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29/04/2017 18:47
Zenit KAZAN on track for #CLF4Rome gold without a set lost
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Rome, Italy, April 29, 2017. Zenit KAZAN had to work hard in the first two sets of their semi-final game of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men before dominating BERLIN Recycling Volleys in set three (25-21, 25-22, 25-13). 

The first set of the Final Four in Rome, even though won by Zenit KAZAN, showed that the BR Volleys “deserve to be here” as coach Roberto Serniotti said in his yesterday’s interview. The German team stayed close behind Zenit for most part of the set, doing so till the very end, defending the first set-ball (20-24) in a beautiful rally before coach Alekno’s men won it 25-21.

BERLIN scored the first points of set No. 2 and the score remained tied 7-7, before the Challenge System verified a block-touch and sent both teams to the bench for a first technical time-out. BERLIN’s captain Robert Kromm evened the score again at 13 and soon his team were leading by two points until Anderson’s service ace leveled it out at for a 19-19. A hard point-for-point fight ensued, eventually won by Zenit KAZAN with Leon behind the service line (a double ace for a 25-22).

Zenit started asserting their dominance in the third set, leading 8-3 before the first technical time-out, after Alexander Butko’s ace. BR Volleys’ net touch fault challenge stopped the game for a moment but did not change the score of 13-5 for KAZAN. The Germans’ defensive attempts got the crowd cheering but the match’s fate was soon sealed 25-13.

“It's been a while since we took to the court and played,” said Zenit's Matthew Anderson, explaining his team's slow start to the match. “Even the best athletes resort to their comfort zones in bad moments. After the first set and a half we started to play a lot better and felt more comfortable with our... uncomfortability there, and just kept playing.”

BERLIN Recycling Volleys' libero Luke Perry summed up his team's feelings: “Of course I am disappointed; we are always disappointed when we lose a match, but we lost to the best team in the world,” said the Australian-born player.

On Sunday afternoon, the BR Volleys will play the losing team of today's all-Italian semifinal game between Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA and hosts Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA for the bronze medal - which would be their third consecutive European medal in as many years.


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29/04/2017 14:24:00
Following #CLF4Rome in social media

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