Atom Trefl SOPOT accomplish their mission with straight victory over Belgian rookies
CEV 2014 DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women
Gent, Belgium, December 11, 2013. Belgium’s rookie GENT Dames could not surprise Poland’s champions Atom Trefl SOPOT in what was their last home match in the prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. Atom Trefl cruised past in straight sets (25-23, 25-14, and 25-21) to cement their second place in the standing of Pool C.
SOPOT head coach Teun Buijs started the game with opposite Anna Podolec who had played a superb game last Sunday in edging the provisional leaders of Poland’s national league, Chemik POLICE. The head coach of GENT Dames responded with Karolina Goliat, Aziliz Divoux, Renée Verhulst, Lise De Valkeneer, Maud Catry, Karolien Verstrepen and libero Adeline Lemey. The home team could not take any sets from this game but nevertheless played much better than it had done some weeks ago in Poland. Anna Podolec top scored in the end for the winning side with 14 points while Karolien Verstrepen paced GENT Dames in their losing effort with 11.
An ace by Lise De Valkeneer contributed an early lead for GENT in the opening set (3:2) but some mistakes by the home side helped SOPOT break away (8:11). The score nevertheless was very close up to 22 all and the fans at the Tolhuis Arena were still hoping their heroines would claim their first set in the competition. However, Zuzanna Efimienko shattered their dreams as she did seal the final 23-25 for SOPOT. The second set was an easy run for the visiting team that showed a well-organized defense so that their middle blockers could score with ease. In the third set the guests broke away after the second technical time-out and curiously it was their Belgian spiker Charlotte Leys who claimed the last point for a well-deserved straight victory.
“We were the pre-favorite going into this match and we needed to win this game” said SOPOT head coach Teun Buijs. “Our opponents pressured us with good serving and played a very clever game. I am satisfied with the result and especially with the fact that we did not lose a set tonight.”
Their Dutch opposite Judith Pietersen did not play but said she is already looking forward to some friendly matches with the Belgian national team as the Netherlands will also prepare for the third and last stage of the World Championship qualification scheduled for January 3-5. “The competition with Anna Podolec is tough but right now we need all the players of our roster” she said. Charlotte Leys was happy with her performance and said she will return to Belgium in about one week to join forces with the Yellow Tigers as they try to fulfill their dream to qualify to the 2014 World Championship via the tournament taking place in Lodz and where they will play Spain, Switzerland and hosts Poland.
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