PARIS Volley shatters Tomis dreams of European glory
2014 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men
Constanta, Romania, March 2, 2014. The dreams of European glory ended on Sunday for Romania’s champions Tomis CONSTANTA who lost at the golden set the two-leg semifinal with PARIS Volley. Tomis had edged PARIS Volley at the tie-break on Tuesday but could not capitalize on their lead in the return game played on the shores of the Black Sea. In the end PARIS Volley edged past 3:2 (12-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, and 15-11) and won also the golden set that followed (15-12) to claim their spot in the final and play there later this month Guberniya NIZHNIY NOVGOROD of Russia.
The hosts of Tomis could not ask for a better way to start into the game as they quickly set the pace in the opening set (8:3). With a couple of aces scored by their Slovak opposite Martin Nemec they widened their lead to a terrific 13:3; Tomis comfortably controlled the game for the remainder of the set (16:7, 20:12) standing out in attack and blocking and eventually pocketed the final 25-12 to set the tone for what was supposed to turn into a night to remember.
However, things changed in the early phases of the second set where PARIS stormed out to an 8:5 lead with good points scored by their Serbian spiker Marko Ivovic. Romania’s champions clawed back to even the score at 9 and eventually got back the lead at 13:11 and 17:14. Still the guests from France answered with four straight points to flip the charts around and cruise to the 25-20 that re-opened the fate of the game.
PARIS Volley showed that same momentum also in the third set (3:1, 8:6, 10:6); Tomis almost leveled the score at 12:11 powered by Andrey Zhekov and Andrei Spinu before the score was finally tied at 14 all. CONSTANTA got back control of the operations (16:14, 19:15, and 21:17) and finished it off with a block by their Bulgarian spiker Dmitrii Bahov (25-20).
The score remained very close through to the second technical time-out of the fourth set; after that PARIS Volley broke away (19:15) and even though Tomis reduced their gap to a minimum (19:18), the guests from France accelerated their pace again (22:19). PARIS could hold on to their lead and called for the tie-break after seizing the fourth set by 25-23.
PARIS Volley set the pace of the game right from the go in the fifth set (2:0, 6:4) but Tomis drew level twice, first at 6, and then at 8 all. That was nevertheless the last time they could keep the score tight for PARIS showed their best game to win the set by 15-11 and stretch the semifinal to a golden set.
The golden set was a real thriller where Tomis opened with a 4:2 lead before PARIS scored three in a row. PARIS got the right edge at 8:6 and 10:8, and had their sight set on the finish line as they were leading 12:9. With the help of the 1,800 fans in attendance, Tomis stormed back to even the score again at 12 but the dream of a first European final was shattered as PARIS scored three more points to claim that much coveted ticket.
“I have to admit that the players of PARIS Volley performed really strong and we have been eliminated by a very good team” commented Tomis head coach Martin Stoev. “We played bravely and fought until the last ball. We missed out on the final in the end but that’s sport: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose”.
“After losing in Paris, things have gone very well for us tonight and we are evidently happy with our qualification for the final” said PARIS Volley mentor Dorian Rougeyron. “We strongly believed in our chances from the beginning up to the end of the game”.
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