Azerbaijan beat Greece once more to move on to European League finals
2016 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2016. On Sunday Azerbaijan claimed also the re-match of their semi-final with Greece by 3-1 (25-22, 9-25, 25-15, 25-16) to progress to the finals of the 2016 CEV Volleyball European League – Women and play rookies Slovakia in the last stage of the competition.
The first set was pretty close with both teams fighting through to the end and Azerbaijan emerging victorious at 25-22. Greece claimed the second set at a canter (25-9) as Azerbaijan made many mistakes, especially in reception. However, with the help of the eventual best scorer Polina Rahimova (19 points), as well as of Jana Kulan, Olena Hasanova and Valeriya Mammadova Azerbaijan eventually won the match 3-1.
Azerbaijan team captain Odina Bayramova: “I am happy with the results of this weekend, but I cannot say the same about the quality of our performance, especially with what we did in the second set. However, the main thing we would like to focus on is that we won the match. Now we have to start preparing for the finals. Our main goal is to win this competition so that we can play in the 2017 edition of the FIVB World Grand Prix.”
Azerbaijan best scorer Polina Rahimova: “I am very happy that we are going to play in the finals. This was a tough match though we played at home. Maybe we are a little bit tired, now we will try to rest a bit, relax and re-charge the battery ahead of the finals. I know we will be playing Slovakia in the finals. The first match will take place in Slovakia; we hope we can win that one and do the same with the return game that will be played here in Baku. Our goal is to play in the World Grand Prix next year. I thank all our fans for their support and help.”
Libero Valeriya Mammadova added: “I have already set sights on the finals. Slovakia serve really well, we have had some problems in reception but we will be working on this and try to get better before the finals. We have got everything a team needs to win this competition and I think that in the end we will be the ones standing on top of the podium.”
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