Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2014. Fenerbahce SK. ISTANBUL is the first known European Cup finalist for 2014! The Turkish powerhouse was quick to secure its spot in the 2014 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women’s final by managing another straight-set win in its semifinal clash with Azeryol BAKU. After shutting down the Azeri team at home, Fenerbahce did it once again in the return leg in Baku – 3:0 (25-8, 25-17, 25-17), to disappoint the 1400 Azeryol fans on the stands.
Starting the first set with an 11-1 run, the visiting squad established its domination and did not take much longer to cruise to the impressive 25-8. Fenerbahce’s phenomenal serving performance continued in the second set to help the team take another solid lead at 9-3. It was time for Azeryol to finally wake up and look for a way to change its destiny. The home players started putting more precision into their efforts and improved their reception and attacking performance which resulted in leveling the score at 12-12 and even taking a one-point lead on a couple of occasions. But then it was time for Fernanda Garay Rodrigues to take her turn from behind the serving line to make a statement: no U-turn allowed! Fenerbahce broke away to a 23-15 lead to finish it off at 25-17. Having already secured the team’s ticket to the final, Marcello Abbondanza made only one change to his starting lineup for the third set. Azeryol managed a 5-2 lead at the beginning, but was able to stay in contention only through 13-13. With seven points in a row, Fenerbahce rushed off to a 19-13 advantage and made sure it did not waste much more time in wrapping up this match with a 25-17.
Fernanda Garay Rodrigues piled up a fantastic record of 7 aces for a total of 13 points that made her the match top scorer. Aneta Havlickova, Kim Yeon-Koung and Christina Bauer scored another 12, 11 and 10 respectively to contribute to Fenerbahce’s victory. Polina Rahimova, who entered the court as a substitute player, became Azeryol’s best scorer with 8 points.
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