Uralochka pockets ticket to Challenge Round after second victory over Azerrail
2014 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women
Ekaterinburg, Russia, January 22, 2014. On Wednesday Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK EKATERINBURG claimed their pass to the Challenge Round of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women after edging Azerrail BAKU for the second time in about one week. Uralochka got past with the score of 3:1 (30-28, 25-18, 21-25, and 25-13) and will play Romania’s Dinamo Romprest BUCURESTI in the Challenge Round which is scheduled for early February.
As shown by the final score, the first set was extremely close and Azerrail played with a high pace as they wanted to take their revenge for last week’s home defeat. Even though Uralochka started out strong (10:3), the hosts eventually dissipated their advantage and Azerrail drew level at 17 all. This neck-to-neck race continued up to 24 all before Uralochka finally got the upper hand at 30-28 with a first tempo attack killed by Irina Zaryazhko and the last rally finished by Viktoria Chaplina.
Uralochka got a serious boost of confidence after that close final rush and imposed their rule in the second set from the start up to the end (25-18). In the third Uralochka head coach Nikolay Karpol decided to try out some of his second lines since his team had already pocketed the ticket to the Challenge Round. Even though the home side got to the front at the beginning, the youngsters of Uralochka could not hold on to their lead and in the end Azerrail cashed the final 21-25. After that, Uralochka did not want to take any more risks and with a terrific opening (12:5), the home heroines set a tempo that their opponents could just not stand (20:9) and a splendid attack by Trinidadian Sinead Jack sealed the final 25-13 for a well-deserved 3:1 victory.
“It is a pity that we lost the first game in Baku because otherwise here we could have put a little bit more pressure on Uralochka” commented Azerrail mentor Aleksandr Chervyakov after the game. “This way the outcome of the match would have been different. We lack, of course, that power that the players of Uralochka have showed tonight.”
“It was a tough match and in this sense similar to the one we had played last week in Baku” Nikolay Karpol said. “Azerrail is a very strong opponent and we had some problems especially in the first set. We lost the third set but there I just wanted to try out some young players who need to get experience at this level.”
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