Igtisadchi surprisingly makes it to Playoffs 12 after home victory over Crvena Zvezda
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women
Baku, Azerbaijan, December 17, 2013. Igtisadchi BAKU claimed on Tuesday their last game in the prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women beating Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD 3:1 (27-29, 25-13, 25-13, and 25-12) to finish third in Pool B with 8 points and will replace the organizer of the Final Four in the draw for the Playoffs 12 being the third-ranked team with the best score across all Pools.
The home side started the game with a good pace (4:3) but Crvena Zvezda was able to keep the score very tight (6:6, 7:7). That neck-to-neck race continued up to the moment Igtisadchi could claim a very slim lead (14:12), widening it up to four points by the second technical time-out (16:12). Though Igtisadchi comfortably set the tempo of the game at 20:14, Crvena Zvezda fought their way back to level the score at 21 all and eventually seized the opening set after a dramatic final rush (27-29).
Igtisadchi got back on track in the second set opening with a 4:1 run and the home heroines could lead by three points at the first mandatory stop (8:5). The hosts did not stop scoring (10:5) also after the break and they moved the score up to a massive 16:7 by the time the second technical time-out was called. By the end of the second set Igtisadchi had pocketed a terrific 23:11 lead and comfortably wrapped it up at 25-13 to tie the score in sets.
The teams were fighting for every single point in the opening of the third set before Igtisadchi called for the first technical time-out by the score of 8:6. The hosts continued to display excellent actions to make it 16:11 at the second break and the situation did not change afterwards with the team from Azerbaijan breaking away for the provisional 20:13. Chinese-born setter Qiuyue Wei scored the last point of the set for another 25-13 to seal the 2:1 in sets for the home side.
Things did not change also in the fourth set where after a close start (4:3), Igtisadchi slowly but surely widened their lead (8:6, 12:7, 16:10) controlling the game with a solid performance in all fundamentals. Crvena Zvezda was no longer able to attempt a comeback and the hosts cruised to the 25-12 that sealed their 3:1 victory, the third in the competition.
Serbian opposite Adela Helic top scored in the game with 20 points while Manon Flier and Lei Zhang paced Igtisadchi with 18 apiece.
“We did not have four of our starting players tonight but nevertheless could still win this match” said Igtisadchi head coach Bülent Karslioglu after the match. Four Thai players – Wanna Buakaew, Onuma Sittirak, Wilavan Apinyapong and Pleumjit Thinkaow – were not available for the last round of the prelims as they are currently playing with their national team at the South East Asian Games in Myanmar.
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