Dinamo KAZAN joins elite club with fourth straight victory
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women
Bacau, Romania, December 5, 2013. Russia’s Dinamo KAZAN equaled the feat achieved by VakifBank ISTANBUL and Rabita BAKU by scoring a fourth consecutive victory in the prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. Russia’s champions downed once more – similarly to what they had done last week – Romania’s rookie Stiinta BACAU in straight sets (25-15, 25-17, and 25-10) to keep their perfect record in Pool F where they top the charts with maximum points – 12 – after four rounds. Though they displayed great fighting spirit, the home heroines could not stand a chance against the Russian giant that was paced by US American wing-spiker Jordan Larson-Burbach with 17 points. Ekaterina Gamova added another 12 to the count of KAZAN while Argentinean Emilce Fabiana Sosa topped the tables for BACAU with 10.
Dinamo KAZAN imposed their pace right from the start of the opening set (8:4) as things immediately looked pretty difficult for the home side. Even after a time-out asked by their head coach Florin Grapa, Romania’s champions could not find a way to stop the Russian machine with Dinamo leading the way 16:9 at the second technical time-out. Regina Moroz and Evgeniya Startseva added some more points from the service line for Dinamo KAZAN and the guests from Tatarstan quickly cashed the opening set with the score of 25-15.
The second set started much better for Stiinta as Sosa, Monika Potokar and a block by wing-spiker Denisa Rogojinaru pocketed some points for the home side but Dinamo showed a very solid block and defense system to make it 8:6 at the first technical stop. Grapa asked for a time-out by the time his players were trailing 8:12 but it did not help much as Dinamo widened their lead to six points (16:10). The Russian champions did not lose composure and quickly sailed to the final 25-17 for a 2:0 score in sets.
In the third set Grapa decided to replace starting setter Kim Staelens with Sabina Miclea Grigoruta but in spite of this move, Dinamo dictated the tempo of the game with ease already by the first technical time-out (8:3). The guests continued to play their own game and the blocks by Irina Malkova and hits killed by Larson paved the way for a terrific 16:4 at the second mandatory stop. The fans in Bacau cheered on their heroines but there was no way for them to come back as Dinamo comfortably sealed the 25-10 that meant another 3:0 victory for the Russian champions.
“Dinamo is definitely the strongest team in the Pool; we wanted to fight to possibly get one point from this game but we simply could not achieve this goal. We still are in contention for second place in the Pool and if we fail, our goal will be to be promoted to the Challenge Round of the CEV Volleyball Cup” commented Stiinta mentor Florin Grapa.
“We needed a little bit more luck to win one or two sets in this game but this luck needs to be somehow generated and we could not find a way to achieve this goal” added Kim Staelens.
“We are trying to keep up the quality of our performances and are very motivated to achieve a good result in this year’s CEV Volleyball Champions League” commented Dinamo top scorer Jordan Larson-Burbach.
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