Kertu Laak and her Italian Serie A1 volleyball club Chieri '76 finished their back-to-back with Scandicci, finishing both matches with comeback victories.
The 22-year old Laak played well in Sunday's match against Scandicci, leading Chieri to a 3:1 (-22, 32, 17, 20) victory. The Estonian joined the game after usual starter Kaja Grobelna struggled and took over from there, leading Chieri in points (+13) and bringing Chieri back from being down 0:1 to start the match.
"I knew I had to stay ready. We had had quite a few games in a row and the players who have been in the line-up over the last games are getting tired. I felt very good in practice this week and felt I hit on things during training. Once I got on the court, I tried to do my part and everything went well in that sense. There were not a lot of mistakes and I am glad that the second game went to us. It was a long game (34:32) and I think that is where the victory came from," Laak told Vikerraadio on Monday.
With Grobelna struggling recently, Laak feels like her goal of gaining more playing time and taking advantage of her opportunities is closer by the day. "The season has gone uphill in the sense that last season started as well, but I had a slight injury. This year has been more stable and I have been in the line-up for almost the entire season. I finally have a full season-like feeling," Laak noted.
A rubber match on Thursday with Scandicci, who follows Chieri in the season standings at fifth, ended with Chieri taking another win after being down to start the match, this time a 0:2 deficit.
Similarly to the first match, Laak joined the action from the bench, replacing Grobelna. Laak collected 16 points (+8) to end the match after joining the match in the second game.
Chieri now sits fourth for the Serie A1 season with 34 points, followed closely by Scandicci. Their fourth position is made more important by the fact that the first four teams automatically clinch a spot in the play-offs. Conegliano is still comfortably ahead with 57 points, an undefeated season to boot, followed by Novara and Monza with 46 and 42 points, respectively.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste