Hosts Sastamala Edge PAOK in CEV Champions League Opener

Hosts Sastamala Edge PAOK in CEV Champions League Opener


Sastamala 3 - 2 PAOK
(25 - 19)
(27 - 29)
(33 - 35)
(25 - 23)
(15 - 11)

PAOK’s CEV Champions League season commenced on Tuesday, as they narrowly lost 3-2 in Finland to Sastamala.

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While the Greek champions had a strong start to the first set, trailing only 14-13, it was the Finnish team that would eventually grab the set 25-19. The hosts seemed to be cruising to an easy victory in the second set, as they jumped out to a 19-14 lead. However, PAOK would fight back to cut the deficit to one, at 20-19. PAOK would eventually take the set 27-29, saving two set points along the way.

With the score level at one set apiece, PAOK would edge out Sastamala in the third set, 33-35, to take a 2-1 lead. In that nail-biting set, PAOK would save three set points, and needed a total of eight set points to clinch it. PAOK would go up 5-8 in the fourth set, but just as they seemed to be headed for victory, the Fins hung in there and were able to win the set 25-23, sending the match into a decisive 15-point fifth set.

The fifth set started out even, with the score being 3-3 after six points. However, the Fins would then win the next four points to build a 7-3 lead. After that, they never looked back, taking the set 15-11, thus giving them the match win by an overall score of 3-2.

PAOK will travel to Turkey for their next match against Halkbank Ankara on December 21, where they will hope to get their first Champions League win of the season.

by Andrew Stamas
Image Source: SDNA.gr
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