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17/02/2015 12:26
Nail-biter between Volero and RC CANNES to be continued in Zurich
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women

Zurich, Switzerland, February 17, 2015.  The European ambitions of Volero ZURICH, which is closing in on its 100th victory in a row in the Swiss national championships, are not secret:  advancing to the Final Four of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women.  One hurdle was already cleared when Volero eked out a 3:2 victory in the first Playoffs 12 leg in Cannes.  The game with RC CANNES remained a nail-biter throughout until the women from Zurich were finally able to redeem themselves with their decisive point.  “RC Cannes plays above-average defence, which is what made it so difficult for us to score,” said head coach Dragutin Baltic of the away game.

Nonetheless, everything is lined up for Thursday’s return match: “Thanks to our weekend off from play in the NLA, we were able to relax and concentrate on preparing for Thursday,” Baltic explained. Volero needs to win by any score in this home game to advance to the Playoffs 6.  In case, the Swiss team loses by 2:3, a golden set would decide whether they advance.  “The key to victory will be our serving,” the coach stressed. “RC CANNES can play fast and varied, we have to be able to interrupt that. Then we can play to our strength at the net.”

RC CANNES, one of Europe's best teams for years now (the French team won the Champions League in 2002 and 2003), is not ready to give up, despite their tough loss.  “We handed that game to Volero ZURICH by doing nothing, but standing around and watching during the fifth set,” complained captain Victoria Ravva following the game in Cannes. “Volero may be stronger on paper, but we kept it pretty close until the end when we did too little to win.”

In fact, the team from the Cote d'Azur has already showed itself to be weaker in the pool stage than in previous years.  Yan Fang, the head coach of RC CANNES, explained the tough fight for playoff qualification by the fact that he is integrating young players into the team and has had to relieve some of his regular players several times.  In addition, the French champions have suffered a few injuries in their squad.  Most importantly Juliann Faucette, the team’s best attacker, has slowly been returning to action from an injury in November.  Back in late December she was still a spectator.

“There are no more big or small teams in the playoff phase.  If we want to advance to the next round, we have to play a perfect game against Volero,” Yan Fang added with an air of competitive drive.

Thursday’s return match between Volero ZURICH and RC CANNES is scheduled to start at 20:00 local time at the Saalsporthalle in Zurich.

Click here for more information, including complete match schedule.

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