but, unfortunately, once again we showed our weaknesses. We should have been smarter at certain moments, especially in attack. If we are not at 100% against teams such as Chemik POLICE and Dinamo KAZAN, it is very hard to win.”

Jakub Gluszak, coach of Chemik POLICE: “We knew it would be a difficult game. We expected Maritza PLOVDIV to play better than they did in Poland and this is what actually happened. We had a lot of problems during the game – to finish the attack, to put on a good double block. From the last part of the third set we started playing really well. In the tie-breaker we were patient and self-confident and we won.”

Maritza PLOVDIV outside hitter Desislava Nikolova: “I think it was a really good game. In the crucial moments, however, we lost our focus a little bit. We wanted to win in the fifth set, but we committed two unforced errors. And when you commit two errors at such level, you lose the game. I think we will do better in the next game.”

Click here for further information.


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