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13/04/2014 22:12
Lugano's Dragons claim second straight title in Swiss national league
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Lugano, Switzerland, April 13, 2014. After debuting this year in the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, Energy Investments LUGANO completed a memorable season by sweeping three consecutive matches to retain their title in the Swiss national league. The “Dragons” as they are nicknamed in their home country did not drop a set in their three matches with TV SCHÖNENWERD, with the Championship series coming to a close on Saturday night with another 3:0 victory (25-22, 25-12, 25-20). The team from Lugano lost only one match throughout the 2013/2014 domestic season, namely the final of the national cup.

This is the second crown in the history of the club that started their quest with a speedy home victory before edging past their opponents for the second time – and again with the same score – on Wednesday. The “Dragons” imposed their rule also on Saturday and the result could not have been any different given the difference in class and technical skills between the two teams.

Energy Investments LUGANO had started their success story last year by sweeping all domestic competitions (Supercup, Swiss Cup and national league) and making the 1/8 finals of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup. This season they debuted in the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League finishing their campaign with a satisfactory third place in Pool C where they beat twice Turkey’s Arkas IZMIR. They could be happy with their result especially since their participation in Europe’s most prestigious club competition turned into reality only after receiving a wild-card. This year they could not go for another hat-trick because the Supercup has been removed from the program by Swiss Volley and two weeks ago they surprisingly lost the final match of the national cup to Volley NÄFELS.

This setback added some extra motivation to the players who showed no mercy for their opponents and displayed three superb performances to claim the national league for the second consecutive year. The team – players, coaching staff and management – will celebrate this victory before plans are drawn for the next season, with LUGANO likely to ask for a wild-card in order to be able to join also the 2015 edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.

“We wanted this victory so badly,” comments wing-spiker Romolo Mariano, “it pays back the hard work we have done throughout the whole season. We have been able to stick together also in the difficult moments and finally we got what we wanted.”

“It has been a memorable season, even though we lost the cup final,” stresses wing-spiker Joël Bruschweiler. “I had won the national league in 2008 playing for LAUSANNE UC but this time I have totally different feelings. This came by the time I feel more mature as a person and as a player. I couldn’t be any happier.”

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