Atom Trefl and Igtisadchi complete line-up for Playoffs 12 of women's Champions League
The 12 teams that made the Playoffs 12 are: Rabita BAKU and Omichka OMSK REGION (Pool A); RebecchiNMeccanica PIACENZA and Dinamo MOSCOW (Pool B); VakifBank ISTANBUL and Atom Trefl SOPOT (Pool C); Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL and RC CANNES (Pool D); Galatasaray Daikin ISTANBUL and Prosecco Doc-Imoco CONEGLIANO (Pool E); Dinamo KAZAN and Volero ZÜRICH (Pool F). The last to claim their pass to the Playoffs 12 were Poland’s champions Atom Trefl SOPOT that needed to win one set in their sixth game of the preliminaries with Romania’s Dinamo Romprest BUCURESTI. The Atomic girls looked a little nervous and lost the opening set of their home game at the ERGO Arena but promptly got back on track to win the second and start the party with their many fans.
Actually there was another spot in the Playoffs 12 at stake for one of the above teams will organize the Final Four tournament and thereby skip the Playoffs to be back in action only for the last and final stage of the competition. Azerbaijan’s rookies Igtisadchi BAKU are the “lucky loser” after they finished the prelims with eight points following on their home victory over Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD. They eventually edged the competition brought by their compatriots of Azeryol who looked like the pre-favorites in this race before the last round but who lost in straight sets to last year’s bronze medalists Unendo Yamamay BUSTO ARSIZIO to miss on a spot for the next round.
Azeryol will continue their European campaign in early February by joining the Challenge Round of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Cup together with another three teams that played in the prelims of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League. These are Germany’s DRESDNER SC, Czech champions Agel PROSTEJOV and Romania’s Dinamo Romprest BUCURESTI. They will all wait for the 1/4 finals to be completed in January before they get to know their respective opponent in the Challenge Round.
Back to the Champions League, three teams finished the prelims with an immaculate record of six victories in as many matches, i.e. Rabita BAKU, VakifBank and Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL, with the two sides from Turkey’s megalopolis who dropped only one set on their way to the Playoffs. Turkey and Russia are the only countries with three teams in the knock-out stage, while Italy and Azerbaijan have two apiece. Poland, France, and Switzerland complete the grid with one team each.
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