SOPOT waits for two sets before starting celebrations for promotion to Playoffs
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women
Sopot, Poland, December 17, 2013. Poland’s champions Atom Trefl SOPOT needed two sets on Tuesday night to finally claim their ticket to the Playoffs 12 of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. They did so after they edged Romania’s Dinamo Romprest BUCURESTI 3:1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-21, and 25-20) in the last round of the prelims. As for Dinamo Romprest, they will continue their campaign in this year’s European Cups by joining the Challenge Round of the CEV Volleyball Cup coming up in early February.
The Atomic girls needed to win only one set to make sure they would advance to the next stage of the competition. The score was very close at the start of the game with SOPOT leading the way by two points at the first technical time-out. Dinamo Romprest head coach Marian Constantin stopped the game once more after his side lost four straight points to trail 7:11; though his players fought their way back it was again SOPOT that set the pace at the second mandatory stop (16:14) as their libero Mariola Zenik was displaying a superb performance in defense. However, Dinamo could change gear, accelerated their tempo and could complete their comeback as they drew the score at 22 all. Teun Buijs, the head coach of SOPOT, asked for his second technical time-out as his side trailed 22:24 but BUCURESTI did not miss their chance and finished it off at 23-25 thereby postponing the celebrations of the home fans.
The second set was characterized by many long rallies; Dinamo Romprest played again with good intensity to dictate the tempo of the game at the first technical time-out (6:8). Kimberly Hill then joined the game for SOPOT and she helped change the course of the set with Atom Trefl going up 16:10 by the second mandatory stop. Dinamo trailed 13:20 as SOPOT opposite Anna Podolec added some more points to the count of the home side and the set was closed by Charlotte Leys at 25-17, thereby starting the party for the ticket to the Playoffs 12 was finally cashed.
SOPOT opened the third set playing with much enthusiasm (5:0) but Dinamo Romprest clawed back and almost evened the score (6:5). After some mistakes on the Polish side of the net (10:9), Klaudia Kaczorowska paved the way for a 16:12 lead at the second technical time-out before a couple of substitutions helped Dinamo fight back (18:17). Though the guests from Romania played their best, it was still not enough to question the supremacy of SOPOT in this game (25-21).
Both teams had their ups and downs in the early phases of the fourth set but the Atomic girls killed a few good hits to make it 8:5; the score nevertheless was tight halfway through before Judith Pietersen and Klaudia Kaczorowska scored a couple of attacks to move it up to 16:15 at the second technical time-out. Atom Trefl finally got past the resistance of their opponents (22:17) and did not look back anymore thereby pocketing their fourth victory in the competition (25-20).
“Our progress since the start of the season is evident” commented home mentor Teun Buijs. “We performed well in defense and we were even able to avoid their block. I am really happy with this promotion to the Playoffs 12 and hope that we will get a good draw, playing the weakest team out of the top 12 in Europe, if any such weak team exists out there.”
“It was a very good match for SOPOT and they have showed that they deserve to make the next round” said Dinamo Romprest head coach Marian Constantin. “We will be following their next matches.”
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