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CAI Voleibol Teruel wins Spanish league in a memorable final

CAI players celebrate withe their hard-earned trophy

Teruel, Spain, May, 8 2014 - The most thrilling final of the decade in Spanish men’s volleyball reached its zenith this Wednesday with the proclamation of CAI Voleibol Teruel as the new league champions.

The team from Teruel beat Unicaja Almeria 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 26-24) in the decisive fifth and final match of the title playoffs and topped a memorable season in Spanish volleyball.

The teams of CAI Voleibol Teruel and Unicaja Almeria starred in an exciting final playoff, which never in the last ten years of the Spanish national league a men’s competition reached a fifth game in the final knockout phase.

The clash for the Superliga crown had as main characters the same finalists as the last six editions of the tournament, since both squads have appeared as the main dominators of men’s Spanish volleyball in the last seasons.

The first two matches of the 2014 final playoff took place in the northern city of Teruel, where Unicaja Almeria soon stripped away their rivals from their home ground advantage. The 3-1 (15-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20) victory in the first clash, in a game determined by the outstanding performance of Brazilian Guilherme Hage, gave the team from Almeria the lead in the series. 

CAI Voleibol Teruel was able to come back in the second match, beating its archrivals 3-0 (34-32, 25-16, 25-21).  One key factor of the playoffs was the sensational role of CAI’s setter Victor Viciana who was the main cause of the result.

The extreme parity of the series was clearly revealed as the playoff transferred to Almería.  In the third match, Unicaja reasserted their lead in the round with a cardiac triumph – 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13).  When the defending champions seemed well on the way to their 10th title, CAI produced another turnaround, winning the fourth match 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-16) and sending the series to a tie-breaking fifth game.

A  packed Los Planos sports hall in Teruel with 3,500 enthusiastic spectators, carried CAI Voleibol on its ebullient wings to the league crown.

Setter Victor Viciana, declared MVP of the tournament, led the team to a victory in three sets in the crucial clash, despite the continuous efforts by Unicaja to produce a momentous upset.  However, the Teruel fans and the abilities of an inspired Viciana put a triumphant end to a dramatic final. CAI Voleibol Teruel claims its fifth national league title, thus recovering the dominance of Spanish Superliga.

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