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10/02/2016 18:17
Lokomotiv cause sensation with tie-break win over Volero
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women

Baku, Azerbaijan, February 10, 2016. Lokomotiv BAKU caused quite a sensation on Wednesday as they edged Volero ZÜRICH in their first matchup on schedule for the Playoffs 12 of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. After sweeping six straight matches in Pool D, Volero fought from start to end but eventually the hosts of Lokomotiv were the ones to celebrate a well-deserved 3-2 home victory (25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 16-14), waiting now for the return to follow in two weeks in Switzerland.

The atmosphere was just great as the match got underway in Azerbaijan’s capital and helped by a few mistakes made by the visitors, Lokomotiv BAKU claimed an early 8-4 lead at the first technical time-out of the opening set. Volero stormed back after the break and levelled the score at 9-all before edging ahead at 10-9. At this stage the coach of Lokomotiv, Carlo Parisi, used his first time-out and his players responded well scoring two points in a row to flip the charts around. Sonja Newcombe, who joined the ranks of Lokomotiv only a few weeks ago, contributed to a 16-13 lead for the hosts at the second technical time-out and after that Lokomotiv continued to perform well to wrap it up at 25-21 in their favour.

The start of the second set was a close affair with Volero edging ahead at the first technical time-out but only by the narrowest margin (8-7). After that Volero changed gear and the spikes by their captain Natalya Mammadova combined with some well-timed blocks were enough to break away by three points at the second technical time-out (16-13). Lokomotiv helped their opponent by making mistakes in reception, and especially Aleksandra Crncevic lacked efficiency in this element. Parisi stopped the game once more by the score of 17-13 for Volero and this break helped the hosts get a little closer (22-20). However, a mistake by Lokomotiv libero Brenda Castillo gave the next rally to Volero and the Swiss champs finished the set at 25-22 to restore the balance in the match.

Lokomotiv BAKU rushed to an 8:4 lead at the first technical time-out of the opening set and continued to set the pace of the game also later on making it 16-11 in their favour. However, the final section of the set was very close with Volero closing in at 24-23 before a mistake by Mammadova sealed the final 25-23 for the hosts.

The course of the match changed again in the fourth set with Volero cruising to an 8-6 lead and continuing to push in order to extend the match to a tie-break (20-15). They eventually achieved their goal by winning the set 25-20 via the spikes killed by Dobriana Rabadzhieva.

The local fans created a superb atmosphere for the final set of this exciting match and the fifth set was played point for point through to the end until the players of Lokomotiv could celebrate their 16-14 win to hand Volero their first loss in this season’s Champions League.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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