World and italian champions Cucine Lube Civitanova made their debut in the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League with a victory.
Only four days after winning the 2019 FIVB Club World Championship in Brazil, they had to switch to playing one more strong competition: the Champions League. Their rival on the debut in this year’s edition of the event was everything but easy – Jihostroj České Budějovice. The Czech team stunned Turkish titleholders Fenerbahçe HDI Sigorta Istanbul at their debut but was unable to make one more upset in Round 2: 3-1 (25:18, 21:25, 25:13, 25:22). Osmany Juantorena led Lube with 18 points, while Filip Křesťan scored 17 on the other side.
Kamil Rychlicki, Opposite of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA: “We are glad we won especially as it was not an easy game for us. We definitely felt physically challenged because we played several games in a row. I liked the atmosphere here a lot and it was nice to see that the people here are following the volleyball scene.”
Martin Kryštof, Libero of Jihostroj CESKE BUDEJOVICE: “We saw the best team in the world even though I think that they were not completely physically all right. However, they put up a great fight and had awesome defence. We fought really hard for every point. We all feel that we could have played several points differently in the last set and it could have been even more interesting.”
Today, Itas Trentino also debuted in the 2019 Champions League because their first-round encounter in Pool A against Lube was postponed to January 26, 2020, due to rival’s participation in the Club World Championship. Italian team successfully came back from 0-2 to 3-2 against Fenerbahçe. American Aaron Russell was the top scorer for the winning side with 18 points, while French libero Jénia Grebennikov was fantastic in defense with 79% reception (28 digs, 50% excellent). As for Fenerbahçe, Grebennikov’s compatriot Thibault Rossard scored 24 points, while Emre Batur made 5 winning blocks.
Angelo Lorenzetti, head coach of Itas Trentino: “We had a great match tonight performing a comeback from 0-2 to 3-2 but should not have to forget what we did in the first two sets, where I was not able to give the right indications to the team. However, we must be very happy of the eventual result.”
Hidalgo Oliva, player of Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul: “We started the match on the right foot, taking advantages of the serve. Then Trentino improved their attack and caused us some problems. It was a very conflicted match but in the end this is volleyball. Only a few points made the difference. It was wonderful playing here in Trento, surrounded by this atmosphere.”
2020 Volleyball CEV Champions League, pool stage – Round 2
Jihostroj České Budějovice (CZE) – Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) 1-3 (18:25, 25:21, 13:25, 22:25)
Itas Trentino (ITA) – Fenerbahçe HDI Sigorta Istanbul (TUR) 3-2 (21:25, 23:25, 25:18, 25:17, 16:14)
ACH Volley Ljubljana (SLO) – Kuzbass Kemerevo (RUS) 3-2 (25:23, 25:16, 25:27, 23:25, 19:17)
Fakel Novy Urengoy (RUS) – Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) 3-0 (25:22, 25:18, 25:17)
Jastrzębski Węgiel (POL) – Halkbank Ankara (TUR) 3-0 (25:17, 25:17, 25:21)
VC Greenyard Maaseik (BEL) – Zenit Kazan (RUS) 3-2 (20:25, 18:25, 25:23, 25:22, 20:18)
Benfica Lisboa (POR) – Verva Warszawa Orlen Paliwa (POL) 3-1 (25:19, 25:17, 22:25, 25:21)
Tours VB (FRA) – Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) 0-3 (30:32, 19:25, 18:25)
Knack Roeselare (BEL) – Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle (POL) 0-3 (17:25, 19:25, 21:25)
Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB) – VFB Friedrichshafen (GER) 0-3 (20:25, 21:25, 20:25)
Source and Photos: CEV