Baku, November 11, AZERTAC
On Wednesday a busy day in the League Round of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women got underway with Lokomotiv claiming the much anticipated derby with Azerrail BAKU by 3:1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21). This way Lokomotiv bounced back from their away loss to Russia’s Dinamo KAZAN two weeks ago and got their first three full points in this year’s edition of Europe’s finest competition.
There was a lot of interest in this match in Azerbaijan’s capital and about 1,000 fans were in attendance on Wednesday night for this derby. The mentor of Azerrail, Bülent Karslioglu, had to ask his first time-out by the time his players trailed 2:5. Lokomotiv claimed an 8:6 lead at the first technical time-out and stretched it to 16:6 after scoring eight consecutive points. The supremacy of Lokomotiv continued through to the end with the set drawing to a close with a landslide 25-14 win for the hosts.
The score remained very close in the beginning of the second set but again Lokomotiv swept eight points in a row to make it 15:7 in their favour. Azerrail this time got some chances to close in and helped by mistakes made by the Lokomotiv players, the visitors eventually reduced their gap down to one point at 18:17 with solid blocks by Madison Kingdon. The final stages of the second set were truly dramatic: Lokomotiv edged ahead again at 21:18 with the help of their middle blocker Jaroslava Pencova, prompting a time-out by Karslioglu. This sorted the desired effect as Azerrail got back on track and levelled the score at 21 all. Azerrail then completed their comeback as they stormed to a 25-22 set win which was also helped by another couple of mistakes made by Lokomotiv.
The third set followed a similar plot with Lokomotiv jumping out to an 8:5 lead. After the first technical time-out Lokomotiv widened their lead to 12:7 and that margin still stood at three points (16:13) once the second mandatory break was called. Things did not change once actions resumed with Lokomotiv moving the charts to 19:16 and another time-out asked by Azerrail’s coach, Bülent Karslioglu, could not prevent Lokomotiv from sealing their win at 25-21.
The story repeated itself in the fourth set with Lokomotiv edging ahead right from the go (8:5) and extending their lead to 16:10 at the second technical time-out. Azerrail tried hard to stay in the game but Lokomotiv did not look back anymore and finished the fourth set and the match with another 25-21 win.