PGE Skra beats Dinamo and stays atop of the charts in Pool E
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Lodz, Poland, November 14, 2012. Poland’s PGE Skra BELCHATOW beat Dinamo MOSCOW 3:1 (25-21, 25-16, 19-25, and 25-18) in the battle starring the teams with a perfect score after the first two rounds of action to stay atop of the charts in Pool E of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men.
12’180 spectators opened that splendid Volleyball night with a long and warm welcome for Bartosz Kurek, who apart from the applause of the fans received his own huge portrait in PGE Skra corporate colors. During the match the former star of PGE Skra was forced to stay by the sideline due to an injury.
The Russian team started with two good counter-attacks and a 2:0 lead, but the host team was the one that kept their nerves better under control in the opening set. Mariusz Wlazly turned out to be key-player of that part of the match – not only did he kill 4 out of 5 attacks, but he also showed great form receiving the serves of the opponents. Leonid Shchadilov was able to finish only 2 of his 6 attacks – PGE Skra managed to defend well especially when Dinamo tried to attack from the wings.
Wytze Kooistra started the second set with good attacks and a perfect block for the hosts. When he added two aces, PGE Skra took a four-point lead (10:6) and the home side looked very confident. Two mistakes by Sergey Grankin enlarged the gap to 7 points at the second technical time-out and the set looked almost gone for Dinamo. Another powerful service by Wlazly moved the score up to 20:11 and left no doubts about the final outcome of the set where Skra stood out especially from the serving line registering a total of five aces.
Dinamo Moscow is a classy side and lived up to its reputation in the third set. The Russian team took the lead at 16:13, but lost it immediately when Pavel Kruglov sent the ball wide and started to discuss the decision of the referee. The yellow card made it 16:16 while a clever shot by Michal Winiarski and Karol Klos' block gave PGE Skra the lead at 18:16. It was the attack of Grigory Afinogenov that stopped the series of serves by Kooistra and a poor run of 5 consecutive points lost by Dinamo. From this moment the finish belonged to the Russians who scored the last eight points of the set and made the score 2:1, especially via their terrific block.
In the fourth and last set Mariusz Wlazly showed his class once more. After two aces he stamped the score was 10:4 for Skra and even the time-outs did not make him serve less powerful. Wlazly turned out to be the best scorer for the winning team in the end with 18 points (14 attacks, 3 aces, 1 block) however the complete team did very well. PGE Skra could be proud to have 5 players who finished the match in double digits. A total of 9 aces and 8 blocks – 4 by Karol Klos who replaced Daniel Plinski, who got sick before the match – are an additional confirmation of the great quality displayed by Skra. Dinamo was better in block (11 vs. 8) but only Pavel Kruglov showed his value, scoring 25 points (23/39 attacks with 59% of efficiency).
“The Polish team served really well and we were under pressure all the time. We managed to stand up in the third set but we made too many mistakes. One mistake of the referee and the yellow card also made us not feel comfortable” stated Kruglov.
“We were not sure about the way we would have played tonight but it turned out we felt at ease. Dinamo is a powerful team, but without Kurek and Veres not so strong. I hope Bartek will come back in a week. It will be a pleasure and a real challenge to cross our ways out there on the field of play” stated a smiling Wlazly.
“The service was crucial. It is not the element which is always on our side, but this time it worked and set our play. I am proud of my team. They showed a real team spirit and great skills”, added Jacek Nawrocki, PGE Skra coach.
His counterpart for Dinamo, Yuri Cherednik, was unhappy, but found time to stress the quality of PGE Skra: “It is difficult for us to play without Kurek and Veres, we miss them. However, we made too many mistakes and did not challenge PGE Skra. They played really good and certainly they did deserve this win. However, we are already looking forward to our revenge next week in Moscow”.
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