Romanian rookies delight home fans with victory over Polish vice champions
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women
Bacau, Romania, December 17, 2013. Romania’s rookies Stiinta BACAU caused a sensation on Tuesday night as they beat Poland’s Tauron MKS DABROWA GORNICZA 3:1 (20-25, 31-29, 25-16, and 25-23) in the last round of the prelims to claim third place in Pool F of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women and be promoted to the Challenge Round of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Cup. This was the second victory for Stiinta in the competition but even after taking three points from this game Romania’s champions could not achieve their goal to prolong their European campaign this season.
The start of the game was very close (4:4) before a block by home heroine Emilce Sosa called for the first technical time-out with the hosts leading the way (8:5). Though Sosa did an excellent job in blocking, Elzbieta Skowronska and Katarzyna Zaroslinska fought back for the guests from Poland leveling the score at 11 all. Poland’s vice champions showed their determination as they went up 14:16 at the second technical time-out and widened their lead to 15:19; the players that since a couple of weeks are mentored by Italian-born Nicola Negro showed good tempo also down the final stretch to make it 20-25 in the end.
In the second set Stiinta setter Kim Staelens showed an excellent command of the game but once more the guests from Poland killed a few good hits to dictate the tempo of the match (8:11); the home heroines eventually fought their way back with Monika Potokar and Denisa Rogojinaru to flip the charts around by the second technical time-out (16:15). Slowly but surely Stiinta imposed their pace (19:17) and as Tauron MKS started making mistakes, the home side responded with the always excellent play showed by Sosa. The audience got to see some more great actions and after a dramatic final rush Stiinta could level the score in sets (31-29).
The hosts got off to a flying start in the third set (8:3) powered by Alexandra Sobo and Roxana Bacsis. Nicola Negro stopped the game as his side was trailing 4:10 and even though his players showed good fighting spirit, Stiinta was nevertheless still in full control of the game (16:9). They did not dissipate their early lead in this set and they eventually finished it off at 25-16.
Tauron MKS found their way back into the game in the fourth set where they moved up 6:8, well anchored by their team captain Elzbieta Skowronska; the Romanian players responded by making it 13:14 halfway through the set and with two block stuffs by Bacsis, they eventually got the lead back at the second technical time-out (16:15). Their opponents, nevertheless, did not show any intention to give in and they scored the next two points to flip the charts around once more (16:17). However, Stiinta was able to keep cool and eventually cruised to the final 25-22 to seal a great 3:1 home victory.
Monika Potokar top scored in the end for the home side with 19 points while Katarzyna Zaroslinska registered 18 for Tauron MKS in their losing effort.
“It was a very tough game but my team had the right answers tonight to our opponent’s play” said a happy Romanian mentor Florin Grapa. “The most important thing is that we took three points and we eventually confirmed our third place in the Pool.”
“We controlled the match and we showed our quality” added team captain Denisa Rogojinaru. “The atmosphere was just great, it was a pleasure to play here tonight and for this we really have to thank our fans.”
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