Rookies PIACENZA beat Serbian youngsters to cash ticket to Playoffs 12
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women
Beograd, Serbia, December 10, 2013. As they beat Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD 3:1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-19, and 25-15) on Tuesday night at the Sumice sports hall, Italy’s champions and CL rookies RebecchiNMeccanica PIACENZA claimed their qualification to the Playoffs 12 of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women with one round still to go for completion of the prelims. PIACENZA has got 12 points after five rounds and is now out of reach for Igtisadchi BAKU of Azerbaijan that is currently ranked third with five points after today’s defeat to Dinamo MOSCOW. Next week PIACENZA will host Dinamo and try to claim the top position of the charts so as to get a good draw for the Playoffs 12.
Actually Crvena Zvezda caught a very promising start of their game (4:1) thereby forcing Italian mentor Gianni Caprara to take an early time-out. PIACENZA responded with a 7:1 run to flip the charts around and exploited their experience at this level to easily claim the opening set (25-18).
The home heroines in red and white stripes really wanted to give their fans something to cheer about and they eventually succeeded in achieving their goal in the second set. The score was very close up to 20 all where Crvena Zvezda broke the tie with points scored by Ljubica Kecman and Bojana Milenkovic. Team captain Julia Milovits added a block to complete a 5:1 series that sealed the final 25-21 for the home side.
With the positive energy they got from the second set Crvena Zvezda played well also in the third but they could not stand a terrific 8:0 break claimed by PIACENZA as Robin de Kruijf was standing behind the service line. That margin was too much to compensate for the hosts and the Italians ran away up to the final 25-19.
The young Serbian players looked exhausted in the fourth set and could no longer stand the quality of their opponents. PIACENZA wrapped it up with a speedy 25-15 to claim their fourth win in the competition and a ticket to the Playoffs 12.
“We have many reasons to be satisfied with our performance tonight” Ljubica Kecman commented. “Though we lost many points in a row in some moments of the game we have showed our spirit and character tonight. It’s also great that we could take at least one set especially because the audience was just great. I really hope that we can play at this level also next week as we have our last game in the competition with Igtisadchi BAKU in Azerbaijan.”
“I would like to congratulate the players of Crvena Zvezda because they really did a good job tonight” said Italian mentor Gianni Caprara. “When you play with young and inexperienced players you normally have problems in reception and defense but they really showed great skills in this game. It was a very good match for both teams.”
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