VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN fall short of completing comeback in matchup with IZMIR
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Friedrichshafen, Germany, December 22, 2016. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN suffered a tough loss in their second match in Pool C of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men against Arkas IZMIR at ZF Arena. The visitors from Turkey emerged victorious 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12) at the end of a classy match, where IZMIR especially impressed with great defence actions and their monster blocks. After trailing 0-2, VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN came back strong and made it to the all-deciding tie-break but they eventually fell short of achieving a come-from-behind victory.
Both teams started very much focussed with Arkas leading 8-6 at the first technical time-out. However, as the match progressed, the visitors put more and more pressure on the “Häfler” and blocked even better. After taking more risks with their service, VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN came closer (19-20) but IZMIR always had an answer. As head coach Vital Heynen said before the game, the “Häfler” had to get Arkas Cuban-born opposite Michael Sanchez Bozhulev under control to win the game, but they couldn’t. Sanchez scored the big points and closed the first set 25-21.
VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN came back strong and took the lead until the second technical time-out of the second set with Andreas Takvam scoring through the middle (16-12). Arkas coach Glenn Hoag asked for a time-out, reorganised his team and IZMIR scored five times in a row to make it 17-16 in their favour. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN looked confused, couldn’t put their attacks on the ground and a stunningly defending Turkish team finished the second set in their favour as well (25-23).
Heynen tried a different team in the third set, brought in David Sossenheimer for Tomas Rousseaux and Daniel Malescha for Michal Finger and the hosts kept the score tight until they blocked Sanchez once and gained a two-point lead in the crunch time of the third set (22-20). Malescha could not convert a first set ball, but Athanasios Protopsaltis did so (25-22).
After winning the third set VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN was back on track. Markus Steuerwald and Protopsaltis defended like crazy and it was always Takvam spiking over the block through the middle to avoid the Turkish block (12-9, 18-12). Six chances to make it to the tie-break were there and Georg Klein cashed the second one for 25-19.
VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN and Arkas IZMIR delivered some more spectacular actions in the tie-break (4-6, 7-6). Arkas claimed a 9-7 lead but FRIEDRICHSHAFEN blocked Sanchez and took an edge again with a strong-serving Protopsaltis (10-9, 11-9). However, the same player made a mistake, IZMIR served strong as well and Finger spiked the last ball into the Turkish block.
“We fought until the end, but Arkas have at least three very good spikers and this made the difference,” VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN coach Vital Heynen said after the match.
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