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06/12/2012 20:00
Aurubis HAMBURG storms back from two sets down to edge ZOK RIJEKA
2013 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women

Rijeka, Croatia, December 6, 2012. On Wednesday Germany’s Aurubis HAMBURG needed 124 minutes and had to come back from two sets down to finally edge Croatia’s ZOK RIJEKA in the first match scheduled for the 1/16 finals of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Women. With this 3:2 away win (28-30, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, and 15-9) the group around head coach Jean-Pierre Staelens can look confidently to the return match that is scheduled for next week at “CU Arena” in Hamburg.
ZOK RIJEKA started out pretty well and dictated the pace of the game for most of the opening set. However, Aurubis HAMBURG – that is celebrating this year its debut in the European Cups and is captained by Imke Wedekind (picture) – did gradually improve the quality of its play but still RIJEKA had the upper hand (30-28) after a tough fight and 33 minutes. Aurubis HAMBURG responded well in the second set and it looked like the provisional 1:1 was only a question of time. However, the final rush fully belonged to ZOK RIJEKA that after another 27 minutes could celebrate the provisional 2:0 (25-23). Things changed quire drastically right from the start of set 3 where HAMBURG imposed its pace and could bring it home with a margin of seven points. The plot did not change much also in set 4 where ZOK RIJEKA could only score one point more than it had done in the previous set. Aurubis called for the tie-break and after a close start, HAMBURG changed gear to bring it home at 15-9 and get a very favorable starting position for the return that is coming up next week in Germany.  

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