Eczacibasi claims clash of the titans by edging RC CANNES in three close sets
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women
Istanbul, Turkey, November 28, 2013. On Thursday Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL routed RC CANNES in straight sets (26-24, 25-21, and 25-23) to claim the most anticipated game of the third round in the prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. With this result Eczacibasi cemented their leadership in Pool D with nine points after three matches.
Eczacibasi started off really strong and their superstar Neslihan Demir (Darnel) hit some great serves to quickly make it 7:2; though Eczacibasi set the pace of the game with a margin of five at the first technical time-out (8:3) RC CANNES was able to claw back (9:8) and eventually evened the score at 11. The players from the French Riviera even moved ahead by two points thereby forcing Eczacibasi mentor Lorenzo Micelli into a second time-out. Demir and Büsra Cansu reacted to level the score at 13 but still RC CANNES was at the front by the time the second mandatory stop was called (15:16). A couple of good spikes by Nadia Centoni made it 15:18 and at this stage Micelli changed his diagonal with Asuman Karakoyun replacing Denise Hanke while Yimei Wang substituted Demir. He also changed Senna Usic Jogunica for Buse Kayacan (17:19); Demir and Hanke were back in action as the score stood at 19:20 and a point for point battle continued up to 23 all. Demir claimed set point for her side and after Cansu and Laura Partenio made a couple of serving errors, it was Usic to finish it off for the home side at 26-24. Demir paced Eczacibasi in the opening set with six points while Centoni registered eight for RC CANNES.
After leading 3:0 in the second set Eczacibasi relaxed a bit too early; with the spikes killed by Maret Grothues RC CANNES made it to the front at the first technical time-out (7:8). Eczacibasi regrouped and changed the course of the set making it 12:9 and forcing RC CANNES mentor Yan Fang into a time-out. Still Eczacibasi was in full control (16:12, 18:12) and with their captain Esra Gümüs Kirici on fire claimed a series of set balls (24:19). Two were survived by their guests from France before Demir made it 2:0 (25-21) killing the last point of the set for the home heroines.
RC CANNES started out strong in the third set (1:4) but Maja Poljak evened the score at 5 all for Eczacibasi with a terrific block. The home side continued to play with good rhythm (9:5) but once more RC CANNES was able to fight their way back (10:9). Micelli asked for a time-out and it worked as his players claimed a 5-1 break whereby they still had a margin of five points by the second technical time-out. Eczacibasi looked very motivated (18:12) and even changed once more Hanke/Demir for Karakoyun/Wang in the final phases of the set. It was not over yet as RC CANNES stormed back on a good serving turn by Déborah Ortschitt to level the score at 18 and even flip the charts around (18:19). The final section of the set was very dramatic with each team scoring their respective side-out before Demir claimed match point for the home side and a mistake by RC CANNES sealed the final 25-23 and 3-0 victory for the Turks.
“It was a very important game where the leadership in the Pool was at stake” commented Micelli after the game. “We were much focused and we pushed our opponents very hard so that they made quite many mistakes. We would like to thank our fans who have supported us tonight from the start up to the end of the game. We have another important match coming up next week in Cannes and we have to prepare as good as we can.”
“We knew that this was going to be a tough game” added home star Neslihan Demir. “But I think that in the end we showed our best performance since the start of the season. I hope that we will continue to improve and finally seize the trophy at the end of this campaign.”
Demir registered 15 points for Eczacibasi in their winning effort while Nadia Centoni paced RC CANNES with 24.
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match