Volleyball News: Successful teams of the Pool A of 2011 CEV Champions League- Men
The prelims of 2011 CEV Champions League finally rounded off on Wednesday, January 12. The women’s teams played the Playoff 12 qualifiers on Tuesday, while the men closed off the session on the following day. At the end of prelims, the top two men’s
teams from each Pool were allotted spots in the Playoffs 12. France’s AS Cannes beat Russian Zenit Kazan in the last match and qualified for the next round. Likewise, CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria defeated German Generali Unterhaching and settled for Playoffs 12.
The next phase of the game (Playoffs 12) will be kicked off in February.
AS CANNES (FRA) vs. Zenit KAZAN (RUS) 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 19-25, and 16-14)
In the first encounter of Pool A, teams from Russia and France came across each other. Russian City Kazan hosted the five-set thriller. The home team started out really well and took full advantage of the home court. They worked out nice shots and captured
the first set with a margin of 5 points (25-20).
However, the Russian team lost momentum in following set and gave way to France’s victory in the second set. The score was levelled at 1-1. France followed the same approach in next set and claimed third set with the help of better attack and defence capabilities.
The home side hit back angrily in fourth set and once again tied the game at 2-2 by capturing the set. Ultimately, the tussle ended in fifth set as France’s AS Cannes proved too good for triumph.
Sergey Tetyukhin of Russia commented: “We really did not underestimate our opponents. We simply made too many mistakes tonight and I really hope we can play a lot better in the next round to qualify to the final four.” As Cannes top scorer, Moreau expressed
his views about the hard earned victory. He said: “We are happy because tonight we defeated a very strong opponent.”
CSKA SOFIA vs. Generali UNTERHACHING 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, and 15-10)
In the second match of Pool A, Bulgarian CSKA Sofia and Gererali Unterhaching descended in the court with big plans. The visitors demonstrated great skill in the first set of the game. They attacked Bulgarian defence line with a variety of cut shots and
powerful serves. Despite of the huge noise and support of local spectators, Bulgarian team dropped the first set (23-25).
Revenge was the order of second set as Bulgarian players stormed Germany’s half with ground-breaking shots. They hit the ball in right directions and worked out good progress in second set. They managed to overcome the power of rivals by sending 25-22 on
The see-saw battle continued as Germany bounced back in the game in third set. They played with great consistency and claimed third set. The home side came up with better strategy in fourth set and hit the equalizer by launching their authority on the guests.
The fourth set ended in Bulgaria’s favour. The fifth set also came successful for home team as they posted 15-10 and claimed match victory in the important match.
Alexander Popov, the head coach of Bulgaria was satisfied with the superb performance of his team. He disclosed his thoughts after the match and talked about the potential risks of the game. He said: “It was a nervous game. The strong serve of Generali made
it really hard for us to receive. But once again I don’t know how to describe our performance in blocking. I think we have scored more than 20 blocks in the game, which is a magnificent score for the CEV Champions League. We have not lost any single home game
in 2 years. This is a fantastic achievement, and I would like to thank our fans, which gave us wings to fly and win. I still don’t know if we are going to play in the Challenge Round of the CEV Cup, because I don’t know the other results, but once again we
showed our dignity and that our small country can play a good role on the international Volleyball arena”.