Generali Haching upset at home against SCC Berlin
Generali Sport Arena, Unterhaching, April 19 - Generali Haching lost the first semifinal game against Berlin 3-1 (22-25, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25) in the Volleyball Bundesliga Playoffs.
There was suspense in the arena; everyone knew how important this game was between two of the year's best teams. In the opening set, the match was close until 16-16 and then began the Salvador Hidaldo show. The Berlin player from Cuba made 4 points in a row including 3 aces. The Bavarians tried to catch up and came back to 21-22, but it was not enough and the visitors won the set 22:25.
At the beginning of the second set, Haching could not handle the pressure from the Berlin service game. Hidalgo was not to be stopped and the visitors went up 2-0 by winning the second set 19-25. In the third set, Haching still struggled and fell behind 13-16. Mihai Paduretu's team rallied thanks to Aussie Paul Carroll, who scored the important points to draw. Haching's block worked as well and they won 25-22.
In the fourth set Berlin continued their solid performance and finished off the higher seed 22-25 in the set and the match won 3-1.
"They were better tonight," admitted Haching coach Paduretu. "They had more pressure with the serve and Hidalgo's serves were crucial in the first set. They had aces and blocks and that was decisive."
"I don't know what happened with us tonight," said Haching setter Branislav Skladany, "but we'll win in Berlin," he promised.
"Today was important because we won away," exclaimed Hidalgo. "It will be an important game on Saturday and we don't think about what happened tonight. The kills, blocks, the defense and the serves were excellent tonight."
Game two of this semifinal series is on Saturday at 19:30 in Berlin.