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26/01/2016 17:57
Defending champions BURSA BBSK still in contention for Challenge Cup back-to-back titles
2016 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women

Nantes, France, January 26, 2016. After claiming their home match last week in three sets, last year’s gold medallists BURSA BBSK of Turkey edged once more France’s NANTES VB also in their second matchup, this time by 3-1 (26-24, 24-26, 25-10, 25-22), to move on to the quarter-finals of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Women. A crowd of 3,700 fans was not enough for the hosts to bounce back from their heavy loss last week in Turkey and turn the tide around. BURSA BBSK remain in contention for back-to-back crowns in Europe’s third most prestigious club competition.

BURSA BBSK claimed an early lead (8-5) at the first technical time-out of the opening set but the match remained a close race as NANTES VB stormed back to edge ahead at the second mandatory break (16-15) with the help of Sarka Barborkova and their team captain Marion Gauthier-Rat. NANTES VB build up a small lead (20-18) as the set entered the deciding stage but Serbian star Jelena Nikolic helped BURSA BBSK fight their way back levelling at 20, 22 and 24. The final rally was closed at 26-24 by Joyce Gomes da Silva for BURSA BBSK.

NANTES VB caught a promising start in the second set (6-2) but BURSA BBSK stormed back to make it 8-7 in their favour at the first technical time-out with good blocking contributed by Ipek Soroglu. Nikolic and Soroglu propelled a five-point run by the visitors (13-7) but some mistakes made by the Turks helped the home side stay in the match (16-11). Shanice Marcelle set the pace for NANTES VB as they closed in from 17-14 to 18-17, and even levelled the count at 21-all. The final section of the set was a tense and exciting one, with the score being tied at 23 and 24, before Marcelle provided the local crowd with something to cheer about sealing NANTES VB 26-24 set win.

Visibly annoyed by the setback they had suffered, the players of BURSA BBSK came out with all guns blazing in the third set (8-2, 11-3) with da Silva setting the pace for the visitors. The hosts, on the other hand, seemed to have run out of fuel after two close and physically demanding sets and trailed 16-4 at the second technical time-out. Nikolic and Ciara Michel stretched the lead for BURSA BBSK to 19-6 and even though Marcelle and Els Vandesteene tried to attempt a late comeback, BURSA BBSK stamped a massive 25-10 to secure their progression to the next stage of the competition.

Gözde Dal and Michel set the tempo of the game for BURSA BBSK in set 4 (8-5) but NANTES VB had nothing to lose anymore and so Marcelle and Clémentine Druenne played with all of their hearts to make it 10-all. BURSA BBSK did not want to relinquish their lead and claimed a three-point margin at the second technical time-out; Druenne closed in again for NANTES VB (18-17) and the hosts even edged ahead (20-19) with the help of Barborkova and Nina Stojiljkovic. However, the tie-break the crowd was longing for did not turn into reality as Selime Ilyasoglu closed the game at 25-22 for BURSA BBSK for a 3-1 win by the visiting team.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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