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05/05/2018 20:40
Romania celebrates! Alba BLAJ on to Champions League final!
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Bucharest, Romania, May 5, 2018.  CSM Volei Alba BLAJ achieved a historic success for their country by advancing to Sunday’s big final of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women against Turkey’s VakifBank ISTANBUL! In the second semifinal, held at the Sala Polivalenta in Bucharest on Saturday, the Romanian squad hammered out a 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22) victory against the other participant from the Turkish megalopolis - Galatasaray SK ISTANBUL.

Alba put up quite a fight in the first set against their far more experienced opponents from Galatasaray. Catching up or almost catching up in the score on several occasions, the Romanian squad never managed to take control of the scoreboard. Dobriana Rabadzhieva aced twice in the set before spiking successfully for Galatasaray’s last two points in the epilogue, which fixed the team’s narrow 25-23 win.



Inspired by the noisy support from the thousands of Romanian fans on the stands, Alba broke away with a 7-1 lead in the second set and never looked back. Ana Yilian Cleger Abel reigned supreme on the court with eight points, including two aces, but it was Natasa Krsmanovic who closed it off at 25-17 after a beautiful overhead set from Petya Barakova.



Cleger continued her prolific spiking efforts into the third set, while abundant unforced errors on the other side of the court prevented Galatasaray from holding on to the occasional one-point leads they managed to gain. The home side kept their cool in the money time to step ahead with a 25-22 win...



There was no stopping Cleger and her teammates in the fourth set either. Powered by the incredible ambience inside the competition hall, they were quick to take control of the score. Some steady serving by Cleger and Barakova gave Alba a comfortable lead and eventually multiple match points. Some excellent blocking efforts by Rabadzhieva and tough serves by Nursevil Aydinlar kept Galatasaray alive for another five rallies and brought them very close to catching up, but eventually Cleger made sure the job is finished with a powerful spike off the block for 25-22.



The impressive tally of 27 points, including four aces, made Ana Cleger best scorer of the match. Dobriana Rabadzhieva topped the charts for Galatasaray with 19 points (also four aces), while her teammate Hristina Ruseva impressed with six kill blocks.



Darko Zakoc, head coach of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “It's a memorable night! Once again we made history! We were fantastic, played with heart, with passion... They were favourites, but at this stage everything can happen. Tomorrow we will play in the final against the best team in the world, but like today, we can dream. I want to congratulate my team and our great fans!”

Ataman Guneyligil, head coach of Galatasaray SK ISTANBUL: “I am disappointed! They surprised us with reception and with ther middle blockers. It was a nightmare for us, because they won very easy. I didn't expect it. Congratulations to Alba BLAJ! They deserved to win. VakifBank are a great team, but, like today, everything can happen in the final.”


 

         

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News nr. 681 of 10085
06/05/2018 13:45:00
Gözde vs Neslihan - Reaching beyond the dream
05/05/2018 18:06:00
Spectacular five-setter propels VakifBank to Champions League final
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