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15/02/2017 22:55
AALST secure place in CEV Cup quarterfinals after double win over SETE
2017 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Aalst, Belgium, February 15, 2017. Belgian side Lindemans AALST secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men after a double win over French team Arago de SETE. After a 3-1 win in their away clash, AALST managed to beat SETE again, this time by 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) on home soil.

Lindemans AALST knew that it ‘only’ had to win two sets to secure a place in the next round, having won 3-1 at SETE a couple of weeks ago. With the help of some powerful serves of Adrian Staszewski, AALST managed to storm to an 8-2 lead at the first technical time-out. SETE could not really find an answer to the fine display of form by the home side; the hosts put some extra pressure from the service line, which resulted in a five-point lead at the second technical time-out after Axel Truhtchev served into the net. Nicolas Mendez and Tommy Senger managed to reduce the French gap to 17-15, but Ivan Mihalj and Samuel Walker helped AALST break away again to a 22-17 lead. Marien Moreau did his best to get SETE back into the game, but Reinis Pekmans finished the first set off at 25-19 for AALST.

The second set saw a more balanced opening phase, with some nice battles in the middle between Mihalj on the one side and Senger and Mendez on the other side of the net. Mendez and Moreau put a kill block on Pekmans for an 8-6 lead for SETE, but Frank Depestele guided his team back to tie the score at 11-11. Moreau could not get past Walker and Wannes De Beul, this resulting in a 13-12 lead for AALST and a time-out from SETE. Moreau picked up a yellow card for contesting the referee’s decisions, while Pekmans (an attack and a kill block) and Depestele (two aces) took advantage of that to put their team 19-14 ahead. AALST could comfortably march to the end of the set after making that decisive gap. Staszewski managed to score for 24-19, and despite a miss from Walker and a kill block from Senger, Staszewski led his team to a 25-22 win.

With two sets won, AALST was already sure it would advance to the next round. It did however keep its starting six on the field, while SETE on the other hand rotated some players. The beginning of the set was yet again a balanced one, with Truhtchev and Thomas Lamoise scoring for SETE and providing them with an 8-6 lead at the first technical break. Pekmans kept his team in contention, but Médéric Henry managed to score for SETE before Staszewski had to leave the court with a knee injury. His substitute Tijmen Laane was able to score after a good save from libero Philipp Kroiss and AALST edged ahead when Mendez was not able to get past the home side’s block. Mihalj, Pekmans and De Beul took turns in scoring, contributing to a 21-18 lead for AALST. Lamoise wanted to bring the tension back at 22-19, but Henry hit his service in the net, thus ending the set and the match at 25-19.

This way, Lindemans AALST managed to get a comfortable second win over Arago de SETE. The visitors could count on 11 points from Axel Truhtchev, nearly missing out on the title of top scorer of the match. That honour went to Reinis Pekmans, who scored 15 points for AALST. The home side also managed to score nine points out of their services, with Adrian Staszewski recording three aces. AALST are now thrilled to be through to the next round, where they will be facing Germany’s United Volleys RHEINMAIN.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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