Via their third consecutive win the Italians keep an immaculate record of 9 points after three matches having conceded no sets to their opponents.
More than 4’500 supporters in Rzeszow were counting on a good performance of Poland’s national champions who wanted to restore their confidence after their last defeats in the national league. However, the famous team from Piedmont showed in Poland its great potential and impressive skills especially in service as they made 9 aces versus only one for the home team. Best scorer of the game was Bulgarian opposite Tsvetan Sokolov (17 points) whereas his counterpart Zbigniew Bartman registered 17 for Asseco Resovia.
Both teams started the game quite aggressively and with powerful actions in attack. However, it was CUNEO that went to the front by two points (4:6) after an impressive counter-attack by captain Wout Wijsmans. Asseco Resovia players were chasing the Italians and managed to level the score (8:8, 12:12) but starting from this moment CUNEO pulled away (12:17) thanks to the better service and excellent counter-attacks by Wout Wijsmans. The hosts were struggling with their reception and could not reverse the situation, at least in the first section concluded by a service error of Aleh Akhrem.
CUNEO did not slow down the pace also in the second set where the guests went up 1:6 after a block on Asseco Resovia opposite Zbigniew Bartman. Nevertheless, the Poles did not lose their determination to play. They started the chase and leveled the score at 7:7. Although the Italians jumped away once again at 11:14 (after two consecutive blocks by Tsvetan Sokolov on Zbigniew Bartman) the hosts were able to cut the margin once again (14:14). However, the answer of CUNEO was very quick as they gained another 3-point lead after a couple of great services by their second setter – Nimir Abdel-Aziz (16:19). The Poles did not give up; moreover, they regained the lead (23:21 after a counter-attack of Zbigniew Bartman). At the end of this exciting section, the excellent service of CUNEO made the difference once more as Luigi Mastrangelo did a great job for his team with couple of mighty and tricky services (23-25).
The exciting end of the second set gave the hosts even more determination to bounce back the score. After a series of impressive rallies and efficient counter-attacks they managed to gain a margin of five points (9:4). CUNEO seemed to lose a bit of concentration but French spiker Earvin Ngapeth gave the signal to fight back (it was 12:11 after a couple of great counter-attacks and services of the young French star). CUNEO regained the lead after the second technical time-out (15:16) and at the end of the game the strong service of the Italian team made the difference one more time. Asseco Resovia players had huge problems in reception. Tsvetan Sokolov executed almost all counter-attacks (18:21, 20:24) and when Aleh Akhrem made a mistake the outcome of this section and of the match was clear.
“The supremacy of CUNEO in service was visible and made the difference tonight. They played a great game and on the other hand we had problems with our reception. We also committed too many mistakes in other fundamentals. We were fighting not only with CUNEO but also with ourselves and our problems. It’s a shame that the service wasn’t our advantage” said Aleh Akhrem, the captain of the local team.
“Winning 3:0 in Rzeszow is something really special and not easy. We put up a good performance. We made good pressure on them with our service. Even in difficult moments we were able to come back to our best play. Nevertheless, we are only halfway through this League Round and we have to be consistent also in the next games” stated Wout WIjsmans, CUNEO’s captain.
“The biggest difference was in service. In other elements, especially in attack, we shouldn’t be ashamed of our performance. We can regret that we lost our advantage in the second set in which we had a big chance to level the score in sets. Obviously we have to work a lot to improve our play” stressed Andrzej Kowal, mentor of the local team.
“I agree that the service was the key to our success here in Rzeszow. Nevertheless, Asseco Resovia is a very strong team and we have to prepare well also for the return game in Italy” concluded Roberto Piazza, head coach of Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO.
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