Trefl GDANSK close to causing sensation before Zenit pull out tiebreak victory
Gdansk, Poland, March 13, 2019. Trefl GDANSK were close to causing a major sensation on Wednesday night – but the underdogs from Poland eventually ended up losing at the tiebreak to the Russian armada of Zenit KAZAN in what was truly the ‘Match of the Week’. Six-time CL winners Zenit KAZAN could extend their winning streak in the competition but only after fighting for more than two hours before pulling out a 3-2 victory (25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13). Next week, these two teams will lock horns again in Kazan and fans can expect another dramatic battle with a spot in the semis of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League at stake.
• After previous 3-1 and 3-0 wins in the 2015-2016 season, Zenit KAZAN needed five sets to claim their first quarterfinal match with Trefl GDANSK. This time, Trefl were close to achieving a truly sensational victory over the Russian armada.
• As many as 4,850 fans came together at ERGO Arena to support Trefl GDANSK. This was the highest record of attendance in this Champions League season. Trefl could count on more supporters only for their home match with Asseco Resovia RZESZOW in the Polish national league, with 4,918 attending on Independence Day.
• Both teams recorded seven blocks in the match with Piotr Nowakowski and Artem Volvich topping the charts for Trefl GDANSK and Zenit KAZAN with three and four, respectively.
• The roster of Zenit KAZAN included as many as seven national team players from Russia, USA and France vs. only one for Trefl. Despite this, the hosts fought like lions and were close to winning the match.
Andrea Anastasi, coach of Trefl GDANSK: “Before the match I said that it would be like a battle between a Cinquecento and a Ferrari, but I drive Fiat Abarth and today we were so agile, like my small, sports car. I am extremely proud of my team. When we fight like this in front of our crowd, we give them a great spectacle. We had many defeats this season, but after this one, I can say that I am very proud of my players. We fought for every ball, we tried to do our best; honestly, Zenit today were better than us only with their service game.”
Ruben Schott, player of Trefl GDANSK: “We could have won today, till the end it was really, really close. I am extremely happy because we played a very good match; I think it was the best match for us in the Champions League so far. I hope we will continue to play like this and we can achieve something in Kazan.”
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