Austrian rookie ends its CL season with a sensation
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Klagenfurt, Austria, December 18, 2013. It was a night to remember as Posojilnica AICH/DOB could cause a sensation by defeating Russian heavyweight Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK in the last round of the prelims (3:2; 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, and 15-13). The CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League stopped in Klagenfurt for the last time in the current season and Posojilnica AICH/DOB could more than live up to the expectations of the 2,000 fans who together with the new mascot AIDO pushed forward the local team, which played world-class Volleyball on that night. With this victory, the underdogs of AICH/DOB can proudly say goodbye to the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.
The start of the game was the best the home audience could ask for as the local team moved up to 8:4; the excellent performance by the local heroes continued also later on (12:6) which is why the Russian head coach Andrey Voronkov had to call for a time-out to try to stop that storm. With this move the Russian heavyweight was trying to find its rhythm but AICH/DOB was always one step ahead (16:10). The locals could exploit every single error of their opponent and therefore won the opening set with the score of 25-21.
AICH/DOB stretched that momentum to the early phases of the second set and was able to lead at the first technical time-out (8:5). The match nevertheless became extremely thrilling with a very close race since NOVOSIBIRSK had got back on track and made it 15:16. The Russians started setting the pace even though AICH/DOB’s head coach Martin Micheu tried to interrupt their march with a time-out (15:18). Though the guest’s margin was not that big the Russians could keep it up to the very end, pocketing the second set with the score of 22-25.
Both teams started out very strong in the third set (8:5), but NOVOSIBIRSK made many mistakes which paved the way for AICH/DOB’s 16:12 lead at the second technical time-out. The Russian heavyweight could fight back to 18:18 and even though the locals played above and beyond all expectations, their opponents could wrap it up in the end (23-25).
After a couple of mistakes on both sides of the net, the game continued with a neck-to-neck race (6:8) and the score remained very close halfway through the fourth set (13:15). The locals put every effort in turning the tables and equalized at 18:18. Both teams showed great determination to win the set. The match reached its most thrilling point and in the end the local team finally made it 25-23 to call for the tie-break.
The fifth and crucial set started with an excellent performance by the Austrian rookie (5:2), but NOVOSIBIRSK tried to resist and got back on track (5:5). It was a very close race throughout the whole set (9:9), both teams showed their willingness to win (13:13), but AIDO and the 2,000 fans finally carried AICH/DOB to an unexpected and historic victory (15-13).
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