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11/02/2014 21:56
Dinamo KAZAN celebrates second Final Four appearance
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women

Kazan, Russia, February 11, 2014. Russia’s champions Dinamo KAZAN got the right to participate in the Final Four Tournament of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League for the second time in their history after on Tuesday they claimed also the return game of the Playoffs 6 against Switzerland’s Volero ZÜRICH. Dinamo stormed back after losing the opening set to claim a 3:1 home victory (21-25, 25-16, 25-19, and 25-21) and get the right to participate in the last act of the competition which is scheduled for March 15-16 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Dinamo will be trying to improve on the bronze medal they claimed two years ago as the Final Four had also taken place in Azerbaijan’s capital city.  
Dinamo set the pace of the game right from the go shaking the Swiss defense with their terrific attacks. However, after a big mistake by their superstar Ekaterina Gamova, the Tatars somehow got stuck while on the other side of the net Ukrainian opposite Olesia Rykhliuk finished almost every single point for Volero. Dinamo was forced to chase their opponents but in the end it did not work with Volero cashing the opening set with the score of 21-25.

Dinamo stormed back strong in the second set especially with the help of their “volleyball queen” Gamova. She was supported by Italian-born wing-spiker Antonella Del Core and with Volero looking helpless and absolutely not able to find a way to stand that storm Dinamo comfortably pocketed the second set (25-16).

At this stage the Tatars only needed to win another set to cash their ticket to the Final Four Tournament. The third set followed a very similar plot with Dinamo leading the way 16:9 at the second technical time-out. As Rykhliuk could no longer display her best performance, it was Cuban-born Kenia Carcaces who set the tempo for Volero but her contribution was not enough to prevent Dinamo from winning also the third set (25-19) and booking their place in the Final Four Tournament.

Though they were already eliminated from the competition, the guests from Switzerland continued to play as good as they could also in the fourth set but again could not find a way to stop the Russian spikers. Gamova did not look tired at all and she continued to spike with the same intensity she had showed right in the early phases of the game thereby bringing it home at 25-21 for a 3:1 home victory.

“Volero has improved in all fundamentals since we first had crossed our ways in the prelims” noted Dinamo KAZAN head coach Rishat Gilyazutdinov. “The first match was difficult for us because we played quite late in Switzerland and had not recovered from the time difference. So this way the away game was a bit more challenging for us. I am very satisfied with the performance of my players who tonight did what they had to and booked their ticket to the Finals. However, the victory we claimed tonight is only a minor achievement on our way to the final match.”

“Dinamo KAZAN is a very strong team” commented Volero team captain Mira Golubovic. “I wish them good luck for the Final Four in Baku. I am quite happy with the performance we showed tonight. We have a very young team and this participation in the Champions League has been a great experience for our young players. Now we will focus on the Swiss national league where we want to retain our title so that next year we will participate again in the Champions League.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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