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23/04/2013 18:25
7,683 fans celebrate first win of BERLIN in German final series
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Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2013. Edging the national standout VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN in the first round of action of the German national playoff final series 3-1, BERLIN Recycling Volleys experienced a fantastic home crowd as they claimed their seasons’ attendance record of 7,683 spectators at Max-Schmeling-Halle Berlin.
Exceeding last year’s league club and record of 7,681 spectators claimed within the 2012 German final series against Generali UNTERHACHING, the defending champion not solely caused the so far largest spectator interest in this year’s Bundesliga campaign among all clubs; the number of 7,683 attendees was also the third largest number of spectators attending a German league match in Bundesliga history. Only two clashes between this year’s finalists could cause a greater spectator interest: 7,700 attendees witnessed the games between the archrivals in February 2009 and even 8,045 volleyball fans attended the Bundesliga match in March 2011.

Spectators witnessed a first final match between the defending champion and the team of head coach Stelian Moculescu that turned out to be as tight as assumed. Whilst the home side had the better end in the first set (27-25), it was the guests who claimed the happy end in the second leg (23-25). Plainly lagging behind (11-16), the team of head coach Mark Lebedew looked as if it was going to go down in the third set as well. Bringing on setter Sebastian Kühner for Kawika Shoji – and briefly Roko Sikiric for Robert Kromm – the Australian mentor got his team back on track (19:19). Electrified by their race to catch up, BERLIN edged FRIEDRICHSHAFEN in round three (26-24). The home side then proved its strengths and defeated the hopes of the “Häfler” taking the fourth set (25-15).

With no Bundesliga home defeats this season, the home arena Max-Schmeling-Halle has turned into a “fortress” for the side of Berlin. “In the first years we played here, often the guests could celebrate successes, whilst our team perceived the crowd rather as a strain than a support. Some of our players could not handle the spectators’ expectations”, club president Kaweh Niroomand remembered earlier this season. “In this campaign, it’s just the opposite. Especially the national final series has caused a feeling of certainty. So far the interaction between the spectators and our team has been excellent”, Niroomand says.

The second round of action will take place this Sunday, April 28, in Friedrichshafen (6.00 pm), the third leg will be played on Thursday, May 2, in Berlin (7.30 pm).

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