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21/01/2015 09:18
Atomic girls set their sight on home victory over Italian Panthers
2015 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Sopot, Poland, January 21, 2015. After an exhausting week away from home, the Atomic girls came back to Sopot on Sunday morning and their sight was immediately set on the return match coming up on Thursday night at Ergo Arena as they host Italy’s Prosecco Doc-Imoco CONEGLIANO vying for a spot in the Challenge Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women. After scoring a 3:1 home victory, the Italian ‘Panthers’ need to win another two sets to make the next round of the competition and this is exactly what the Atomic girls want to avoid.

“We know everything about them. We just have to work on some details in our game,” says the head coach of Atom Trefl SOPOT, Lorenzo Micelli. His players are still very upset with their performance from the away match in Italy where they lost 1:3 by making as many as 33 errors, including 16 from the service area.

“That is true. We lost too many points this way,” acknowledges setter Izabela Belcik. “The truth is that when we pressured our opponents with a strong serve we managed to win the set and everything went just fine. However, at a certain stage we took too many risks which were unnecessary. It was not really worth to take that hazard, especially in some key moments where we lost a few points in a row.” This is particularly true for the fourth set where the Atomic girls paved the way for a massive 25-13 for CONEGLIANO with their own set of mistakes. They also did not find a way to control the serve of the Croatian setter of Prosecco Doc-Imoco, Marina Katic, who stood behind the service line for a while moving the score from 16:12 up to 23:12. “We have to avoid that this happens again,” Belcik says. “Our serving will be very important for the return match and we have to avoid losing too many points in this fundamental.”

At the end of the day, PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT will have to win by 3:0 or 3:1 to call for a golden set to determine the eventual winners of this fixture. On Thursday night Falyn Fonoimoana and Micha Hancock will most probably make their debut in the European Cups after these players joined SOPOT and CONEGLIANO, respectively, straight from the winter camp of the USA national team in Anaheim, California. This means that Fonoimoana knows quite something about the American setter that may be standing on the other side of the net on Thursday. “Essentially, Micha is a fantastic girl, really smart, hence she can play anything the coach asks for. Fast balls, high balls, shorts, flats – doesn’t matter. She is technically brilliant, a hugely talented setter, so there is no problem for her,” Fonoimoana explains.

Hancock had a chance to show her skills already last weekend when she joined actions in the last match played by Prosecco Doc-Imoco CONEGLIANO in Italy’s Serie A1 where the ‘Panthers’ cruised to a 3:2 victory over Zeta System URBINO Volley after a game marked by many ups and downs on both sides. Neriman Özsoy and Emiliya Nikolova top scored in that match with 22 and 14 points, respectively. After this result, CONEGLIANO is currently ranked fifth in the Italian national league where 14 rounds have been played in the regular season.

As for SOPOT, the Atomic girls just won their last match in the ORLEN Liga cruising past Developres SkyRes RZESZOW in four sets. Agata Durajczyk received the award for the MVP of that match as she delivered an outstanding performance in reception and in defence as well. It was a good game also for Charlotte Leys and for Maja Tokarska. After this victory the Atomic girls currently sit in third place in the ORLEN Liga.

News nr. 11438 of 23547
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