Wroclaw, Poland, February 12, 2014. Impel WROCLAW qualified for the semifinals of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women after overcoming the tough resistance from French rookie SF PARIS Saint Cloud. Having lost the first leg of this quarterfinal clash by 2:3, the Polish team made sure to delight the home fans by claiming a 3:1 (25-18, 25-21, 15-25, 25-16).
The first set was rather straightforward as Impel imposed its will by performing better at serving, blocking, receiving and attacking. With hard work in attack from captain Makare Wilson, the Polish team did not lose control of the scoreboard even for a moment and won the set by 25-18. The second part stayed in equilibrium through 9-9. After that Impel scored four points in a row and managed to maintain its advantage through the end – 25-21 by taking advantage of the many mistakes Saint Cloud committed. With nothing more to lose, the team from Paris stayed focused and became very aggressive in the third set. This showed in the squad’s attacking efficiency and especially in its blocking efforts that contributed as many as 8 points to the final 25-15 in favor of Saint Cloud. Coach Tore Aleksandersen tried to turn things around with Ewelina Sieczka and Katarzyna Mroczkowaska replacing Bogumila Pyziolek and Maren Brinker, but this did not help Impel in the thitd set. Facing the risk of a possible Golden Set, the home heroines shifted gears again. The spikes of Katarzyna Konieczna and Bogumila Pyziolek found their way through the opponent’s block down onto the floor and helped the team regain control on the court. With 8 points in a row, Impel managed to break away to a 10-3 lead. Calling a time-out, Saint Cloud's coach Rayna Minkova encouraged her team to fight back to narrow the gap to 12-14, but then, with some effective attacking from Maren Brinker, the Polish team once again rushed forward and never looked back to win by 25-16 in the set and emerge victorious.
Katarzyna Konieczna topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 24 points for the winning side, while Sona Mikyskova was Saint Cloud’s best scorer with 16.
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