SPORTS


Azerbaijan storm to second straight-sets victory at women’s EuroVolley

Baku, September 24, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan’s spectacular run at the historic women’s EuroVolley they are co-hosting together with Georgia continued on Sunday as the hosts rallied to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-14, 25-21, 25-23) over Poland to cement their leadership in Pool A – where they still have to contest their last match with Germany. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev paid a second visit to the National Gymnastics Arena and was among the many fans to celebrate yet another win for the home side – who have embarked on a mission to improve on their best #EuroVolleyW result to date, i.e. the fourth place they achieved back in 2005 in Croatia.

Azerbaijan had enjoyed the privilege of a short break following their successful debut on Friday late afternoon where they made up for a slow start to rout Hungary in three sets – whereas Poland had played nine sets in their previous two matches with Germany and Hungary, these resulting in two victories for the White-and-Reds. Playing under the eyes of State President Ilham Aliyev, who on Sunday paid a second visit to the 2017 women’s EuroVolley, Azerbaijan stormed to a thunderous 25-14 win in the opening set of their matchup with Poland, much to the delight of an almost sell-out crowd.

The second set was a much different story with Poland fighting for every point and keeping the score close until the second technical timeout (16-14). At this stage, Azerbaijan found more consistency in their game, producing an impressive run (22-16) with Polina Rahimova and Natalya Mammadova being their main assets. Poland put up a fight (23-20) but Rahimova secured four set points for the home side – and she was responsible for sealing Azerbaijan’s 25-21 win to double the hosts’ lead in the match.

In a sort of ‘crescendo’, the match grew in intensity and quality in the third set – where Poland edged ahead a few times and had a little advantage towards the end (23-21) before Azerbaijan’s comeback sparked much enthusiasm among the crowd in attendance. The hosts scored four points in a row and the match eventually ended in a 3-0 victory for the home side – the second such score line in as many matches as they had produced the same result in their opening game with Hungary on Friday.

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