Exciting five-setter gives Zarechie advantage in Challenge Cup battle
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women
Odintsovo. Russia, March 27, 2014. Russia’s Zarechie ODINTSOVO gained a minimal advantage in the battle with Turkey’s Besiktas ISTANBUL for the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women. The home side won the first leg of the final by 3:2 (23-25, 25-19, 14-25, 25-18, 15-10) in an exciting five-set duel that lasted over two hours. This outcome promises another interesting game in the decisive return leg on Sunday at 17:00 local time (16:00 CET) at the Burhan Felek Volleyball Hall by the Bosporus.
In this match, Zarechie was managed by Alexander Krasilnikov. The head coach of Odintsovo’s team Vadim Pankov suddenly felt ill and could not lead his players against Besiktas.
Both teams showed some good blocking in the first set, which was probably the most exciting one in the match. After the first technical time-out, Besiktas started opening a gap that became as wide as 19-14 before Zarechie tried to storm the end of the set to tie at 19-19 and even step ahead at 21-20. In the conclusive moments of the set, however, the Turkish team showed more character to win it by 25-23.
In the second part the Russians stepped up their spiking performance to dominate for the final 25-19, shaped up by Natalia Malykh, who scored the winning point. But, then, in the third the home heroines were only able to stay competitive through 9-10. Besiktas scored 8 points in a row to predetermine the outcome of the set which ended at a landslide 14-25.
The role of Zarechie’s blockers proved as decisive in the fourth set as the fantastic support of the 2,700 fans on the stands. The home side took control of the scoreboard before the first technical time-out to finish the set by scoring 5 consecutive points shaping up the final 25-18 and setting the stage for a tie-breaker.
The Russian squad started the fifth set with a 3-0 lead which was then extended to 7-3. Besiktas responded with 4 in a row to level the score, but Zarechie’s immediate reaction was a series of 5 points that pretty much determined the winner of the match, formally declared six rallies later at 15-10.
Natalia Malykh and Anastasia Bavykina contributed 23 and 22 points, respectively, to the victory of Zarechie to become the best scorers of the match. Paula Yamila Nizetich scored 20 points to become Besiktas’s most prolific player of the game.
“I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our fans,” Ekaterina Kosianenko (Pankova), captain of Zarechie said after the match. “Today we fought through the very end and managed to win. But in Istanbul we must show a better game to end up with the cup.”
“For sure we wanted to win, but we played in the role of the visiting team in difficult court conditions for us,” Natalia Hanikoglu, captain of Besiktas, added. “So I consider that the result is good. On Sunday we will play at home, in familiar surroundings, and I do hope that we will be champions!”
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match.