Lokomotiv BAKU needs five sets to finally edge young Serbian girls
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women
Beograd, Serbia, October 23, 2012. Lokomotiv BAKU eventually got past the local heroines of Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD but only after a tough marathon (25-14, 25-27, 23-25, 25-17, and 15-11) to claim the opening match in Pool F played at “Sumice” sports hall in Serbia’s capital city.
The teams started the match with a relatively slow pace with Lokomotiv edging ahead (16:9) and opening the gap step by step, reaching a margin of 11 points by the end of the set.
Lokomotiv kept control of the game also in the second set (12:8) but eventually Crvena Zvezda scored four in a row to re-open the fate of the game; a very close fight followed up to the end of the set, with the local heroines anchored by Ana Bjelica and Jovana Stevanovic cashing their third set ball to make it 1:1 (27-25).
The hosts dominated the scene in the third set as Lokomotiv could keep up with the rhythm of their opponents only up to the first technical time-out. Crvena Zvezda pressured with their service and played well also in defense (12:7, 16:12, 23:19) while the guests struggled in reception as well as in attack. Their head coach Petr Khilko tried out some substitutions but it did not work and Crvena Zvezda could go for the provisional 2:1 (25-17).
However, Lokomotiv did not surrender and paced by Aneta Havlickova cruised to the front in set 4 (17:11), stretched that margin (20:12) and called for the tie-break. There it was a close fight up to 11 all before Lokomotiv scored the next four to eventually claim a 3:2 away win.
Aneta Havlickova top scored in the end with 28 points well supported by Juliana do Nascimento Costa with 22 while Ana Bjelica paced the home side with 20.
“We had problems in reception and our offensive play was sidelined by this. We are a young and inexperienced team and some of our girls played tonight their first match in the Champions League” said Bjelica.
“We did not play much better than our opponents but we have experienced players and this made the difference in the end. It is nevertheless nice to be back to Serbia” said Lokomotiv setter Diana Nenova, who once played for Postar 064 in Beograd.