Vipers reach second straight DELO EHF FINAL4
In 2019, Vipers Kristiansand made their debut at the DELO EHF FINAL4, and now they reached that stage for the second time in a row.
Following a 34:27 win on Saturday, the Norwegian side had the upper hand and although the second leg was much more balanced, a 23:23 draw saw Vipers through.
QUARTER-FINALS, SECOND LEG
Rostov-Don (RUS) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 23:23 (11:12)
First leg: 27:34. Aggregate: 57:50 to Vipers
- Vipers enjoyed a perfect start, as Katrine Lunde made five saves in the opening 11 minutes, helping her team to a 7:1 lead
- Rostov started to play more aggressive defence, varying between 4-2 and 5-1, which helped them close the gap
- propelled by Viktoriia Kalinina, who made ten saves, and Grace Zaadi, who scored ten goals, Rostov led by one goal several times in the second half
- Lunde finished the game with 14 saves and a 38 per cent save efficiency, making a big contribution to her team’s progression
- Nora Mørk and Heidi Loke were joint-top scorers for Vipers, with five goals each
Home court did not help Rostov
Rostov played both matches on their home court but it did not give them an advantage as the Russian team failed to reach DELO EHF FINAL4 for the first time since the 2016/17 season.
Of course they were badly missing the injured Anna Vyakhireva, who would certainly have provided more fire power. However, Rostov also made too many defensive mistakes on Saturday and early in the Sunday match and although they improved as the second leg developed, it was far from enough to go through.
I am so proud to be part of a Norwegian team making it to the FINAL4. I haven't played in two months, maybe 10 minutes in practice, then two games in two days. I'm so tired, my head is finished, but I'm so proud, not many thought we would beat Rostov.