After a blistering match end and an impressive comeback, Haasrode Leuven has taken the measure of Maaseik. It was a two-faced match, but after trailing 0-2, VHL corrected the situation with a win in the tiebreak as icing on the cake.
The first good news of the evening was the return of Simon Peeters. The reception corner player turned out to be fully recovered from a nasty upper leg injury and was allowed to try to make a difference against his former team.
Still, it was the Limburgers who got off to a good start. VHL played well until 8-9, but Ferre Reggers and the Greek Protopsaltis were unstoppable at times. Maaseik also seemed a size too big in set two, although it was also not put under pressure enough. “We got off to a hesitant start, although this was certainly to their credit”, Simon Peeters looked back. “We didn’t find the storage pressure we hoped to develop that put them in a seat. Berre Peters and myself also had a hard time scoring. In short, we took too many risks and therefore ended up in a negative atmosphere from which they could draw the necessary courage.”
Great first half of the season
But in set three, the team from Leuven changed the gun, thanks in part to Daan De Saedeleer’s clever substitution for that other middle man Lennert Van Elsen. The visitors’ block-defense dominance fizzled out, as VHL increased serve pressure and smelled blood. “We started serving better and more tactically and mainly targeted their libero (Ottevanger, khk) who had a very difficult time”, says Peeters. “In addition, we got into our game better due to a strong reception, so that Matthias Valkiers started to divide the game in an impressive way.”
The result: the offensive efficiency also increased. In set three, for example, Tuerlinckx, De Paepe, De Saedeleer and Valkiers scored 100 percent and thanks to a strong follow-up including four aces and the same number of killblocks, a tiebreak was pulled out of the fire. In this, Hendrik Tuerlinckx showed that he is invaluable with an offensive 8 out of 8. “Our captain played his best period at Roeselare at the level”, said a satisfied coach Kris Eyckmans.
“This was a nice win. And above all, coming back from 0-2 and then winning 3-2, that’s pretty intense”, Peeters added with a hoarse voice. “That is purely from the emotion, Maaseik is my ex-team after all, and the fatigue (laughs). We have all given an enormous amount and then the discharge afterwards is all the greater. Perhaps this was also our reference match. If we can now confirm against Borgworm and Menen, we can really speak of a great first half of the season”, Peeters concluded.