Generali UNTERHACHING claims second win but after tough fight with Euphony
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Munich, Germany, October 31, 2012. Germany’s Generali UNTERHACHING made true to its promise by beating Euphony ASSE-LENNIK 3:1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, and 25-19) in the second leg of Pool D play in the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League. This is the second consecutive win for that German side after scoring a 2:3 away victory last week in Ljubljana against ACH Volley.
However, it was a tough night for UNTERHACHING in front of a crowd of 1’010 at Generali Sportarena. “We were nervous at the beginning and made it hard on ourselves”, head coach Mihai Paduretu said after the match. However, he pointed out “my team had the right answers, especially in the second set when the pressure was really on as we were in danger of giving up at least a point. Now we are happy with five points”. In the decisive moments Generali could rely on Jan-Willem Snippe (see picture) and youngster Simon Hirsch who finished with 19 points and 14 points respectively.
ASSE-LENNIK, having lost the first match against MACERATA (0-3), being eliminated in the Belgian cup and sitting only in seventh place in the national league, never looked like an underdog or a team facing some kind of crisis. Head coach Marko Klok’s side made the favorite from Bavaria sweat really hard for a not necessarily convincing win. “We played well. We were close at times and if we play like this in the future we will eventually win”, Klok said. “You’re never happy after a loss, but we played a good game” he added.
UNTERHACHING was shooting for three points to follow up the two points gathered in last week’s win at ACH Volley, but for a long time nothing seemed to work as planned against a poised team from ASSE-LENNIK. The runner-up of the Belgium championship last season proved to be a very tough cookie from the beginning of the first set. Euphony was up 8:7 at the first time-out. It was only then that Generali put together a string of good attacks and blocks. At the second time-out Paduretu’s team was up 16:12 and after UNTERHACHING seemed to steamroll past his team Euphony’s coach Klok took a time-out at 19:13. A good move: the visitors got four points in a row prompting Paduretu to take a time-out. That didn’t really help: Generali squandered a three-point lead (21-18), fell behind, and evened the set up at 23-23 - only to lose it after 30 minutes. Euphony’s decisive men were Eivo Zuravljov and Rejan Dadic.
Paduretu’s facial expressions didn’t become more optimistic at the beginning of the second set when he saw his team fall behind 3:6. It changed a bit after Generali managed to go up 8:7 heading into the first time-out. UNTERHACHING seemed more focused now, getting ahead 16:13 at the second mandatory stop. However, it was a déjà-vu as the hosts again squandered a lead against a hard-fighting Euphony and were suddenly looking at a score of 21:21. Paduretu took a time-out, and this time his team barely held on to even things up at one set apiece after another 26 minutes.
ASSE-LENNIK continued to make Generali fight bitterly for every point in the third set, but slowly felt the mounting pressure of the runner-up in the German championship and the German cup last season. As the set went on, UNTERHACHING capitalized on its chances with more focus and determination while Euphony wasn’t as efficient on defense and attack as it was in the first two sets. After 27 minutes Generali won the third set 25-21.
Still, Euphony didn’t give in, poised to steal at least one point from UNTERHACHING. After the first time-out however the hosts built a lead forcing Klok to take another time-out at 13:9. This time it didn’t have the desired effect anymore for Generali now was really determined to end the match in four sets. The gap opened up to six points at 20:14 and again at 23:17 when Klok tried to stop the Bavarians with another time-out, but to no effect. Konstantin Shumov finished the game off just moments later.
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match