VaLePa dethrones Tiikerit to claim gold in Finland
Kokkola, Finland, April 28, 2014 - VaLePa Sastamala is the men’s volleyball champion of Finland for 2014. After a long and tough championship series, VaLePa triumphed with the title with four victories to two against defending champions Tiikerit Kokkola.
This final best-of-seven playoff started well for the team from Sastamala. Hosting the first match in Tampere, it defeated the Tigers in straight sets – 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 27-25). The following two matches took place in Kokkola and Tiikerit managed to reverse the lead after 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21) and 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 17-25, 25-17). Back to Tampere, VaLePa provided for another U-turn in the series with two victories – 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-23) and 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-14).
With VaLePa only one win away from the gold, Tiikerit was hoping to once again turn things around by taking advantage of the home court in matches 6 and 7. But the series never got to a seventh game. In front of 2,346 spectators on the stands, the squad from Sastamala managed to register the first away victory in the final – 3-1 (26-24, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19), which was enough to rejoice as champion of the league’s 58th season, leaving Tiikerit with the silver and the team of Hurrikaani Loimaa with the bronze.
In that last game, the 30-point contribution of Olli-Pekka Ojansivu did not suffice for Tiikerit to reach success. Olli Kunnari was VaLePa’s best scorer of the match with 28 points.
This was the second time in history after 2012 that VaLePa wins the title and it is the club’s sixth medal overall. After last year’s gold, this is the second medal for the team from Kokkola.
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