With away victory over Czech champions Noliko secures second place in Pool B
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Ostrava, Czech Republic, December 10, 2013. Belgium’s Noliko MAASEIK made sure they will finish the prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League in second place as they routed Czech champions VK OSTRAVA in straight sets (25-18, 25-18, and 25-23) Tuesday night in the fifth round of action for preliminary Pool B. VK OSTRAVA, on the other hand, suffered their fifth consecutive setback in the competition.
Though they were missing one of their best players – Dutch wing-spiker Jelte Maan – Noliko started the game with a very good pace and helped by the hosts’ errors, MAASEIK quickly made it 9:4 in the opening set. Though VK OSTRAVA scored five consecutive points, Noliko still had a three-point lead by the second technical time-out. The Belgians performed extremely well behind the service line as well as in blocking. They easily claimed the opening set with the score of 25-18.
“As we had played them in Belgium we did not have so many problems with their service but tonight we made a lot of stupid mistakes” said VK OSTRAVA team captain Richard Mauler after the game.
The mentor of VK OSTRAVA, Zdenek Smejkal, decided to change something in his starting six for the second set with Swedish wing-spiker Erik Sundberg and second setter Tomas Dvorak getting some playing time. Still they could not do much against the great spikes killed by Jeffrey Menzel and Federico Pereyra. “We are still looking for the best starting six but even these changes did not bring the desired effect” Smejkal said in the end. “We showed too much respect for our opponent especially in the first and second set. That was our main problem tonight.”
The performance of the home side improved in the third set where VK OSTRAVA moved up 11:8; however, Noliko looked very determined and did not want to lose any set tonight. “OSTRAVA has a very young and brave team but we simply played better tonight. We made a couple of stupid errors in the third set where VK OSTRAVA went to the front with their good service but in the end we could finish it in straight sets” commented Belgian mentor Erik Verstraten.
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