Rzeszow, Poland, March 15, 2017. In the first round of the Playoffs 12 of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men, Asseco Resovia RZESZOW lost after dramatic five sets to the reigning Italian national champions, Azimut MODENA (2-3; 25-23, 19-25, 27-25, 19-25, 12-15).
The first set was a close race up to 13-all before Resovia edged ahead (18-14) after scoring four times in a row. Earvin Ngapeth helped MODENA close within one point at 23-22, but Resovia had the last word, taking the opening set 25-23.
MODENA rallied to an 8-6 lead in the second set before Resovia claimed a three-point advantage (15-12) with the help of Dawid Dryja. The reigning Italian national champions restored the balance at 18-all and afterwards they literally dominated the game, cruising to a compelling 25-19 win.
After an Italian 12-9 lead in the third set, Resovia fought back to 13-all and again another close race unfolded towards the end of the set – great attacks, massive blocks, even a short blackout, there were all ingredients the fans could ask for and eventually Resovia came out on top at 27-25.
MODENA rallied to a 10-7 lead in the fourth set before Marko Ivovic and Thibault Rossard propelled Resovia on their way to levelling the score at 13-13. MODENA responded by scoring four in a row and the unstoppable Ngapeth – together with opposite hitter Luca Vettori – paved the way towards a 25-19 win for the visitors.
MODENA stormed to a quick 5-1 lead in the tiebreak and even though Resovia fought back, the hosts still trailed 6-10 before Rossard changed the course of the game and the home team made it 12-all. After that, MODENA showed nerves of steel to score three points in a row and ultimately celebrate a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
“It was a great game but unfortunately, we had many ups and downs. We nevertheless played a good match. I would like to thank the fans for the great atmosphere today. They are always our seventh player. Despite the loss, we are going to Modena in high spirits. The result of this tie is still open. We will give it everything, our best,” said Resovia outside spiker Marko Ivovic.
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