Sibiu, Romania, February 28, 2017. Dinamo MOSCOW emulated Fenerbahce and VakifBank ISTANBUL by sweeping six matches in a row in their pool as they finished the group stage of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women with a 3-1 victory over Romania’s CS Volei Alba BLAJ (25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-22) after almost two hours of play. Although BLAJ finish last in Pool B, the Romanian champions can be proud of their performance and they definitely bid farewell to Europe’s elite club competition in style. Nataliya Goncharova and Yana Shcherban were the standout players for Dinamo as they scored 25 and 21 points, respectively.
The first set was a close fight, with CS Volei Alba BLAJ claiming a narrow early lead but Dinamo got back on track after a well-timed break asked by their coach, Yury Panchenko. The Muscovites slowly but surely found their rhythm and ended up taking the first set 25-21. In the second set, CS Volei Alba BLAJ came from behind with the help of powerful serves from their setter Ana Antonijevic. BLAJ scored five straight points and eventually emerged victorious at 25-23. The third set, on the other hand, was truly one-sided with Dinamo MOSCOW leading from start to end (25-16). The Romanians took an early lead in the fourth set but they could not hold on to it and in the end, they had to accept a 3-1 loss to the undisputed leaders of Pool B.
Darko Zakoc, head coach of CS Volei Alba BLAJ: “This was our best match at home this season and I am a little bit disappointed that we played better in our away matches than we did at home. If we had played tonight as we did last week against Dinamo KRASNODAR in Russia, I am sure we would now celebrate our third place in the pool. Despite this, I am still pleased with our performance tonight – I think we showed that we can perform at a high level and I must admit that we were in a very difficult pool. However, we won against Dinamo KRASNODAR and took two sets from difficult matches with Dinamo MOSCOW, and this is not something that you can accomplish that easily.”
Adina Salaoru, team captain of CS Volei Alba BLAJ: “We played a good match tonight and we put up a fight against a very strong opponent, so I am proud of my team. To play in the Champions League is a great experience and it makes you feel like you are a real Volleyball player. I am very happy with our participation in this competition for the last two years. Unfortunately, we were drawn in a very difficult pool and had to play against strong opponents.”
Yury Panchenko, head coach of Dinamo MOSCOW: “It was a beautiful game, and a very tough one for us. Both teams did not feel any pressure because we were already through to the Playoffs 6 and the hosts knew they were out of contention for a spot in the next round. However, we delivered a spectacular game and I am sure that the crowd enjoyed it. The Romanians did their best, fought hard and made us work hard – but we did not have any pressure as far as the result was concerned.”
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match