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16/03/2016 00:15
BR Volleys stamp 3-2 away victory in first round of CEV Cup semis
2016 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Roeselare, Belgium, March 15, 2016. Belgium’s Knack ROESELARE and Germany’s BERLIN Recycling Volleys delivered a real thriller on Tuesday night in the first round of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men semis. After more than two hours of play, the players from Germany’s capital had the upper hand at the tie-break (29-31, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-10) to get a small edge ahead of the re-match scheduled for this coming Saturday, March 19.

The hosts set the pace of the game in the early stages of the opening set claiming an early three-point lead by means of the attacks finalised by their young middle blocker Arno Van de Velde before a block by their setter Stijn D’Hulst – the shortest player on court – moved the charts to 11-7 for Knack. However, the BR Volleys responded with two consecutive aces by Tsimafei Zhukouski to level the count at 12-all. The team captain of Knack, Hendrik Tuerlinckx, did a great job from the service line as well and secured a 16-13 lead for his side at the second technical time-out but again the Germans closed in with some superb blocks. After this, a close race continued well into overtime where both teams had several set balls before Knack ROESELARE finished it off at 31-29 with two consecutive aces by their middle blocker Pieter Coolman.

This thrilling and entertaining battle continued in the second set where both teams showed some powerful attacks but also great blocks and solid defence. The score remained tight all the way through to the end but this time around the visitors from Germany had the upper hand winning the set 25-23.

The third set was not any different with both teams fighting for every rally as much as they could and the score staying close. Van de Velde contributed to a 10-7 lead for Knack but once again Zhukouski erased the gap for the BR Volleys with his powerful serves (13-all). Paul Lotman followed the example set by the Croatian setter and he eventually propelled the visitors to a 16-13 lead at the second technical break. Supported by their passionate and raucous fans, Knack clawed back to make it 19-all on good serving by Gertjan Claes. Two blocks by Coolman and Matthijs Verhanneman helped Knack edge ahead at 22-20 and the hosts remained focussed to claim this set 25-21.

Knack ROESELARE came out with all guns blazing in the fourth set (4-1) but Zhukouski – yet again – got his side back on track at 10-all. Lotman was also a real asset to rely on for the BR Volleys who claimed a small lead at 13-10. The Germans did not let this slip away from their hands and called for the tie-break after securing the fourth set (25-21).

The visitors started the tie-break in the best way rushing to a 5-2 lead before the hosts came back strong, showing a lot of determination and character. They edged ahead (8-7) at the side switch with great serving contributed by Ruben Van Hirtum who had previously replaced Verhanneman. However, the BR Volleys responded playing with even more intensity (12-9) and they finished it all off at 15-10 with an ace.

Knack ROESELARE Organising Director Guido Declercq commented: “What a fantastic Volleyball night! Of course we are disappointed with this loss but what this match confirmed is that these two teams are equally strong. The BERLIN Recycling Volleys are now the favourites to qualify for the final. However, if I know our players well, they won’t give up without putting on a fight!”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match 

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