Rabita Baku claimed the bronze medals of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women, AzerTag state news agency reported.
The Azerbaijani champions shut out Turkey`s Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul by 3:0 (25-21, 25-12, 27-25) in Sunday`s classification match of the home Final Four tournament at the Crystal Hall to find some consolation after their heavy semifinal loss.
Rabita could not hold on to an early 4-1 lead and allowed to opponent to momentarily gain the advantage at 5-6
. However, a 4-point run gave the home side another advantage and they did not let it go through the end. Despite Eczacibasi`s better blocking performance, Rabita`s more successful efforts in spiking and serving paid off with a 25-21 at the end of the set. The next one featured total domination of Rabita, blocking and attacking way more efficiently, from the very beginning through the final 25-12, shaped up by Aurea Cruz`s elegant hit off the opponent`s block.
The third set was by far the most interesting one in the match. There was a tough battle on the court for every point as Eczacibasi tried to turn things around with more aggressive spiking, but made too many unforced errors. After several changes in the lead, Rabita allowed a 16-12 lead slip away to prompt an exciting over-time ending. The home side did not take advantage of the first two set points, but then finished it all off with a kill block by TeTori Dixon to give a green light to the celebrations.
Katarzyna Ewa Skowronska-Dolata topped the scorers` chart of the match with 15 points. Teammate Aurea Cruz contributed another 12 to Rabita`s victory, while Neslihan Demir was Eczacibasi`s most prolific player with 11 points.