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07/05/2013 15:00
Mission accomplished as BERLIN Recycling Volleys defend German national title
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Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2013. Capping an extraordinary season the team of BERLIN Recycling Volleys eventually accomplished their “Mission – Title Defence”.  As they edged their archrival VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN in a nail-biting tie-breaker 3:2 (25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 22-25, 15-11) in the fourth round of action in the German Bundesliga final series the side from Germany’s capital city defended last year’s title claiming the fifth national championship in their history.
Claiming victories in the first two rounds of action in the final series, the 2012 defending champion suffered a bitter defeat this past Thursday as the group around team captain Scott Touzinsky missed out on the opportunity to claim the national title in front of 8’553 spectators at their home arena Max-Schmeling-Halle (1:3). However, the Playoffs 12 participant of this year’s CEV Volleyball Champions League proved its fighting spirit.
Got over the tough home defeat BERLIN Recycling Volleys made their ambitions clear. As their team took the first two sets (25-23, 25-22), around 60 fans that travelled all the way to the Lake of Constance were in high spirits – but the twelve-time German champion fought back keeping tabs on a possible fifth decisive match in Berlin encouraged by 3’300 spectators at ZF Arena.
However, the side of BERLIN did not lose composure in a heated tiebreak, even as the team lagged behind 4:8. “In this moment I thought a victory to be unlikely”, mentor Mark Lebedew said afterwards, adding: “But I know the guys well to know that everything is possible. The team has proved this over the entire season, in every game and every series”. And indeed his team managed to steadily close the gap (9:9), eventually erupting in jubilation as Valentin Bratoev did not manage to bring his attack into the field of BERLIN (15-11).

“Today, I went through all seven levels of hell – and some of heaven as well”, head coach Mark Lebedew said after the match. Club president Kaweh Niroomand added: “This match was worthy of a final. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN and we gave Volleyball in Germany a plug”.

The playoff final series could claim an attendance record in Germany’s Bundesliga. In total 23’480 Volleyball fans witnessed the finals in Berlin and Friedrichshafen. For the first time in the club history the home venue of the BERLIN Recycling Volleys was sold out (8,553 spectators, see picture) for the third match, marking the all-time Bundesliga record, after the first match had already attracted 7’683 Volleyball fans. “It is not solely about BERLIN Recycling Volleys, it is about how to make use of this development for the sport in our country in general”, Niroomand concluded.

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