Lokomotiv Novosibirsk extend Russian supremacy in CEV Volleyball Champions League
Omsk, Russia, March 17, 2013 - It was history in the making on Sunday evening at the V. Blinov sports complex in Omsk as Lokomotiv Novosibirsk won the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League title after a dramatic final that lasted almost two and a half hours.
It was not an easy win for the home team who reached their ultimate goal in their journey by edging out Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo of Italy 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 16-14). With this result Lokomotiv Novosibirsk – who joined Europe’s most prestigious club competition only for the second time in their relatively young history – has also qualified for the 2013 FIVB Club World Championships scheduled for next October. “Loko” is the third Russian team to top the final standings after compatriots Lokomotiv Belgorod (2003 and 2004) and Zenit Kazan (2008 and 2012).
Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo from the Piedmont region fought bravely from the start up to the very end, even resisting three match balls in the tie-break. However the home heroes finally regained the upper hand to the joy of more than 5,000 fans.
“This is a dream that comes true” MVP Marcus Nilsson said. “I still can’t believe that I have won the Champions League and was also voted MVP. The final match was a fantastic game with our fans cheering on us all the way through. Once the Russian Superleague comes to an end, I will go back to Sweden and get ready for the World Championship qualifier taking place in my hometown, Halmstad. It’s going to be very special to represent Sweden’s national team there” he added.
Last year’s winners, Zenit Kazan, did manage to take home their fourth European medal from the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League – a bronze – after edging Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle of Poland 3:1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17) on the last day of action in Omsk.
The Tatars did sometimes lack consistency in much the same way as they did in Saturday’s match against compatriots of Lokomotiv Novosibirsk. But with a couple of changes to their starting six – which included the valuable additions of Yury Berezhko and David Lee – they eventually cruised to a well-deserved win. Unfortunately for Zaksa – celebrating its third appearance in a final four tournament – the work of top scorer Antonin Rouzier (14 points) and the always outstanding Brazilian wing-spiker Luis Felipe Fonteles was just not enough for the team to make it to the podium for the first time since 2003.
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