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30/03/2014 20:13
Zarechie beat Besiktas again to triumph with first ever European trophy!
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women

Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2014.  Zarechie ODINTSOVO is the winner of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women.  The Russian team defeated Turkey’s Besiktas ISTANBUL by 3:1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19) in the second leg of the final at the Burhan Felek volleyball hall by the Bosporus to triumph with its first ever European trophy.

The first set was very competitive through 9-9.  Then the Russians started gaining in the score opening a gap as wide as 17-12.  In the conclusive moments of the set, the home side crawled back up to save all of Zarechie’s set points, but the last one, and to lose by a narrow 23-25.

The second set was similar, but with the opposite sign.  Besiktas used the momentum from the end of the first part and the great performance by its blockers to establish a solid domination on the court and shoot up to a 13-3 lead.  At 23-15, it seemed that nothing could stop the Turks from winning the set, but the Russian blockers were not sleeping either.  Zarechie scored 6 points in a row to prompt an interesting ending, and then it saved the first two of Besiktas’s three set points before letting it go by the same score - 23-25.

In the third set, it was once again Zarechie’s turn to control the scoreboard.  The advantage of the Russian team never exceeded 3 points, but also Besiktas was never able to take the lead.  The home side played very well in offense and continued its great blocking efforts, but also committed far too many unforced errors.  Fair enough, the set ended at another 25-23, this time in Zarechie’s favor.

The fourth set was a completely different affair.  The visiting team made the final push for the victory and imposed its will on the court.  Vadim Pankov’s players were completely focused on their game and put a lot of precision into their performance.  The blockers continued to be Zarechie’s main weapon and all this combined led to a total control of the set and the final score of 25-19 that marked the historic moment for the club and got the Russian celebration started.

Natalia Malykh contributed 24 points to the victory and became the best scorer of the match.  She was also crowned as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final.

Anastasia Bavykina added 17 points to Zarechie’s tally, including 3 aces and 5 kill blocks.  Besiktas’s top scorer was Paula Yamila Nizetich with 22 points.

“I am very happy right now,” emotional Ekaterina Kosianenko, captain of Zarechie, said after the match.  “My girls managed to win the match.  Congratulations to us all!  I want to present this cup to all Russian people. They are in my heart.”

Vadim Pankov, head coach of Zarechie, added:  “It was a very difficult match as I had said it would be.  Besiktas has a very good defense.  It is normal that this was a difficult match - it is final.  I am very happy to become the holder of the Challenge Cup. Congratulations to my team!”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match.

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