BERLIN sees off LUGANO in straight sets
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Berlin, Germany, December 4, 2013. Back in front of their home crowd after three away matches in the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, the team of BERLIN Recycling Volleys did not allow any doubts about its ambitions to make it to the Playoffs 12 as they outdid Energy Investments LUGANO in straight sets (25-21, 25-18, and 25-18).
Spirited by an energetic performance of the look-alike concert show “Stars in Concert” 4’111 spectators at the Max-Schmeling-Halle got to see a close beginning of the first set with each team not allowing the other to pull away (3:3, 7:7, and 11:11). Eventually, it was Robert Kromm at service who brought his team a small lead (14:11) forcing LUGANO’s head coach Mario Motta to take his first time-out. Fighting back his team did not slacken its grip and successfully came back to even the score (15-15). Establishing a two-point lead, the team of head coach Mark Lebedew did not manage to keep the pressure constantly high (18:16), allowing LUGANO to again draw level (19:19). Eventually Tomas Kmet (22:20) and team captain Scott Touzinsky paved the way for the 2013 German national champions to take the first set via an attack by opposite Paul Carroll (25-21).
Not impressed by the host’s persistence, LUGANO started out successfully in round two, taking an early lead (1:3). Enthusiastically cheered on by their home crowd, BERLIN drew equal and took a small lead with an ace by Robert Kromm and a block by Tomas Kmet (8:5). Breaking through the middle, this season’s new arrival, Serbia’s Srecko Lisinac, helped his team to further pull away (10:6). Keeping the pressure high and showing spectacular defense saves and supported by serve errors by the side of LUGANO, the home team constantly extended their lead (13:10, 15:12, 18:14, 20:14) which could also not be endangered by a time-out of LUGANO, who also lost set two to the hosts of BERLIN (25-18).
Pushed by its second set performance and with its rhythm found, the side of BERLIN further convinced with heavy attacks and strong blocks in the third round (6:3), forcing LUGANO to take risks and make mistakes (8:3, 17:12, 19:15, 21:15, in the end 25-18). Not allowing any doubts about the winners of the match BERLIN showed their superiority, and especially middle-blocker Tomas Kmet scoring incredible 14 points (opposite Felipe Airton Banderò for LUGANO also registered 14 points) seemed to have had its best day.
Accordingly team captain Scott Touzinsky was all happy about his team’s appearance: “We did what we had to do, we played strongly. It was important to us to show that this is our crowd and our home court – that was simply a great team performance”, the 2008 Olympic champion said. His coach Mark Lebedew totally agreed: “That was a very good game by our side. We wanted to serve strongly, to block save – and all that we managed to do”, the Australian mentor added.
The setter and team captain Fernando Garnica for the side of LUGANO was not happy about his team’s performance on Wednesday night: “It wasn’t a good game by our side, the first set was good, but afterwards it was an easy game for BERLIN.”
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