PERUGIA, Belogorie, Resovia stretch winning streak on night of stellar actions
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Luxembourg, December 22, 2016. The last night of play on schedule for the group stage of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men before the Christmas break provided fans with a series of truly exciting matches. Italy’s Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA, Russia’s Belogorie BELGOROD and Poland’s Asseco Resovia RZESZOW celebrated their second victory in as many matches as Turkey’s Arkas IZMIR were able to stand a comeback by VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN to emerge victorious in the all-deciding tie-break.
The ‘Block Devils’ – as the players of Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA are nicknamed – played three close sets with Belgium’s reigning national champs Knack ROESELARE but they were too much to stand for an opponent that nevertheless put up a fight from start to end. As a result, PERUGIA celebrated their second 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-21, 25-23) in as many matches in Pool E. Their coach Lorenzo Bernardi said: “I am very happy with the result and with the score. It was not easy at all because they are a team that plays very good Volleyball whereas some of our players have been struggling with a cold but we could achieve the goal we had set for this match and I am very happy with this.”
In that same pool, Belogorie BELGOROD cruised to their second victory as well and they did so with a fine display in their matchup with Halkbank ANKARA, which resulted in a compelling 3-0 victory (25-14, 30-28, 25-21). After the match the team captain of Halkbank, Ivan Miljkovic was upset that they couldn’t find any arguments against Belogorie. “We have to admit that today we were not ready to fight with such a strong team as Belogorie. We prepared well for this match but we couldn’t do much. We scored points with great difficulty and lost them easily. This was our main problem.”
There was nevertheless something to celebrate for Turkey’s Volleyball family as Arkas IZMIR first claimed a 2-0 lead and after that were able to stand a terrific comeback by hosts VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN to secure their first victory in Pool C (3-2; 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12). The Germans surged back from two sets down but fell short of recording their second tie-break victory in the competition. “We fought until the end, but Arkas have at least three very good spikers and this made the difference,” VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN head coach Vital Heynen said after the match.
Another exciting, nail-biting match was contested in Rzeszow where Asseco Resovia came back twice from one set down to stamp a 3-2 victory (21-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12) over BERLIN Recycling Volleys and take the top spot in the standing of Pool B. Gavin Schmitt and John Gordon Perrin of Resovia won the much anticipated Canadian ‘duel’ with compatriots Steven Marshall and Graham Vigrass. “We expected a difficult game. We knew that BERLIN play really good at the moment. They beat CIVITANOVA in an impressive fashion and have been doing really good also in the Bundesliga, so we knew that this match was going to be a difficult one. We had some problems but in the end we are of course happy with the victory. It was a tough game and I think the fans liked it. It was close and packed with emotions. Now Christmas is coming, we can enjoy some days off and I wish everybody a Merry Christmas,” said Resovia captain Jochen Schöps.
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