CUNEO scores fourth win to stay atop of the charts in Pool G
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Cuneo, Italy, November 20, 2012. Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO of Italy keeps an immaculate record after four rounds of play in the prelims of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League after edging on Tuesday Poland’s Asseco Resovia RZESZOW for the second time in one week. After cruising to a 3:0 away win in Poland, this time CUNEO edged its opponents with the score of 3:1 (25-19, 14-25, 25-16, and 29-27) to stay atop of the charts in Pool G with 12 points.
Head coach Roberto Piazza started the game with setter Nikola Grbic, opposite Tsvetan Sokolov, Oleg Antonov and Earvin Ngapeth as wing spikers plus middle blockers Luigi Mastrangelo and Emanuel Kohut, and libero Daniele De Pandis. Similarly to CUNEO, with captain Wout Wijsmans out, Asseco Resovia was also missing its leader Aleh Akhrem and responded with setter Lukas Tichacek, opposite Zbigniew Bartman, wing spikers Paul Lotman and Nikola Kovacevic, middle blockers Wojciech Grzyb and Lukasz Perlowski plus libero Krzysztof Ignaczak.
The first set was very close with CUNEO eventually cruising past via the valuable help provided by young setter Nimir Abdel-Aziz from the serving line. With two aces and by putting real pressure on the defense of Resovia, he forced head coach Andrzej Kowal to ask for two time-outs and moved the score to 23:17 before Ngapeth closed it out at 25-19.
CUNEO struggled, especially in defense, in the second set, where Resovia went to the front at 8:5 and 16:8 by the first and second technical time-out respectively. Piazza substituted Antonov with Dore Della Lunga but could not stop the Polish run and Kovacevic sealed the 25-14 for the 1:1.
The Italians caught a good start in set 3 (8:6) and maintained their lead all the way through to the final 25-16 with a great performance in defense and six blocks. During this set libero De Pandis got injured on his knee and suffering some real pain he left the court for being checked by the doctors.
CUNEO eventually started the fourth set with their second libero Andrea Marchisio; a real battle did unfold there with the hosts going up 19:16 but Resovia fighting back to -1 (19:18). CUNEO could resist to three set balls for Resovia and finished it at 29-27 to remain the undisputed leader of its group.
“I expected a different match from the one we played in Poland last week and finally it was. We could block very well their best spikers, especially in the last section of the fourth set. Antonov played a good match but I think he can do even better” said Roberto Piazza after the game.
“We knew CUNEO is a very strong team and we expected a difficult match. We claimed the second set but one set is not enough. We also had the chance to go for the tie-break but we failed to exploit it. I think we did some good things tonight but we had to do more” stressed Resovia mentor Andrzej Kowal.
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