Linz vs. Berlin – four ECLW titles in one clashPhoto: PLOHE
This Friday both semi-final games will be held. Linz`s LIU Jia: „Every time we play at home it’s a highlight to us”
First semi-final games of the 2015/16 ECLW will be held this Friday (March 11th), with two former ECLW champions in one clash (Linz AG Froschberg and TTC Berlin Eastside), and actual ETTU Cup winner (Zamek Tarnobrzeg) and newcomer (UCAM Cartagena) in the second one.
Two title pretenders is going to meet in Austria. They won four out of last six ECLW crowns: Linz 2009 and 2013, Berlin 2012 and 2014. Long-time coach of Austrian side BIAN Yadong stressed that the current ECLW top seed must take role of the favorite:
„The both still active two time champions, Linz AG Froschberg and Berlin Eastside always compete at the equal level. This time LINZ is the underdog, because we had already two very close matches against the French teams Lille and Metz. Beside the fact that we are good at matches with this atmosphere, against better ranked teams, we know that we have a chance if we use every chance that we get. Every ball and every set is important, but that’s no problem for us, we have our experiences with that situation. This time will be very interesting if Petrissa SOLJA is going to have one of her good or bad days, because to beat her on a good day is not easiest thing to do.”
LIU Jia had a pivotal role in the semi-final duels against Metz, contributing with all four possible points. Individual European champion from 2005 always has a special feelings in the Froschberg`s hall:
„Every time we play at home it’s a highlight to us, it’s not like playing any Pro tournament, we have had so many fantastic moments here in Linz, so we will stay focused and hungry for the game, that’s what we can do...”
Linz president Günther RENNER explains why he expects tough game for both sides:
„Everything can happen, 0:3 or 3:0, but it’s the semi-final we were hoping for. All the spectators love to see us winning against Berlin, if not – the favourite was better, no big deal”.
Team manager Robert RENNER added:
„Small things can decide that match: who is more tired from the WTTTC in Malaysia, who wants to win more… It will be deciding because some players still hoping for a ticket to Rio2016, I guess for our players is the club maybe a little bit more important than for others, but we will see...”
First leg of the 2015/16 ECLW semi-final
UCAM Cartagena – KTS SPAR-Zamek Tarnobrzeg (March 11th, 18:00)
Linz AG Froschberg – TTC Berlin Eastside (March 11th, 17:00)