Volero dissipates 2:0 lead before losing to Uralochka
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women
Zurich, Switzerland, November 14, 2012. Volero ZÜRICH surprised the guests of Uralochka-NTMK EKATERINBURG of Russia in the third leg of play for preliminary Pool A of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women going up 2:0 in sets but eventually could not capitalize on this lead and was edged 2:3 by the ladies mentored by legendary head coach Nikolay Karpol (25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 17-25, and 9-15).
Anchored by Cuban star Nancy Carrillo and by youngster Karla Klaric the Swiss side displayed a great performance in reception as well as in attack. They paced Volero up to 20 all in the first set and with a very well organized block-defense system the home heroines could pocket the opening section of the game.
Uralochka was evidently sidelined by the injury affecting two of their middle blockers so that wing spiker Natalia Nazarova was somehow obliged to step in and compensate for their absence. It did take almost two sets before Uralochka found the right balance but at the same time Carrillo and Klaric displayed their best performance since the start of the season for Volero. Klaric stood out in attack as well as in blocking as Karpol started looking for a way to stop the Swiss march.
He eventually decided to substitute six-time Olympian Evgenia Estes (Artamonova) and after he addressed his players quite calmly, he got the effect he was looking for. In set 3 and 4 Uralochka got back on track and with Estes back in action, they totally dominated the scene in this phase of the game. Uralochka stretched that momentum also to the tie-break going up 4:1 there but Volero fought back to 4:6 and 6:8. The Russian team opened the gap to four points and even though the Swiss ladies did not surrender, still a mistake by Nadja Ninkovic put an end to the game in favor of Uralochka that this way claimed its second 3:2 win in the competition.
“We really fought as a team and our energy in the beginning was just amazing” said Volero captain Nneka Onyejekwe after the match. “We lost because of our lack of experience but we did our best up to the end of the game”. “The first and second sets offered the best performance of Volero so far this season” added head coach Dragutin Baltic. “We need more of these games to develop and improve as a team”.
“We had many problems as I was obliged to change the position of some players and we hope we can play much better in the next matches. It was nevertheless a perfect game for the audience and I am happy that so many people showed up tonight here in Zurich. Volero needs a bigger arena to play top Volleyball” said Karpol.
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