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03/09/2015 22:23
Hungary’s women claim tie-break win in first leg of European League semis
2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Megalopolis, Greece, September 3, 2015. On Thursday night Hungary made a first step on their way to the finals of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Women as they beat Greece at the tie-break (26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 23-25, 15-11) at Megalopolis Sports Hall in Peloponnisos. The return game is coming up on Sunday, September 6, in Szombathely.
Greece had the control of the score through the entire first set (4:1, 10:6, 13:8, and 20:13) but when Evelin Vacsi replaced Petra Szeles and went to the service line the visitors made an incredible comeback. They first tied the score at 21:21 and they took the lead for the first time at 22:23. The host team saved the first set point but at 24:24 two consecutive points by Renata Sandor gave the set to Hungary.
After that Hungary set the tempo in the second set and took an early lead (4:1, 8:4, 10:4) and although the blue-white team gave them a scare just after the second technical time-out by reducing the gap to one point (16:15), a rally of unforced mistakes helped the visitors to finish it off at 25-19.
In the third set Greece’s coach Ioannis Kalmazidis decided to change his line-up. New opposite (Eleni Kiosi), new setter (Olga Vergidou) and new spiker (Maria Nomikou) but no new flow in the score at the beginning of the set as the visitors took the lead by 8:3. After the first technical time-out Greece temporarily turned things around as they took the lead by 10:9, but it was Vacsi’s services again that helped Hungary make it 11:16. Hungary needed only six points to finish the match (19:16) but it was Greece’s time to make a remarkable comeback to cash the third set at 25-22!
The home side imposed their rule in the early stages of the fourth set as they took the lead by 8:2, but once more Hungary took advantage of their unforced errors to tie the score at 11:11. Greece regained the lead (16:12), made it 24:19 and although Evelin Vacsi’s services helped Hungary to score four unanswered points it was Eleni Kiosi the one who had the last word in the set (25-23).
The fans at Megalopolis Sports Hall did not stop cheering for their heroines even when the visitors took the lead by 7:2 in the tie break. An ace by Evangelia Chantava made it 7:5 but at 10:8 Hungary moved the score to 12:8 and finished the set at 15-11.
Ioannis Kalmazidis, Greece’s coach: “The first set was very crucial because we could not take advantage of our huge lead. After that we lost our concentration, we became very unsecure and once more we struggled with ourselves and that’s why we lost also the second set. The good thing was that in the next two sets we were able to forget the bad start we had and we came back. We made the same mistakes in the tie break and in 15 points you don’t have big margins to make a lot of things. Unfortunately we lost today’s match but we will travel to Hungary to do our best. If we want to qualify to the final we have to play better and to be really consistent.”
Eleni Kiosi, Greece’s captain: “It was an amazing game as it should be a semi-final of the European League. There were a lot of ups and downs, but in general it was a spectacular Volleyball show. For sure we are disappointed because we lost the match but there is no time for tears and from tomorrow we will focus on the second game. Of course we can win in Hungary, as we already did in the preliminary round.”
Jan Jose De Brandt, Hungary’s coach: “I think we made a very important step in order to qualify for the finals. I’m happy on one side because we won but on the other side I’m disappointed because we could really ‘kill’ Greece in the third set and we failed to do so and now they have a point so it is still an open case. Of course it is a great result to win 3-2 at Greece’s home especially because we had to play without Dora Horvath and Rita Liliom and I think we can be even stronger with them in the second match. But for sure Greece can play better because today I think some of their players were not at their best level. It will be a hard fight and always the home team has to overcome the pressure. Today I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I would like to congratulate the Greek fans. I hope we will have a lot of people also on Sunday.”
Renata Sandor, Hungary’s captain: “In the first set I was not sure if we could turn things around but we did it and it was a key point for the match. After that we won easily the second one but we lost our concentration in the third where we were leading the score. Fortunately we managed to regroup in the tie break and won the match. I think with Dora Horvath and Rita Lilliom in our line-up the second match is going to be a little easier for us.”

Click here for further info including detailed stats of the match

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