Defending champions Al Arabi Club and Al Rayyan Club will clash for the prestigious Emir Cup Volleyball Championship crown once again after a season’s gap.
At the Qatar Women’s Sports Committee Indoor Hall on Monday, holders and 22-time winners Al Arabi Club rode German Gyorgy Grozer’s blazing spikes and posted a splendid 21-25 25-20 25-17 25-22 win over Police in the second semi-final playoff.
Their one-hour-and-34-minute triumph sealed a 2-0 series triumph and placed Al Arabi Club into a record 29th final, to be held on April 22 (Saturday) at 6.30 pm.
In other last-four-stage playoff, Al Rayyan Club capped a superb team work after having lost the opening set to engineer a 22-25 25-27 25-27 25-19 victory against runners-up El Jaish in one hour and 45 minutes.
Al Arabi Club, who were involved in a thrilling 3-2 victory in the first of the best-of-three semifinals, got a strong start and controlled the proceedings deftly before clinching the first set and putting pressure on the opponents.
Police replied strongly and spiritedly as their both professionals Mads Ditlevesen and Thijs ter Horst fired some exciting smashes and Al Arabi Club could not find adequate solutions to stop them.
After being tied 1-1, Al Arabi Club pressed German Grozer into the attack more and he bore his responsibility admirably and led the team to the 3-1 victory. He contributed a big 28 points, including 24 kills. American Taylor Sander was the next best with 12. Renan Rebeiro and Mohamed Ibrahim supported the duo well, adding valuable nine and eight points, respectively.
For Police, Ter Horst and Ditlevsen got most of their points. Dutch ter Horst collected 19 and Ditlevsen had 18.
Al Rayyan Club, who had crushed El Jaish’s challenge in the opener 3-0, were surprised in the first set as Facundo Conte led the attack. David also provided good support.
But Al Rayyan Club replied with strong counter-attack from the second set onwards and rattled them. They clinched the next two sets easily, after going 16-9 up at one stage in both. In the fourth, Al Rayyan Club first got a 16-7 lead and went 21-13 up later.
However, El Jaish rallied hard, though it was a bit too late. Al Rayyan completed their win in one hour and 45 minutes to book their 25th final. Nikic was the top scorer for the winners with 19. Dusan Petkovic chipped in 16, while Cuban professional Oreol Camejo posted 15. Mubarak Dahi Waleed gathered 12, including seven off blocks.
For El Jaish, Conte and David were the chief scorers with 16 and 10, respectively.
Al Arabi Club beat Police 21-25 25-20 25-17 25-22 in one hour & 34 minutes
Al Rayyan Club beat El Jaish 22-25 25-17 25-17 25-19 in one hour and 45 minutes