Belogorie routs Czech champions to claim fourth straight victory
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Belgorod, Russia, December 3, 2013. As they beat VK OSTRAVA in straight sets (25-15, 25-20, and 25-16) in the fourth round of play, Russia’s giants Belogorie BELGOROD could celebrate their 65th victory in Europe’s elite club competition, the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, and could practically secure their spot in the Playoffs 12 as they have maximum 12 points in Pool B. On Tuesday Belogorie mentor Gennady Shipulin decided to rest most of his starting players – with the only exceptions being setter Dragan Travica and middle blocker Alexandr Bogomolov (pictured) – but this did not impact on the course of the game that Belogorie easily claimed in three sets.
Actually Travica played only for the first set and until the first technical time-out of the second. The second lines of Belogorie did nevertheless not find any problems to easily cruise past the Czech champions. Maksim Zhigalov could always find a way through the Czech block and he eventually registered 22 points for BELGOROD, including five aces. Zhigalov’s serve paved the way for many positive breaks for Belogorie and did literally shake the defense line of VK OSTRAVA.
With this Belogorie could celebrate also their fourth straight victory in the Pool and the Russian giants have lost no sets at all so far in the competition. “We were planning to give a rest to our best players and I am happy that we could win easy even with our second lines” Shipulin said after the game. “I would like to thank our opponents who put on a good fight. I think that our fans were happy tonight and we want to continue to play this way also once we reach the Playoffs.”
“We played one of our worst matches this season” commented Czech mentor Zdenek Smejkal. “Belogorie used their second lines and nevertheless we could not stand a chance. We will try to play our best next week with Noliko MAASEIK before we go for the last match of the prelims with Olympiacos in Greece.”
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