WCL: Iqtisadchi beats Dinamo Moscow!

On Tuesday in Women’s Champions League were some exciting matches. In most exciting match Iqtisadchi Baku defeated Dinamo Moscow. Surprise was in Romania, Stiinta Bacau overcame Volero Zurich in tiebreak. There were also 3 other matches.


Pool A
Beziers Volley – Rabita Baku 0-3 (23-25 20-25 16-25)
Beziers: Dall’Igna, Guerra Franco (8), Holness (6), Schleck (15), Da Silva (8), Deesing (10), Rochelle (L) and Martin, Mortreux
Rabita: Skorupa, Skowrońska-Dolata, Cooper (3), Rourke (21), Cruz (11), Krsmanovic (9), Castillo (L) and Starovic (1), Nootsara (2), Horvath (4), Jackson (5)

Though they were the underdog as they were playing last year’s silver medalists, Beziers Volley started out strong and could put up a good fight right from the go of their game with Rabita Baku. Their only player with previous experience in the CEV Volleyball Champions League was Sherline Holness who even had spent one season in Azerbaijan playing for Rabita in 2010. Rabita was able to close the first set in their favor at 25-23. Beziers Volley jumped out to an 8:5 lead in the second set but Rabita was hitting every ball very hard to make it 25-20 in the end. In the third set Beziers seemed to lack energy and power and could no longer stand the pace imposed by Rabita that wrapped it up at 25-16 for a straight-set victory.
Libero Brenda Castillo did leave a very good impression with her great actions in defense and even though Beziers head coach Cyril Ong tried out some young players – even 18-year old – that could not change the course of the game anymore. Though they still lack experience the players of Beziers Volley can be very proud of what they have done in their match up with one of the strongest sides in Europe in what was only their second game in Europe’s elite club competition.

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsHelene Schleck151439%014Rachel Rourke211950%023


Pool B
Iqtisadchi Baku – Dinamo Moscow 3-2 (23-25 25-21 19-25 25-23 15-13)
Iqtisadchi: Q.Y.Wei (3), Onuma (7), Pleumjit (14), Flier (24), Wilavan (16), Y.W.Ma (12), Wanna (L) and L.Zhang (2), Serena (2), Willoughby (3)
Dinamo: Vetrova (4), Kosheleva (15), Krivets (1), Obmochaeva (27), Marchenko (17), Morozova (8), Tretyakova (L) and Goncharova, Zhitova (5), Markova (1)

This way Igtisadchi could follow up on last week’s straight victory over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade and cement their leadership in the Pool. Actually the game – that in the end lasted for more than two hours – turned into an uphill climb for the home side as they trailed twice but always fought back to level the score in sets and claim the tie-break where they also came back from behind (3:5). After that they controlled the game and kept cool in the final phases to pocket their second win in the competition. Dutch superstar Manon Flier top scored in their winning effort with 24 points well supported by team captain Wilavan Apinyapong with 16 and another two players who finished the game in double digits, namely Thai Pleumjit Thinkaow and Chinese Ma Yunwen with 14 and 12 respectively. On the other side of the net Natalya Obmochaeva registered a match-high 27 points for Dinamo with Maryna Marchenko and Tatiana Kosheleva adding 17 and 15 to the final count.  

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsIqtisadchi6843%7841%55%30Dinamo6150%14331%39%26

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsManon Flier241945%146Natalya Obmochaeva272449%216


Pool C
Atom Trefl Sopot – Gent Dames 3-0 (25-9 25-20 25-17)
Atom: Bełcik (5), Leys (6), Łukasik (8), Podolec (13), Kaczorowska (4), Shelukhina (2), Zenik (L) and Gajewska (3), Efimienko (9), Pietersen (4), Molnar (1), Hill (3)
Gent: Divoux, De Valkener (13), Catry (2), Goliat (4), Verstrepen (6), De Schrijver (1), Lemey (L) and Van Cleemputte, Taga, Verhulst (1)

The hosts needed only 18 minutes to claim the opening set where they opened with a terrific 8:2 run; Gent Dames mentor Stijn Morand asked for a time-out to try to find some answer but he was not that successful as Sopot moved the charts up to 10:3. The guests could not do much to stop the terrific run of the Atomic girls who finished it off with a 25-9 and a great ratio of efficiency in reception (71%).
The second set was a little different with a close start (4 all) before Atom Trefl opened the gap already by the first mandatory stop (8:4). However, Gent could respond and tied the score at 8 all before the game continued with some ups and downs for both sides. Sopot head coach Teun Buijs decided to stop the game at 13 all and his players showed the reaction he wanted to get as they moved the score up to 16:14. Sopot kept cool and even though Gent head coach Stijn Morand stopped the game once more at 19:16, the hosts did not slow their pace down and could seal the final 25-20 for a 2:0 lead in sets.
Click Here: camiseta rosario central Sopot dictated the pace of the game also in the third set (6:2, 10:3) and the advantage had grown up to eight points after two blocks by Zuzanna Efimienko and Judith Pietersen (14:6). The home heroines had a very comfortable margin by the second technical time-out (16:7) and even though Gent could display some more good actions, Sopot finished their job at 25-17 for the joy of 2,000 home fans.

Press Conference:

“We are really happy to be able to play in such atmosphere: this is something unknown to us” Gent head coach Stijn Morand said. “My team is very young and inexperienced, and we have been expecting that the match with Sopot would be very tough for us. Our opponent is much more experienced and very well organized” he continued.

“The most important thing for us is that all our players could perform tonight. Some of them are very young and that was the first time they played such an important game” stressed Sopot team captain Izabela Belcik.  

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsAtom3746%16527%51%19Gent1920%5311%35%20

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsAnna Podolec13635%523Lise De Valkener131029%215


Pool E
Unedo Yamamay Busto Arsizio – Prosecco Doc-Imoco Conegliano 1-3 (13-25 22-25 25-22 17-25)
Yamamay: Wołosz (5), Marcon (9), Garzaro (4), Bianchini (17), Buijs (18), Arrighetti (7), Leonardi (L) and Spirito, Michel
Imoco: Lloyd (5), Barcellini (6), Barazza (8), Nikolova (23), Fiorin (11), Calloni (14), De Gennaro (L) and Tirozzi (12), Dona

Some 3,000 fans came together at the Palayamamay for the much anticipated Italian derby that was supposed to highlight the second round of the prelims. Conegliano was paced by their Bulgarian player Emiliya Nikolova who registered 23 points in the end and well marshaled by their American setter Carli Lloyd who found the right tempo especially with opposite Valentina Tirozzi. Conegliano also stood out with their blocks – 18 in the end – and even though Unendo Yamamay came back after a slow start, that was not enough to stop the run of their compatriots. Young opposite Marika Bianchini was the best player for the hosts in their losing effort with 17 points – including 3 aces.
Nikolova paced Imoco in the first set registering 10 points all alone as Unendo Yamamay was evidently struggling with their reception. The second set seemed to follow the same plot but Marika Bianchini was able to keep the score tight for the home side that fought back from 12:16 to 17:16 on a serving turn by Anne Buijs. Still Tirozzi was on fire in the final section and could contribute the 2:0 for Imoco. In the third set the hosts played their best game with Giulia Leonardi standing out in defense while Buijs and Francesca Marcon attacked with good consistency (25-22). Bianchini got Unendo Yamamay on track right from the go of the fourth set (7:2) but Conegliano exploited the many mistakes made by the hosts with Nikolova, Lloyd and Jenny Barazza paving the way for the final 3:1.

Press conference

“Maybe we felt a little bit of tension in the early phases of the game and this means we still need time to find the right chemistry. We need to minimize the black-outs we are suffering from time to time” Unendo Yamamay team captain Francesca Marcon said. “We responded well in the third set but Conegliano played a great game and you can see that Carli Lloyd has already found the right tempo with their spikers”.

“We need to give some more time to this team which is new and has to learn a lot, and especially needs to find a way to deal with the moments where things are not working as they should” said home mentor Carlo Parisi. “I regret that we lost the second set so badly but we recovered and we played a good third set”.

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsYamamay4932%5645%75%22Imoco5542%18635%59%23

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsAnne Buijs181535%124Emiliya Nikolova231537%538


Pool F
Stiinta Bacau – Volero Zurich 3-2 (17-25 27-25 25-20 8-25 15-13)
Stiinta: Staelens (3), Rogojinaru (6), Sosa (20), Herlea (4), Potokar (10), Sobo (16), Vujovic (L) and Cvetanovic (2), Baltatu, Miclea Grigoruta, Gaido (L)
Volero: Guerra (2), Carcaces Opon (14), Onjeyekwe (8), Rykhliuk (37), Klaric (2), Golubovic (6), Sano (L) and Gogic (1), Unternahrer (9)

Actually Volero performed really strong right from the go with their opposite Olesya Rykhliuk and Cuban wing-spiker Kenia Carcaces dictating the tempo of the game (3:8). Stiinta did not surrender and played with glowing hearts displaying good skills especially in defense but still Volero had a very comfortable lead at the second technical time-out (9:16). Stiinta Bacau setter Kim Staelens showed good command of the game but even though she mobilized all of her weapons in attack, the guests could cruise to the final 17-25 and a provisional lead in sets.
Stiinta and Volero showed great blocks in the early phases of the second set and the score was very close (8:7); things did not change also halfway through the set with Stiinta still leading the way with the slimmest margin at the second mandatory stop (16:15). Stiinta showed again excellent blocks and after trailing for a while, Bacau fought their way back to draw level at 24 all after Volero had missed out on a set ball. Bacau showed good composure and with a hit killed by their middle-blocker Emilce Fabiana Sosa wrapped it up at 27-25 to draw level in sets.
The game was really tight also in the opening of the third set (8:5) but after that Bacau minimized their mistakes and started playing with great consistency to break away in the score (16:10). Once more their blocks were very good and supported by the serves of Monika Potokar, while middle-blocker Alexandra Sobo also contributed to that positive run. Bacau pressured their opponents a lot but Volero did not give in and kept close (19:15); however, with another change of their pace Stiinta accelerated their play and finished it off at 25-20.
Things changed completely in the fourth set where home mentor Florin Grapa asked for an early time-out as his team was trailing 2:4; Carcaces served strong to move the score up to 4:8 and Volero did not look back anymore, making it to the second technical time-out with a margin of ten points and finishing it with a terrific 8-25.
After that blackout, Stiinta fought their way back in the tie-break looking very determined to cash their first victory in the competition. Volero opened with a 2:0 run and still was up as teams changed sides of the court (7:8) before Bacau fired back (10:8, 12:10); though the Swiss were anchored by Rykhliuk – who in the end top scored with 37 points! – Stiinta kept cool and with the help of the home crowd could get the party started after wrapping it up at 15-13. Sosa and Sobo were the most prolific players for the home side as they registered 20 and 16 points respectively.

Press conference:

“We did a great job tonight and we are of course happy with the result” Stiinta captain Denisa Rogojinaru said. “My team delivered a perfect performance tonight and we did not make that many mistakes” added head coach Florin Grapa. “I am really satisfied though we still can improve our reception.”

“Though we played really well tonight we lost” said Volero mentor Jan Lindenmair. “It was a tough game with a very close score in the end. We needed to be a little more focused and attentive in order to win this match.” “I have to congratulate Bacau because they have built up a very good team” concluded Volero team captain, Romanian-born Nneka Obiamaka Onyejekwe

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeRec ExcRec PosErrorsStiinta4530%10619%45%27Volero6042%10920%45%32

Team Leaders:

ActionsPointsSpike ptsSpike %BlockAceErrorsEmilce Sosa201350%612Olessya Rykhliuk373150%428


Descriptions and press conferences: CEV

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