After home defeat to archrivals Zenit, Lokomotiv hopes to make Playoffs are gone
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Novosibirsk, Russia, December 10, 2013. The much anticipated “clash of the titans” starring Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK and Zenit KAZAN ended on Tuesday with the players from the capital city of Tatarstan edging their Siberian archrivals 3:1 (25-23, 26-24, 21-25, and 25-19) to cement their leadership in Pool E after five rounds. This result makes it very difficult for the winners of the last edition to make the Playoffs 12 of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men as Italy’s Lube Banca Marche MACERATA may well profit of their clash with Austrian rookie Posojilnica AICH/DOB to distance the Siberian express.
By combining a very solid block with great spikes Zenit KAZAN started the game strong winning the first set with the score of 25-23. Lokomotiv set the pace three times in the set but Zenit could always fight their way back on good serving by their middle blocker Alexander Abrosimov.
The second set was very close with Lokomotiv making many errors towards the end to help Zenit seal the final 26-24 and provisional 2:0.
The Siberian players went for a make-or-break mission in the third set where their opposite Pavel Moroz could finally display a very good performance, anchoring Lokomotiv with his serve and spikes. However, Zenit changed the course of the game once more right in the early phases of the fourth set where four consecutive aces by their middle blocker Nikolay Apalikov made it 8:2 at the first technical time-out. That was too much for Lokomotiv that could not compensate for this slow start and Zenit comfortably cruised to the final 25-19 for a well-deserved 3:1 victory.
This was the first home defeat for Lokomotiv in any CL game and with this result the chances for the titleholders to make the Playoffs 12 have practically vanished.
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match