MANILA, Philippines — PacificTown Army import Olena Lymareva-Flink offered no excuses after the Lady Troopers fell in four sets to Creamline in Game 1 of their semifinal series in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
Ukraine’s Lymareva-Flink did what she could to carry Army. She exploded for 31 points on 25 kills, 4 aces, and 2 blocks, repeatedly firing up the Lady Troopers’ comeback attempts.
Unfortunately for the import, her efforts weren’t enough as they fell short, 24-26, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25, allowing Creamline to move to within a win of a finals appearance.
“I think that Creamline was better today, they played together as a team. We couldn't reach this today,” Lymareva-Flink said after the game.
“Quite many times, we've been just separate players on the court, but not a team, I think. This was missing today. Creamline was, I think, better today,” she admitted.
The reinforcement was quite disappointed, however, in their poor execution down the stretch — especially given their level of experience. In Set 1, they saved two set points to force deuce, only to give up a kill to Kuttika Kaewpin and for Lymareva-Flink to commit an error.
They also fell short of a comeback in the second set, with the Cool Smashers pulling away late.
“Well, normally when you have experienced players on the court, you should win these all the time,” Lymareva-Flink said of the close sets.
“I really don't know why it didn't work today,” she added.
Even the third set, which they won, was problematic for Lymareva-Flink. The Lady Troopers had already pulled ahead, 19-11, before allowing Creamline to knot the count at 22.
“Also I'm little bit angry that third set of course, we won that, but we were leading six points or so. And after that Creamline got so tight after that,” said Lymareva-Flink.
“Really, I don't know, just like sometimes we are playing, playing, everything working good, everything working better and better,” she said.
“But after that, just stop and some moment, everybody just stuck. Balls breaking down between two players,” the import then lamented.
All is not lost for Army, however. They were a few breaks away from upsetting Creamline in Game 1, and they get another chance on Saturday in Game 2.
Lymareva-Flink said they remain positive even as they have yet to win against the Cool Smashers this tournament.
“Of course, of course,” said the import if she is still optimistic. “All the time.”
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