Rookies Yenisei progress to Challenge Cup semis
2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women
Krasnoyarsk, Russia, March 7, 2017. Yenisei KRASNOYARSK are making their maiden appearance this season in the European Cups – yet they are leaving their mark on the 2017 edition of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Women after on Tuesday they secured their spot in the semis by claiming also the remake of their quarterfinal fixture with TJ OSTRAVA of the Czech Republic (3-0; 25-23, 25-20, 26-24).
The Russian players were still exhausted from the match with Dinamo KRASNODAR they contested in the quarterfinals of the Russian national league and therefore only a few could expect such an energetic and overall solid performance from Yenisei. Their head coach Alexander Koshkin tried many substitutions and almost all players on the roster joined the game – even those who have performed only a couple of times since the beginning of the season.
Yenisei were especially dominant in the second set whereas in the first and third ones they had to come from behind but they edged ahead towards the end – with a very close final rush in the third set adding some extra suspense to the match. Yenisei trailed 22-24, but were able to change the course of the game and finally came out victorious with the help of the attacks killed by Mariia Frolova – best scorer of the match in the end with 17 points. TJ OSTRAVA put up a real fight and showed their potential, with Magdalena Zednikova standing out as she scored five aces.
In the next round, Yenisei KRASNOYARSK will play the eventual winners of the quarterfinal fixture featuring Olympiacos PIRAEUS of Greece and Belgium’s Asterix Avo BEVEREN.
Alexander Koshkin, head coach of Yenisei KRASNOYARSK: “We were kind of afraid before the match since my players wasted a lot of energy, both physically and mentally, in the match we played with Dinamo KRASNODAR in the Russian national league. This, of course, affected the quality of our performance but the result is what really matters for now. Today I provided many players with less experience with an opportunity to perform on the European stage. We do not think too much about the semis for now, as we first have a difficult match with Dinamo MOSCOW in the semis of the Russian championship.”
Zdenek Pommer, head coach of TJ OSTRAVA: “We definitely wanted to fight and I think that this is what we ultimately did. It was a close game, and if we had won the first set, it would have been an even more interesting one. The opponent played very aggressively towards the end of each set, especially in attack. I think they confirmed their role and status of favourites, something we could already see in Ostrava.”
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