DRESDNER SC opens Challenge Round with away victory in Ukraine
2014 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women
Yuzhny, Ukraine, February 4, 2014. Germany’s DRESDNER SC came back strong after losing the first set of their away game with Khimik YUZHNY in the Challenge Round of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women to eventually seize the night with the score of 3:1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-22, and 25-20) and get the right edge for the return match coming up next week.
The hosts of Khimik claimed the opening set with a margin of seven points after a very close start. After a tie at 6, the guests from Germany accelerated their pace with a 4-1 break thereby forcing Khimik head coach Sergei Holotov into a time-out. After that, Khimik got back control of the game at 11:10 on a block by Marina Zakozha before Nadiia Kodola and Iryna Trushkina propelled the home side into a three-point lead. Khimik slowly but surely widened the gap (20:14) and even a second stop asked by DRESDNER SC mentor Alexander Waibl could not prevent the home heroines from cruising to the final 25-18 sealed by Anastasiya Harelik with a terrific spike.
DRESDNER SC responded by opening the second set with three straight points but the only Ukrainian team still in contention for glory in this year’s European Cups fought their way back to draw level at 7. However, DRESDNER SC accelerated their pace and broke away once more (14:10) before Trushkina restored the balance at 15 all. That was nevertheless the last time the score was that tight because the Ukrainian players made many mistakes down the final stretch while Rebecca Perry anchored DRESDNER SC to the final 25-21.
After another close start which resembled to what the fans had seen in the opening set, Khimik found back their best tempo to move the score up to 12:9; the second technical time-out was called after a great spike by Nadiia Kodola with the home team leading the way at 16:14. Still Khimik could not hold on to this rhythm and with another classy performance by their best scorer, Rebecca Perry, DRESDNER SC flipped the charts around to pocket also the third set (25-22).
The home heroines of Khimik looked somehow demotivated after missing out on that chance and DRESDNER SC opened the fourth set with a terrific 14:5. Still Ukraine’s champions did not surrender and supported by more than 1,500 fans they cut their gap to only two points (18:20). In order to stop that late comeback, DRESDNER SC head coach Alexander Waibl asked for a time-out and it turned into a very clever move for the Ukrainian players made a series of mistakes afterwards with DRESDNER SC celebrating an extremely important 3:1 away victory. Rebecca Perry top scored in the end with 26 points while Harelik and Kodola registered 22 apiece for Khimik.
“Last season we lost the home match to Fenerbahce but we could win away” said Ukrainian mentor Sergei Holotov. “We will take our lessons from this match and fight for the victory next week in Germany.”
“With this victory we now stand a very good chance to make the semis because we only need to take another two sets next week in Germany” commented Alexander Waibl. “However, it is not over yet and I expect a very tough game next week as well” he concluded.
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