Home » CEV CL M: BERLIN Recycling Volleys miss out on opportunity to edge defending champions

CEV CL M: BERLIN Recycling Volleys miss out on opportunity to edge defending champions

by WoV
source: cev.lu

BERLIN Recycling Volleys lost in a tie-breaker to Russia's Zenit KAZAN in the first match for the Playoffs 12 of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League. Robert Kromm and Mark Lebedew gave statements.


Berlin – Kazan

Injury-plagued as wing-spiker Roko Sikiric had sustained a knee injury during final practice on Wednesday morning and Robert Kromm (wing-spiker) being feverish, BERLIN was nevertheless not willing to make it easy for Zenit. In front of 6’821 frenetically cheering spectators the home side took an early lead (4:1) in the first set. With a recovered Robert Kromm and the youngster Björn Höhne on the wing position BERLIN did not slacken its grip forcing the Russian heavyweight to mistakes (16:9). Getting back in touch as BERLIN was not able to control the lethal attacks, Zenit steadily closed the gap (23:23). Eventually it was a disputable decision that brought KAZAN on set point: the block of BERLIN did not touch the hit by Zenit that went out as the TV broadcasting proved but KAZAN took the set (25-27).

BERLIN showed much resistance to keep in touch in set two, but Zenit seemed to have found its rhythm (11:14). The hosts, pushed by their crowd, steadily managed to close the gap (14:14). But the Russian standout proved its superiority in service, attack and block as the team further pulled away (14:18, 15:20). As KAZAN in set one, BERLIN right in time found back into play as both teams incredibly fought point for point (23:23) and eventually set number two went to the local heroes (25-23).

Driven by the second leg and an ear-splitting atmosphere at Max-Schmeling-Halle, BERLIN justified its qualification for the Playoffs 12 taking one point after another. The spectators got to see a high-class Volleyball match in which the home side managed to keep it up with the heavyweight of Russia. Pulling further away (17:9, 20:13), BERLIN increasingly forced Zenit to make mistakes also taking set number three (25-17).

Zenit out for revenge for the clear defeat in set three took over control in leg four (5:8) and eventually it was captain Maxim Mikhaylov to mark the lead for KAZAN at 10:16. The Russians further pulled away as BERLIN could not control Zenit’s attacks (13:21) and took the fourth set.

The match was to culminate in the tie-break. Neither of the two teams could pull away. Eventually BERLIN took a small lead (8:6) and kept it scoring point after point (13:11) but Zenit came back (13:13). Being on match point, KAZAN could not take this first opportunity, neither could BERLIN (15:14) and eventually Zenit could celebrate its happy end in a nail-biting thriller (16-18).

We managed to give Zenit a hard time”, Robert Kromm said after the match, adding: “We put them under pressure as they were not able to play their game. I hope we will be luckier in the end next week.”

A proud but disappointed head coach Mark Lebedew said: “I’m delighted to see the team coping with the set-backs of the last days. But in the end, it is just said we did not bring it home.

For more volleyball news from this competition click on CEV CL 2013 M.

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