Azerrail claims first round of Azeri derby
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women
Baku, Azerbaijan, January 16, 2013. Azerrail BAKU claimed on Wednesday the first round of the Azeri derby scheduled for the Playoffs 12 of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women by downing their compatriots of Lokomotiv in straight sets (25-20, 25-21, and 25-22).
In what was the very first derby starring two teams from Azerbaijan since the introduction of that competition some 12 years ago, these sides looked quite nervous in the early phases of the match with Lokomotiv leading the way with the slimmest possible margin at the first technical time-out. However, Azerrail finally found its way into the game setting the pace by the second mandatory stop (16:13) with Megan Hodge killing a series of spikes and by displaying a solid reception, quite a good combination that eventually propelled Azerrail to the provisional 1:0 (25-20).
Azerrail caught a good start in the second set going up 8:4 but Lokomotiv clawed back to draw the score at 13 all. With their libero Valeriya Korotenko displaying great actions in defense and Megan Hodge once more extremely effective in offense, Azerrail got back control of the operations (20:17) and cruised to the 25-21 that meant a 2:0 lead in sets.
Lokomotiv fought bravely to re-open the fate of the game setting the tempo for most of the third set (8:7, 16:13) but a series of great serves by Manon Flier accelerated the comeback of Azerrail that did eventually finish their job in straight sets.
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