ACH Volley fights bravely but falls short in CL last game of the season
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Ljubljana, Slovenia, December 18, 2013. ACH Volley LJUBLJANA had to admit defeat to Italian vice-champions Copra Elior PIACENZA in the sixth and last leg of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League (1:3; 25-22, 21-25, 15-25, and 22-25).
The home team had the initiative at the beginning of the match. ACH Volley was 8:5 up at the first technical time-out and extended its lead to 11:6 when the head coach of Copra Elior PIACENZA Luca Monti was forced to take a time-out, which helped his team recover. PIACENZA was up at the second technical time-out (14:16), but ACH Volley bounced back to take the set 25-22.
The two teams were leveled at the beginning of the second set as well, but the Italian team soon went ahead (6:8 and 11:16) and created a comfortable lead. ACH Volley came back fighting and was able to equalize at 22:22, but had to admit defeat due to better blocking by the guests.
The third set started in a similar way to the second one, but Copra Elior PIACENZA was able to create an extensive lead in the middle of the set, above all due to unforced errors by the home team (11:16). Head coach Luka Slabe made some changes to the line-up, but they couldn’t turn the set around and his players bagged only 15 points in the end.
To the delight of the home crowd, ACH Volley started the fourth set better (6:4), but the guests soon equalized and rushed ahead (11:16). The Slovenian champions didn’t give up though and leveled the score at 21:21. The match was decided by two successful blocks and an attack by Cuban middle-blocker Robertlandy Simon for the final 1:3 (25-22, 21-25, 15-25, and 22-25).
The head coach of ACH Volley Luka Slabe was satisfied with his team’s performance, because his players bounced back despite running behind PIACENZA: “It was a good game, above all in the sets when we were already behind, but fought hard to equalize.”
His colleague on the Italian bench, Luca Monti, on the other hand said his team didn’t play well. “We were very tired, because we played several difficult matches in a short period. We were able to develop our game here and there, but it was a long and tough match.”
Copra Elior PIACENZA will continue its European journey in the Playoffs 12, while this year’s European season for ACH Volley LJUBLJANA ended with this match.
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