Allianz MTV Stuttgart determined in the away-match of the semi-final phase on Tuesday night, when they triumphed another victory over Mladost Zagreb, that they will be advancing to the finals, while Mladost will have to end an otherwise very successful European Cups campaign. Also, the second finalist Allianz MTV STUTTGART had to win only two sets to celebrate a progress to the finals and they quickly completed this mission in the match against Mladost Zagreb. The German side showed great team efforts and powered by their captain Krystal Rivers, who topped the scorers chart with 16 points, they were unstoppable. Their impressive attack was a key to victory, Stuttgart outclassed Zagreb in this component – 50 winning spikes to 21! The first final clash will be played on March 15, a decisive re-match one week later on March 22.
A week before, in the first match-up between these two teams, Allian MTV Stuttgart seized important 3-1 victory, so they needed two sets won in front of home crowd at SCHARRena STUTTGART. Already the first balls of this encounter showed that both teams are extremely eager to fight for every point and although it was Allianz MTV Stuttgart to take an early 10-5 lead, Mladost Zagreb was doing their very best to shorten the distance (10-8). However, the hosts have had bigger potential and it was clearly visible on the court. Simone Lee was a leader of the team having 7 points to her name, but actually it was all about team efforts. Stuttgart quickly ran away with the score, reaching a seven-point margin at 20-13. The efficiency in attack was the biggest difference in the opener, as Stuttgart recorded an impressive 20 points to only 8 on the side of Mladost.
The hosts kept the momentum and in the second set they pushed even harder, especially that they needed to win only two sets (as their first match-up ended with 3-1 win) to already secure a spot in the final. Powered by their star Krystal Rivers (100% of success in attack, six winning spikes out of six) they were scoring several points in a row. On the other side, Mladost couldn’t find an answer, having only one player Dinka Kulic who was able to hammer attacks (7 points), the other three players from Zagreb who managed to score, had only one point apiece to their names. With 20-12 on the scoreboard, Stuttgart quickly earned an emphatic set win and stamped their ticket to the final.
Sparked by their home crowd and their big achievement, Allianz MTV Stuttgart was even more motivated to complete their task in three sets. The visiting team, even if still willing to fight, seemed to be powerless against spirited hosts, who took a ten-point lead at 15-5 and stormed to a comprehensive 3-0 win, using the first match point. Captain Krystal Rivers became a hero of her team and a top scorer of Allianz MTV Stuttgart with 16 points – all from spikes and 73% of success in attack to her name.