Budvanska Rivijera and TOURS VB cause major sensations of Champions League second round
Budvanska Rivijera BUDVA and TOURS VB were the sides that upset more decorated opponents on Wednesday. France’s vice-champions delivered a world-class performance to delight more than 2,500 home fans as they beat Italy’s heavyweight Copra Elior PIACENZA at the tie-break to keep an immaculate record of two wins in as many matches in Pool A. Budvanska Rivijera, on the other hand, showed that this season they are a force to be reckoned with as they followed on their home victory from last week over Jihostroj CESKE BUDEJOVICE playing a superb game in Poland to edge the local heroes of Asseco Resovia RZESZOW at the tie-break as well.
There are six more teams who have a perfect record of two wins so far, with Russia’s standout Belogorie BELGOROD, Italy’s Diatec TRENTINO and Lube Banca Marche MACERATA, as well as Turkey’s star-studded team Halkbank ANKARA, Knack ROESELARE and Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE all with two victories to their credit. Belogorie did show no mercy for Greece’s Olympiacos PIRAEUS with another straight victory while TRENTINO routed Swiss rookies Energy Investments LUGANO in consecutive scores as well. MACERATA still has not conceded any set to their opponents for the Italians downed Posojilnica AICH/DOB 3:0 to follow on their home victory over Zenit KAZAN. Halkbank ANKARA had to fight hard in their away game in Romania but eventually edged Tomis CONSTANTA 3:1 to confirm their status as contender for the crown that will be at stake in March 2014.
In what was the most anticipated match of the second round, starring last year’s bronze and gold medalists, Zenit KAZAN beat compatriots and archrivals Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK 3:1 to get back on track after their shocking straight-set defeat to MACERATA.
The women’s competition has seen less surprises and the hierarchy has so far been respected with eight teams with an unblemished record of two wins in as many matches, including last year’s silver medalists Rabita BAKU and world champions VakifBank ISTANBUL who – with their home victory over Dinamo Romprest BUCURESTI – prolonged their positive streak to 56 matches. Dinamo KAZAN, RC CANNES, Atom Trefl SOPOT, Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL all have claimed two wins each so far with that same feat achieved by two rookies who are debuting this year in Europe’s elite club competition, Igtisadchi BAKU and Italy’s Prosecco Doc-Imoco CONEGLIANO that on Tuesday won the Italian derby with 2013 bronze medalists Unendo Yamamay BUSTO ARSIZIO. Igtisadchi BAKU – one of three teams representing Azerbaijan in the competition – edged Dinamo MOSCOW to show they also are a force to be reckoned with this year.
Three more rookies – Italy’s RebecchiNMeccanica PIACENZA, Russia’s Omichka OMSK REGION and Stiinta BACAU of Romania – had something special to celebrate over the last days for they all won their respective home debut in the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.
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