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Grozer spiking over the net
Zenit KAZAN players exulting
CCM 89-Vero Volley MONZA vs Zenit KAZAN
Vero Volley MONZA exultance
Thomas Beretta exulting with his teammates
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Vero Volley MONZA v Zenit KAZAN
Arena Di Monza hosted the first-leg semifinal duel between Vero Volley Monza and Zenit Kazan. The visiting side totally dominated on the court in the opener, and the home side couldn't find an answer for perfectly playing rivals. Thanks to really good reception, Micah Christenson could set the ball to any of his teammates, what he actually did, leading a well-balanced game that resulted in a 25-14 set win.
The team under guidance of coach Massimo Ecchieli started to visibly improve their game in the second set. The hosts led by Gyorgy Grozer (5 points) took courage, but even if they didn't let the opponents run away for a few-point lead it was still not enough. Especially, that the second set was a brilliant performance by Dmitrii Volkov, who scored as many as seven points (86% of success in attack).
The hosts, sparked by their fans present at the venue, were motivated to prolong the game and it resulted by a fierce head-to-head race at the beginning of the third set. From 8-8 with Milan Katic on serve and Grozer successfully spiking, the Italian team took an 11-8 lead. The Russian side tried to fight back, but Vero Volley were quickly re-building their advantage. Leading 22-17 in the decisive part, they closed the set with Gianluca Galassi's spike.
The Italian side managed to jump to a two-point lead at 7-5. But the players from Zenit Kazan were highly-motivated to leave Italy with three points. They erased the gap and regained control on the court. From 13-12, they scored six in a row improving their advantage to 19-13 and never looked back. Dmitrii Volkov topped the scorers' chart with 19 points and was named MVP of the game. Monza's leader Gyorgy Grozer had 18 points to his name.
“For us it is a bittersweet evening and with a bit of regret. A few thought that we could win against Kazan and we - even if we failed to do so - kept them fighting for every ball until the end. In their home it will still be difficult, but until the last ball falls we will be there to give our best to achieve our dream about reaching the final."
middle blocker of Vero Volley Monza
"We approached the match in a solid and decisive way. Monza is a well organized team, which when it lights up can hurt both on the serve and on the block. We will also have to push in the second leg, starting from our serve, to impose our rhythm and go the final".
setter of Zenit Kazan
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of Vero Volley MONZA compared to Zenit KAZAN.
Vero Volley MONZA number of service aces compared to Zenit KAZAN
Errors leading to points of Vero Volley MONZA, next to those from Zenit KAZAN