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06/02/2013 20:37
Ural UFA downs late-arriving Galatasaray in straight sets
2013 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Ufa, Russia, February 6, 2013. Russia’s Ural UFA easily downed Galatasaray ISTANBUL in the first round of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 1/4 finals doing so in straight sets (25-22, 25-13, and 25-22) to get the right edge before the return match that is coming up next week in Turkey’s megalopolis.
Actually Galatasaray started out very strong and went to the front in the first set (16:13) before Ural opposite, Brazil’s Leandro Vissotto, changed the course of the game and anchored his side to the final 25-22. The players of Galatasaray looked fatigued as they had made it to Ufa only today after yesterday’s flight from Istanbul to Russia was canceled due to weather conditions.  
The second set was literally dominated by Ural UFA as Galatasaray performance was very sloppy in every single fundamental, but mostly in defense. On the other side of the net Andrey Ashchev – currently the best blocker in Russia’s Superleague – and Alexey Spiridonov stood out with the quality of their play thereby helping Ural pocket the second set with the terrific score of 25-13.   
In the third set Galatasaray’s head coach Dragan Nesic decided to substitute Bulgarian opposite Vladimir Nikolov with Kemal Kivanc Elgaz while Maxim Panteleymonenko and Alexey Samoylenko joined the game for Ural UFA. They both played extremely well and they eventually could help Ural go for a well-deserved 3:0 win (25-22).  

“We knew that it was going to be very difficult to win here in Ufa especially as we know the quality and strength of our opponent” said Galatasaray team captain Vladimir Nikolov. “However, we want to mobilize all our forces for the return match and even though our opponent is stronger than us, we’ll do everything we can to call for the golden set”. “We had a very difficult and adventurous journey from Turkey but the most important thing was that today none of our players got injured. If you want to defeat Ural, you must play at 120% of your potential” added Galatasaray mentor Dragan Nesic.

“I am happy with the result and our opponent could not have any training after arriving from Turkey, so that somehow influenced the development of the match. I still think we can play better than we did today in reception as well as in defense” singled out the head coach of Ural, Angiolino Frigoni. “I do know very well that it is very hard to play right after a 5-hour flight. For us the return match in Turkey won’t be easy but we feel ready” concluded home captain Alexey Kazakov.  

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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