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19/11/2019 20:00
Istanbul derby delivers again as CLVolley 4th Round returns
CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women

Luxembourg, November 18, 2019.  Eczacibasi VitrA won through in a five-set clash against Istanbul neighbours Fenerbahce Opet in front of 4,500+ volleyball fans in the designated Match of the Week.  Last year's finalists A. Carraro Imoco CONEGLIANO also went the distance with surprise package Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST, whilst also in Pool D there was a win for NANTES VB.  ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ and RC CANNES were tonights other winners in five and four sets respectively.  Action continues tomorrow with four more matches, check out all the action on EuroVolleyTV.

Pool A

Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL (TUR) vs. Fenerbahce Opet ISTANBUL (TUR) 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10)

Both teams showed how eager they were to begin their #CLVolleyW journey with a win, but despite playing each other two weeks ago, both struggled in block and defence.  The first set was a thrilling one, with experienced spiker Natalia Zilio Pereira (5 pts) and Fenerbahce Opet opposite player Melissa Vargas (6 pts) dominating in the attack. 

In the second set, Fenerbahce Opet striked back led by captain Eda Erdem Dündar and Brankica Mihajlovic, yet they couldn’t maintain their lead. Eczacibasi VitrA middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer was vital in block and attack as her team stole the second set to 18 points.  A run of Tijana Boskovic’s jump serves helped Eczacibasi VitrA to a lead at the beginning of the third set, before Fenerbahce Opet fought back strongly with some clever play by Kelsey Robinson securing the set 25-23. 

In the fourth set, Fenerbahce Opet kept control of the game and despite nearly throwing it away from 24-19 up, they took the game to the tie-break.  The decider set went on point-by-point until the Orange-and-Whites led the game by 8-5 at the side switch. Once again, Tijana Boskovic took centre stage carrying her team to a 15-10 win in the fifth set and through this result, the Tigers collected their first #CLVolleyW win of the season.

Natalia Pereira was selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match, she was also the top scorer with 26 points and came out favourite in the Twitter vote.

Simge Sebnem Aköz, Co-captain and Libero of Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL: “We managed to start our #CLVolleyW campaign with a great win today. I believe we did a great job in putting in our own game strategy by analysing our opponent well before the match. I would like to congratulate all of my teammates and our technical staff. Many thanks to our fans who once again showed their support for us today.”

Zoran Terzic, coach of Fenerbahce Opet ISTANBUL: “Like everybody expected, it was a really really tough match for all involved. I hope the spectators enjoyed this game because it was very high quality Volleyball from both teams. In the end we lost again against Eczacibasi 2-3. I can’t say “It is bad", but I am sorry. Hopefully, this is a good score for us for the next games so we can improve some things and play better in both the Champions League and the Turkish Championship.”

Pool C

ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ (POL) vs. Allianz MTV STUTTGART (GER) 3-2 (16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-25, 15-10)

Home fans in Łódź were absolutely buzzing to witness the start of a new #CLVolleyW campaign as they welcomed their favourites from LKS Commercecon with a huge billboard with the message “CEV, did you miss us?”. Despite not being able to put out their best team, the Germans from Allianz MTV STUTTGART only relying on 12 players and a single libero in Roosa Koskelo, this was in no way going to be an easy match. The visitors started the match better and with the help of Krystal Rivers they took the first set with a convincing display of quality and calmness.

The second and third sets were the perfect display of what it means to have the support of an enthusiastic home crowd, as with every attack and every defensive effort, the confidence of the Polish team grew stronger and stronger, managing to push through and take the lead in the match. However, Allianz MTV STUTTGART found the strength to get back in the match and lead by none other than their captain, and eventually top scorer in the match, Krystal Rivers, pushed this duel into the tiebreak. However, their late comeback was not enough to get the win, as the home team gave the fans present at the Sport Arena a first pool stage win in a night to remember.



Izabela Kowalinska, player of ŁKS Commercecon and match MVP: “There wasn’t one key to this win. In the first set we did everything wrong. Since the second set we played our volleyball. I think we still lack some confidence. If individual players do not have confidence, the team will not have it either. We are constantly working to make each of us give our best so that the team feels confident.”

Klaudia Alagierska, player of ŁKS Commercecon: “We need to work on our team work all the time so that it translates into a result. Theoretically we have an easy group in the Champions League, so we will definitely fight for promotion to the next stage.”

Pool D

NANTES VB (FRA) vs. C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ (ROU) 3-1 (25-19, 20-25, 25-12, 25-16)

The reigning Romanian champions and 2018 Champions League runners-up C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ couldn’t find their rhythm in the first match of Pool D that lasted 97 minutes. NANTES VB started much better, creating a comfortable lead at 17-10. The visitors tried to push, breathing down their opponents’ necks. However, the French showed smart play in attack, thus emerging victorious from the opening set.

C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ brought back the intrigue in the match by taking the second set. In the first minutes of it, the play was going point for point, but then the players coached by Darko Zakoc would establish their way of playing.  Despite taking the second set, BLAJ seemed a lot more tense in the next one. They lost concentration while, on the other hand, the French team entered the court highly motivated to show their best - and they did so by taking full control of the game in the next two sets.

Sanja Gamma from C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ gave her best in the match by becoming top scorer with 19 points, but this was not enough to turn the situation in favour of the Romanian team.



Cyril Ong, NANTES VB head coach: “We played with our hearts, our motivation and a lot of grid. We made a lot of good choices tonight and it has made the difference. The important thing for us was to play well, especially in front of this amazing public; I hope it will be the same in the next games. It’s very good to play in front of so many people. This is a great way to pay back the club, employees and volunteers that are working tirelessly for us.”

Darko Zakoc, C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ head coach: “First of all, congratulations to the team of NANTES VB. They played very well and they surprised us because they fought for each ball. I am disappointed, of course. I don’t know what happened to my team. After the second set, I expected a different outcome, but the rest of the game was a disaster for me as a coach. We will have a lot of things to change for the future. For sure, our level is higher than what we showed tonight and I hope that we will be able to show it in the next games."

Katharina Schwabe, MVP of the game: “I think that the whole team has really enjoyed this game because the venue was pretty full and there was a big crowd. The fans really supported us. We performed very well tonight. We had a good rhythm and it was very important to win today. We are playing in the biggest competition and we are all at 100%. This is what you need sometimes to win the game, an extra motivation.”

A. Carraro Imoco CONEGLIANO (ITA) vs. Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST (HUN) 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-7, 25-19, 15-4)

A.Carraro Imoco CONEGLIANO, a regular on the podium of the CEV Champions League in the last three seasons, began its European season against rookies Vasas Obuda BUDAPEST at Palaverde Arena.

The "Italian Panthers" this year added to the roster the amazing opposite Paola Egonu, a player that caused huge frustration for Imoco in last season’s Super Final in Berlin while wearing the shirt of Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA. A notable presence in the starting six for the home side was that of the young Italian player Terry Enweonwu, bronze medal winner in the last European Championship.

In the first set, Vasas displayed a lot of confidence, taking the lead at 9-6. The Hungarian team played aggressively and CONEGLIANO own mistakes moved the score to 12-6 for the visitors. Despite coach Santarelli putting in Egonu, Wolosz and Robin de Kruijf, Vasas Obuda continued to dig all the balls and sign points with Trine Noer Kjelstrup and Sanja Kalicanin. Surprise at the Palaverde  as the 3,031 people witnessed their team lose the first set since the beginning of the season (21-25).  The second set was as intense as the first one with the teams sharing the lead at different times. The decisive element turned out to be the Wolosz-Egonu tandem as they gave the Italians their first set in the match at 25-20.

In the third set A.Carraro Imoco managed to start very well. Indre Sorokaite and Egonu were unstoppable and the home team stormed to a 10-0 landslide. The set was easily dominated by Wolosz (three aces) and her teammates who stayed ahead until the end, 25-10. The fourth set was another balanced affair, as Vasas played with pride and increasing confidence. The final rush was an exciting thriller: the visitors edged ahead 24-23 after two unforced errors of CONEGLIANO and closed the set with a spike from Bernadett Dekany at 25-23 in their favour.

The tie break was very tight at the beginning, but Imoco edged ahead with the help of their great setter Joanna Wolosz and the amazing attacks of Egonu. Two aces in a row for the Italian opposite made the break (8-2). It turned out to be the decisive moment of the tiebreak which CONEGLIANO then won comfortably 15-4.

Joanna Wolosz,  A.Carraro Imoco CONEGLIANO setter and MVP: “We have to learn the lesson tonight and understand that in the Champions League all opponents are strong. The Hungarian team played very good especially in defense today and we risked a lot, but we reacted well, the important thing is to win our first game. My 13 points? It is my best record, I will put it in my CV.”

Ana Tiemi Takagui, captain of Vasas Obuda BUDAPEST: “It was so exciting for us to play in a historic arena with so many people. We have been waiting for this game for days with much emotion and I think we did a good job. It's a pity because we could maybe even win, but as a first challenge with a top team like CONEGLIANO we played better than expected.”

Pool E

RC CANNES (FRA) vs. Maritza PLOVDIV (BUL) 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-7, 25-19)

Both teams entered the court motivated in the first set, keeping the score tight (18 -18) with neither of the teams willing to give up. The battle continued until the very last minutes of the opening set, but the French side remained concentrated in the most important minutes to close it in their favour.

The Bulgarians responded very well in the next set, tying the match at 1-1 thanks to some nice performance in reception.  Maritza’s level lowered down dramatically in the next set with RC CANNES taking full advantage of this, improving their game in attack and reception as well, thus building up a solid point difference.

After such a tough loss in the third set, the visitors couldn’t get back on their feet and with RC CANNES looking confident in their qualities, the home side congratulated themselves with a 3-1 win. 

Mira Todorova, Bulgaria’s middle blocker remained concentrated in the match against her native team of Maritza PLOVDIV, and together with MVP Nadiia Kodola contributed the most for the victory of the French team (the two scored 18 and 20 points respectively). For the team coached by Vladimir Orlov, Desislava Nikolova put 14 points to her name.



Riccardo Marchesi, head coach of RC CANNES: “This victory is a good way to start the competition for our team. There was some tension at the beginning, but we started the game in the right way. We showed our mental strength when we fought back very strongly in the third set after losing the second. The players are progressing individually and we are growing collectively, as a team as well. The confidence is building up among the girls and this is quite encouraging for the future.”

Click here for more on the Champions League. 


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