BERLIN sweeps prestigious win over TRENTINO
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Berlin, Germany, December 18, 2013. Capping an exhausting as well as successful home match series with a courageous and surprising victory over Diatec TRENTINO in the last round of action in prelim Pool D of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League on Wednesday night, the team of BERLIN Recycling Volleys cemented its second place in the group and thus confirmed the qualification for the Playoffs 12 as they edged the Italian standout 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, and 25-19).
4’521 spectators at the Max-Schmeling-Halle got to see a good performance by both teams in the opening of the game. However, wing-spiker Robert Kromm and middle-blocker Srecko Lisinac with a strong block and opposite Paul Carroll with a massive attack brought their team a small lead (8:6, 9:6, and 10:6). Confident after their qualification for the German cup final four days earlier, the team of head coach Mark Lebedew could even further enhance their lead, forcing TRENTINO’s coach Roberto Serniotti to take his first time-out. Closing the gap, his team, whose qualification for the Playoffs 12 was already secured and who played without its captain Emanuele Birarelli, especially convinced with strong hits by wing-spiker Filippo Lanza (10:8). Pushed by its fantastic home crowd BERLIN, however, seemed enlivened by its latest and arguably historic national cup success as the host steadily widened their lead (16:11, 19:13, and 21:15) and eventually cruised to the end of the first set (25-16).
Spurred on by the considerably clear loss of the first set, TRENTINO caught a better start in the second round (2:4), but the group around team captain Scott Touzinsky fought its way back and eventually – with Robert Kromm on service – closed the gap at 6:6 even building a first lead at 7:6 after a time-out by TRENTINO (8:7). With Kromm on fire, a service ace by Touzinsky and a strong block by Lisinac and Paul Carroll the hosts could control the game (12:10, 13:11). Keeping their side-out, BERLIN cruised to the second technical time-out leading there by two points. With Touzinsky on service, the home side made it 20:16. Lisinac, Kromm and middle-blocker Tomas Kmet and a service out of the guest side brought the second set to a happy end for the hosts (25-18).
TRENTINO again caught the better start in the third set (5:7, 7:10, 9:12), but steadily closing the gap, BERLIN came back especially through strong attacks and heavy blocks. Bringing in opposite Aleksandar Spirovski for Paul Carroll and setter Sebastian Kühner for Kawika Shoji, the home side could even draw level at 13:13 after a massive attack by Kromm. TRENTINO vociferously cheered on by a small group of fans, however, seemed to have found their rhythm (15:16, 16:17), but BERLIN again shattered their hopes to take the third set (19:17, 20:17, 21:18, 23:19) and cruised to a surprising straight-set win (25-19).
And indeed, the team of BERLIN could not really believe what had just happened: “Nobody has expected us to win in straight sets in even 65 minutes”, Robert Kromm, best scorer of his side with 13 points, said, adding: “This was a perfect end of this first part of the season so far and we can now go on our well-deserved Christmas holidays”.
Already qualified for the Playoffs 12, the team of TRENTINO took this match as some kind of test match. Filippo Lanza, best scorer of his team with 14 points, admitted after the game: “This match was not that important to us, since we were qualified for the next round anyways. We’ve tried out different things with different players tonight and that’s why we did not play that well.”
Whilst the guest’s side experimented a lot, the hosts’ coach, Mark Lebedew was still all glad about his team’s performance: “We did a fantastic job tonight; we did what we aimed for. We played very motivated and disciplined”, he said, adding: “And playing in front of such a home crowd sometimes makes us feel unbeatable. That’s been a big factor of motivation tonight”, the Australian mentor concluded.
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match