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04/03/2015 20:33
Speedy home victory for Zaksa to eye CEV Cup semi-final spot
2015 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, March 4, 2015. Poland’s Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE continue their march in the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men and on Wednesday night got closer to making the semis after cruising to a convincing straight-set victory in their Challenge Round home match with Spain’s champions CAI TERUEL (25-19, 25-23, 25-19). This means that next week in Teruel Zaksa will have to win ‘only’ two sets to secure their promotion to the semis and play there the winners of the fixture starring Italy’s Energy T.I. Diatec TRENTINO and Belgium’s Knack ROESELARE.

The first and second sets followed a similar plot, at least in their early stages. Zaksa started the match jumping out to a 5:1 lead but after that the hosts lost their rhythm and started making many mistakes. Danijel Galic and Francisco José Ruiz scored with consistency for the visiting team but still Zaksa got to the front at the first technical time-out of both the first and second sets. The real hero for Zaksa in the first set was setter Nimir Abdel-Aziz as he stood behind the service line for as many as five points thereby moving the score up to 21:16. This was a gap that CAI TERUEL could no longer compensate and the set ended in a 25-19 victory for Zaksa.

The second set, on the other hand, was a lot closer. Though Zaksa got up by 16:12 at the second technical time-out, once the actions resumed the guys around former international star Sebastian Swiderski started again making ‘stupid’ mistakes and this way CAI TERUEL could claw back and eventually level at 20 all helped by their Venezuelan opposite Jesus Danian Chourio. However, the final stages of the set fully belonged to Zaksa and it was the Dutch duo comprising of Dick Kooy and Nimir Abdel-Aziz that sealed the eventual 25-23.

In the third set CAI TERUEL could finally impose their pace early on as the visiting team could rely on the solid performance delivered by middle blocker Marc Altayo and outside spiker Francisco Ruiz. Zaksa got back on track once Kay van Dijk replaced Dominik Witczak and a spike killed by Dick Kooy called for the second technical time-out with Zaksa leading by 16:12. After claiming this small but still quite comfortable lead, the hosts controlled the game all the way through the end with the final 25-19 being sealed by their middle blocker Lukasz Wisniewski.

“It is not over yet,” warns Zaksa’s mentor Sebastian Swiderski. “CAI TERUEL will certainly be determined to play their best once we go for the return game in Spain. I expect a very close battle there but I am quite confident that we can win the two sets that we need to make the semis.”

“The match was not as one-sided as the final result may suggest,” commented the head coach of CAI TERUEL, Carlos Carreño Cejudo. “Zaksa definitely deserved this 3:0 victory but we strongly believe in our chances to go for the golden set next week at home and to get the promotion to the semis.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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