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21/01/2015 21:42
BERLIN Recycling Volleys claim crucial victory in front of more than 4,200 fans
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Berlin, Germany, January 21, 2015. Taking revenge for the bitter away defeat they had to accept earlier in November, the BERLIN Recycling Volleys yet again celebrated a great Volleyball fiesta at Max-Schmeling-Halle as they swept aside Budvanska Rivijera BUDVA in Pool C of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Champions League – Men in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 25-16) in front of 4,261 spectators. With a total of 14,481 spectators at their home matches – for an average of 4,827 – the arena located at the very heart of Germany’s capital again proved its reputation as the town’s and country’s ‘Volleyball temple’.

Despite a clear-cut 3-0 win for the local heroes, the passionate home crowd witnessed a tight and highly competitive Volleyball match with BERLIN showing their superiority only in the third set. In the first round though, it was BUDVA to first leave a lasting impression. “We started nervously,” BERLIN head coach Mark Lebedew resumed after the match. And indeed, the guests caught the better start.

Not impressed by the home crowd and taking a furious start the guests from Montenegro managed to develop their play right from the beginning with massive blocks and powerful attacks from the outside positions (1:4). As the team of head coach Slobodan Boskan did not slacken its grip the side of BERLIN could not find its rhythm (4:6, 5:9). As they fought back, the German national champions still found themselves under immense pressure but could steadily close the gap (10:10). However, BERLIN could not make use of the situation, seeing BUDVA pulling away again (13:16). As they responded with good blocking, e.g. with Kawika Shoji (17:18), the hosts got back on track taking a first crucial lead at 20:19. From that point on a neck-to-neck race demanded everything from both teams (22:22, 23:23) with BERLIN after a block of Tomas Kmet having the better end on their side (25-23).

Starting out strongly again BUDVA established an early lead in the second set (0:2, 2:4). And again it took BERLIN some time to find their way into to the match. With Kawika Shoji on service the home side could draw level with a clever and much celebrated attack by team captain Scott Touzinsky (8:8) and managed to build a small lead (12:10, 13:11). Keeping the pressure high the guests showed resilience to stay in touch. With Robert Kromm on service and Christian Dünnes for Paul Carroll on the opposite position, the hosts slowly but surely pulled away (15:13, 18:16); however, this time the guests – who had improved in blocking – demonstrated their comeback abilities drawing the score at 20:20. However, as it had happened already in the first set, the home side – cheered on by their enthusiastic crowd – kept their cool claiming a 2-0 lead (25-22).

Coming in confident with the 2:0 lead on their minds and pushed by their supporters, BERLIN only found themselves under pressure at the beginning of the third set (6:4); steadily building on the established lead the home side driven by a strong service series by Christian Dünnes further and further pulled away (15:10, 21:12).  With their resilience broken BUDVA did not manage to come back again as BERLIN eventually took the set (25-16). “We definitely lost focus in the third set,” head coach Slobodan Boskan said, further arguing: “and in sets one and two BERLIN showed more self-confidence.”
 
“It was a tough game tonight which we could not have won without our fans,” team captain Scott Touzinsky found an explanation for the confidence boost: “We had ups and downs and especially when in trouble we came back because of and through the atmosphere here. It’s incredible playing in front of more than 4,000 spectators that are celebrating Volleyball. The crowd pushed us forward – as usual!”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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