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11/12/2013 13:42
ZALAU outshines ambitious Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Zalau, Romania, December 11, 2013. The Romanian team Volei Municipal ZALAU rewarded their fans with a straight victory on home ground against the enthusiastic youngsters from Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD (25-21, 25-21, and 25-20) in the first round of play for the 1/16 finals of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men on Tuesday.
The Serbian team started the match forcefully, leading by two points at the first technical time-out, after the great attacks of BEOGRAD’s captain Dusan Petkovic and teammate Filip Stoilovic (0:1, 0:3, 1:4). The same players set the pace before the second technical time-out as well (10:13, 11:14). ZALAU fought back and managed to take the lead, with Peter Nagy performing very well from the service line (14:14) followed by two solid blocks of Razvan Mihalcea, Adriano Lamb and Leonardo Dal Bosco (15:16, 17:16). Dal Bosco brought ZALAU to 24:19, and with Crvena Zvezda managing to make only two more points Volei Municipal closed the set at 25-21.

Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD controlled the game also at the beginning of the second set, bringing the gap at three points at the first technical time-out after the attack by Lazar Koprivica (5:8) in spite the fact that ZALAU had held the lead initially (2:1, 3:2). The Serbians were in advantage until 10:11 (7:11, 9:11) when the Romanians came back and through the attacks of Mihai Gheorghita and Peter Nagy took the lead at the second time-out (16:15). Marian Bala rushed to win after a few powerful serves and ZALAU snatched the second set (25-21).

Volei Municipal ZALAU seemed very confident on winning the third set, having a comfortable margin of four points at the beginning (7:3, 8:4). The Serbians tried to put pressure on ZALAU’s defence, reducing the gap to two points (11:7, 11:9, and 15:13). Marian Bala, Razvan Mihalcea and Mihai Gheorghita were determined to bring ZALAU closer to victory earlier, and widened the gap to six points (22:16) after some great attacks and blocks. The attacks of Dusan Petkovic and Filip Stoilovic (22:17, 22:18) couldn’t stop the Romanians from winning the last set by a margin of five.

Dusko Nikolic, the head coach of Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD, stated after the match: “We have a very young team, especially for a European Cup. However, I’m quite satisfied with the game our players played, except for some moments when we could have avoided some mistakes and kept the advantage we had. ZALAU is a very good team and they were stronger than us, but I hope that we will win the next match with them, as we are playing at home and we have the support of our fans.”

Volei Municipal ZALAU’s head coach, Aurel Vlaicu, said: “I must admit the Serbian Volleyball school is one of the best in the world, the Serbian teams having some very talented, young players. Crvena Zvezda has very gifted players, who will make the team evolve through the years. We would like to score a victory during the away match and qualify to the next round, but every match is different and we have to be ready for the next confrontation with the Serbian team.”

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