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07/11/2018 20:30
Alba BLAJ and Budowlani ŁÓDŹ win in four sets, set up two thrilling matches to decide over #CLVolleyW pool phase participation
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Luxembourg, November 7, 2018. The finalists of last year's CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women, CSM Volei Alba BLAJ are off to a great start of the third round against Allianz MTV STUTTGART. The Romanian team only dropped the third set after feeling perhaps too relaxed from winning the first two. In a hard-fought battle in the fourth they just edged in front. Budowlani ŁÓDŹ also won in four sets, but they had to fight off ASPTT MULHOUSE VB in the 'Match of the Week' opening two sets as they went into overtime. The French won the third, only to see the Polish team running away with the fourth.

CSM Volei Alba BLAJ (ROU) vs. Allianz MTV STUTTGART (GER) 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 28-26)

  • The spectators in the Transilvania Sporting Center in Sibiu, Romania were treated to some great Volleyball.
  • The 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League silver medallists CSM Volei Alba BLAJ dominated the first two sets of the match, with a much more offensive tactic.
  • Coach Ioannis Athanasopoulos of STUTTGART managed to block the tactics of the hosts and, with very accurate service, the visitors came back into the match by winning the third set.
  • The fourth set was dramatic and the two teams offered an epic battle. Volei Alba BLAJ needed four match points to win, while Allianz MTV STUTTGART were one ball away from sending the match to set 5.
  • Both Katerina Zhidkova (CSM Volei Alba BLAJ) and Krystal Rivers (Allianz MTV STUTTGART) scored 18 points, making them joint top scorers for the match.

Darko Zakoc (picture below), head coach of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: "It was a hard match, STUTTGART is a very good team. We started very well, but after leading 2-0 we relaxed too much, the opponent got into the rhythm and so we had a hard time. In the third set we played very poorly, STUTTGART on the contrary served very well and countered us with two players. It was just the first match, nothing is played, we are now focused on the next week's match in Germany."

Ioannis Athanasopoulos, head coach of Allianz MTV STUTTGART: "In the first two sets we were not in the game, we came back and we were very close to sending the match to the fifth set, but little details and the fantastic crowd here made the difference. It will be difficult to rematch in Stuttgart, Alba BLAJ have the first chance now, but there will be another match anyway and we have the strength to come back."

Krystal Rivers, opposite for Allianz MTV STUTTGART: "It was a very nice match, the two teams fought hard for every point. We did not play as we wanted, but Alba BLAJ were very strong today. There will be another strong battle in Stuttgart, the teams are very close and I hope we can do better."

Nneka Onyejekwe, team captain of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: "I knew what a difficult game awaited us, we came from a few games in which we did not perform as good as we wanted. I'm glad that today the team played quality Volleyball, which was rewarded with a very good result. I think this victory is important, because it gives us better rhythm for the future. We are already thinking about the Stuttgart match and we will do our best to qualify."

Budowlani LODZ (POL) vs. ASPTT MULHOUSE VB (FRA) 3-1 (27-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-17)

  • The #CLVolleyW 'Match of the Week' was a thrilling game, especially in first two sets which were won by Budowlani ŁÓDŹ in overtime, taking them 27-25 and 29-27.
  • ŁÓDŹ are now closer to qualification to the fourth round of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women.
  • Middle blocker for Budowlani ŁÓDŹ, Jaroslava Pencova was the best scorer of the match. She scored 20 points, amongst which were six blocks. Budowlani’s superstar Jovana Brakocevic-Canzian was the second best scorer of the game with 18 points. 
  • The French team from Mulhouse took advantage of a slip in concentration from the home team, outplaying ŁÓDŹ on all aspects of the game in the third set. Four blocks made the difference.
  • After that third set, Budowlani were back to their old selves. They took an early advantage and cruised to a 25-17 victory to seal the first leg.
  • Next match will take place in Palais des Sports in Mulhouse, France on the 13th of November. ŁÓDŹ are looking for two sets, while MULHOUSE will have to win 3-0, or 3-1 in order to force a Golden Set

Femke Stoltenborg (pictured above), setter of Budowlani ŁÓDŹ: "It was a very exciting match, especially for our fans. We won and we are happy. But in this match we made a lot of mistakes. The Polish League has started, so we have played a lot of matches. The atmosphere inside the team is very good and that has a big influence on our game. The match in Mulhouse will be more difficult, but we want to play in the next round.” 

Olga Trach, middle blocker of ASPTT MULHOUSE VB: "Budowlani ŁÓDŹ are a very strong team. It was a difficult game.  We didn’t give up. Next week we will play at home. It was a great pleasure to come back to Poland. Polish fans are the best and created a great atmosphere.”

For further information, click here.

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07/11/2018 23:00:00
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07/11/2018 19:45:00
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