|Luxembourg, December 21, 2017. The gold medal winners from the 2017 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship contested last week in Poland and CL holders, Zenit KAZAN quite surprisingly dropped a set in a closely contested home match with Germany’s BERLIN Recycling Volleys.
Zenit KAZAN (RUS) vs. BERLIN Recycling Volleys (GER) 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 25-27, 25-22)
• In the second set, BERLIN Recycling Volleys fought back after trailing 3-8. The German team closed in at 11-all but eventually failed to find a way to cope with the terrific serves contributed by Wilfredo Leon.
Vladimir Alekno, head coach of Zenit KAZAN: “Taking into account the condition of my team after we won the Club World Championship, first of all, I am happy that we won the match. As we expected, BERLIN Recycling Volleys proved to be a strong team and tough rival that fights to the very end.”
Luke Reynolds, head coach of BERLIN Recycling Volleys: “I think that I am particularly happy because they won the first and second sets but we played at a high level. We showed that we are able to compete against the best team in the world. You know, as a matter of fact we could have claimed one or two points from this game and one of the sets might have gone a different way. We will take only positive things from this game, and as a coach you take negative things as well and work on them.”
Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) vs. Knack ROESELARE (BEL) 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-22)
• The assistant coach of Knack ROESELARE, Steven Vanmedegael was at the helm of the visiting team on this occasion, as head coach Emile Rousseaux had a bereavement in the family following his arrival to Italy, on the day before the match.
Giampaolo Medei, head coach of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA: “My fears were related to the fact that we came from a very strong week in Poland, in which we played five tough matches and took to the court almost every day. My team approached the game with the right attitude, and were able not to lose concentration after they made some important errors that could have re-opened the first and the second sets. Obviously we can’t say that it was our best game, but today the most important thing was to score a victory and we deserved it.”
“We faced one of the best teams in the world, and this was a big opportunity for us, as we have many young players on the roster,” said the assistant coach of Knack ROESELARE, Steven Vanmedegael. “We delivered a quite acceptable performance, even though I have to say that we did too many stupid mistakes, which helped our opponents claim the 3-0 win.”
Halkbank ANKARA (TUR) vs. PAOK THESSALONIKI (GRE) 3-1 (25-21, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22)
• PAOK THESSALONIKI suffered their second straight setback in the pool stage after losing their previous match to CL rookies Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA.