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27/01/2015 23:30
BERLIN Recycling Volleys seal Playoff ticket with away victory in Ljubljana
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men

Ljubljana, Slovenia, January 27, 2015. ACH Volley LJUBLJANA had to bid farewell to the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men with a 0:3 loss (17-25, 22-25, 19-25) to BERLIN Recycling Volleys but if Slovenia’s champions were left disappointed, the Germans had much to celebrate since this result propels them into the Playoffs 12 of Europe’s elite competition.

The start of the first set was very close even though the visitors from Germany got up to an early 5:2 lead and could keep a margin of three points at the first technical time-out (8:5). After that, BERLIN changed gear and their lead had widened up to five points by the second mandatory stop. The head coach of ACH Volley tried to stop their run with two time-outs as his side trailed 11:17 and 13:20 but the German champions made fewer mistakes than the hosts and eventually cashed the first set by a comfortable 25-17.

The second set continued that same trend with BERLIN up by 3:0 before LJUBLJANA drew level twice, at 4 and 5 all. The Germans were still those setting the pace at the first technical time-out (8:6) but again the hosts levelled the score at 10 all. The Slovenian champions even briefly went to the front (16:14) but BERLIN quickly clawed back to make it 19:19. Tomislav Smuc, the head coach of ACH Volley, stopped the game at 21:23 but once again he could not prevent his opponent from finishing the set at 25-22 with an ace.

After trailing 0:3 early in the set, LJUBLJANA got a margin of two points at the first technical time-out. However, the Slovenian champions suddenly lost their rhythm and BERLIN flipped the charts around to claim a margin of three at the second mandatory break. By showing a good performance in all fundamentals the Germans deservedly won also the third set (25-19) finishing the match with a 3:0 victory.

“Unfortunately this match did not develop according to our plans,” Smuc said. “BERLIN have shown once again that they are a strong team. They played without making mistakes and even though we fought bravely, this was not enough to change the course of the game. The difference between these teams is too big at this stage for us to be able to take one set or one point from this match.”

The head coach of the BERLIN Recycling Volleys, Mark Lebedew, said: “Any match in this competition is difficult, so you can’t expect a victory beforehand. ACH Volley were playing at home and so we expected a tough game because they certainly wanted to play their best before the home crowd. We started the match in the right way and this was one of the keys to our victory tonight, together with our block and defence.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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