Tie-break win for Zaksa but final four ticket is not yet there
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, February 5, 2013. Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE is only one step away from making it to the final four of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League after the group captained by Pawel Zagumny edged on Tuesday Arkas IZMIR at the end of a world-class match (3:2; 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 22-25, and 15-9) to get the right edge for the return game of the Playoffs 6 coming up next week in Turkey.
This match definitely lived up to the expectations and turned into a real delight for the almost 3’000 fans that were in attendance at Azoty sports hall. Right from the start a neck-to-neck race unfolded before Zaksa got to the front for the first time (10:7) with Luis Felipe Fonteles contributing the right energy and power from the serving line. Even though Arkas head coach Glenn Hoag asked for a time-out, Zaksa widened its lead (12:7) and an attack killed by Michal Ruciak called for the second mandatory stop with the hosts enjoying a margin of five points (16:11). Liberman Agamez fired up Arkas comeback but still Zaksa controlled the operations (22:16) and Fonteles scored for the 25-19 that sealed the opening set.
The second set was close as well especially in the early phases (8:6, 13:13) before Jurii Gladyr helped Zaksa move to the front (15:13). However, Arkas flipped the charts around and after a series of great actions finalized by Agamez plus some blocks on Ruciak, the guests could go for the provisional 1:1 (22-25).
History repeated itself in the third set with another close start (6:6) before Zaksa showed excellent quality in defense and also from the serving line with Lukasz Wisniewski acing for the 13:8 that did somehow set the tone for the remainder of the set. Fonteles spiked for the 18:12 and even though Arkas fought bravely, the home guys could pocket that set with the score of 25-20.
After a good start (3:0), Zaksa lost composure in set 4 with Arkas moving to the front before the first technical time-out (5:7); Pawel Zagumny was forced to leave the court after a close contact with Agamez and the Colombian star of Arkas looked on a class of his own as she scored with impressive consistency (8:18). However, Zaksa stormed back and eventually cut the gap to a minimum (18:19) but some mistakes in the final phases eventually paved the way for the tie-break (22-25).
Zaksa regrouped there and the tie-break turned into some kind of a “one team show” as the hosts stormed out to an early lead (6:2, 8:3) and never looked back up to the final 15-9 cashed via an attack killed by Lukasz Wisniewski.
“I have to admit that tonight our opponents delivered a very impressive performance” said after the match the team captain of Arkas IZMIR, Bülent Kandemir. “We had a chance to change the course of the game in the fourth set but we could not capitalize on this in the tie-break. We started out very bad and it was clear that we would not have stood a chance tonight”. “We were not good enough in some small elements and this caused our defeat” added head coach Glenn Hoag. “However, I still think that both teams have equal chances to advance to the final four”.
“Everything is still open as far as the promotion to the final four is concerned” stressed home mentor Daniel Castellani. “We expect a very tough match in Turkey and I am sure their sports hall will be filled up to full capacity next week”. “We know Arkas potential and I am sure they will be showing their best in Izmir next week, so the next match will be a make or break for both teams” concluded Zaksa captain Pawel Zagumny.
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