Zenit concede a set to BR Volleys

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.


Foto: CEV

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.
•    In the third set, the German team once again showed their strong character and clawed back towards the end after coming from behind (18-20). Steven Marshall turned out to be the main hero of the set with seven points while his teammate Paul Carroll sealed the set for the BERLIN Recycling Volleys, 27-25.
•    The German team became the first opponent in six matches able to take at least one set in a clash with the Russian titan Zenit KAZAN – since the players of Vladimir Alekno had won all of their five matches at the Club World Championship by 3-0.
•    Middle blocker Alexander Gutsalyuk played his 200th match for Zenit KAZAN. He became the ninth player in the 17-year history of the club to reach this feat along with Vladislav Babichev, Nikolay Apalikov, Maxim Mikhailov, Alexander Abrosimov, Evgeny Sivozhelez, Alexander Bogomolov, Lloy Ball and Matthew Anderson.
•    Zenit KAZAN opposite hitter Maxim Mikhailov was the top scorer of the match with 22 points.

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.
•    The home team claimed an early lead (10-8) in the opening set and were able to hold on to it (16-12) until the end, before ROESELARE came back and were very close to re-opening the set (24-22).The Challenge system confirmed the block touch of the Belgians and this sealed the final 25-22 win to the Italian team.
•    In the second, balanced set, local star Jiri Kovar scored the decisive points, finishing this section of the game with 100% success rate in attack.
•    Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA, playing their sixth match in the last 10 days, as they participated in the Men’s Club World Championship in Poland last week, used their experience to storm to a 3-0 victory.
•    The world’s vice champions Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA scored their first win in the 2018 edition of the Champions League, claiming second place in the standing of Pool A with the same number of victories but one point clear of ROESELARE. Italy’s Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA are the leaders of the pool with two victories in as many matches.
•    The opposite of Knack ROESELARE, Hendrix Tuerlinkx top scored with 15 points, while Osmany Juantorena was the top scorer for Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA with 13 points.

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.
•    Halkbank, however, made quite many mistakes and their performance from the serving line was not outstanding either.
•    The hosts enjoyed the loud support from some 3,000 fans – including some members of groups promoting a close connection between sports and reading.
•    Halkbank now look forward to hosting Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA at Baskent Volleyball Hall.

Source: CEV

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