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27/11/2019 21:46
CRAIOVA fight back from away loss to qualify for #ChallengeCupM 16th Finals
CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 - Men

Luxembourg, November 27, 2019. Despite losing the previous matchup in Zwettl, SCM “U” CRAIOVA fought their way back to record a 3-0 home victory (25-19, 25-22, 25-19) and claim the all-important Golden Set 15-11 to edge past Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL and secure their spot in the 16th Finals of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 – Men. Their next opponent will be KLADNO Volejbal cz of the Czech Republic. Other teams to qualify for the next round are RENNES Volley 35 of France, Fino KAPOSVAR of Hungary and Turkey’s TOKAT Belediye Plevne.

CRAIOVA had an edge in all aspects of the game, scoring 48 spikes, as well as five aces and nine blocks.

Laurentiu Lica, player of SCM “U” CRAIOVA and best scorer with 22 points: “We were consistent and this has not happened too often this season. I knew we could not afford to make mistakes, since any set lost would have counted enormously. I knew it was a team we could beat and we could eventually qualify for the next round.”
 
Stefan Lupu, player of SCM “U” CRAIOVA: “We are obviously happy with the qualification for the next round. It was a tough match, with suspense at the end, but I am glad we got over the fatigue.”
 
Danut Pascu, coach of SCM “U” CRAIOVA: “We played this game under very high pressure, especially in the Golden Set. I am glad that we won, that we played so efficiently. It was a hard-fought qualification that gives us hope for the future.”

Rudinei Boff, player of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL: “We did not play as well as we did at home and we lost. The opponents have a more technical team and they deserved to qualify.”

It was not a very successful evening for Austrian teams in the competition, since UVC Weberzeile RIED i. I. lost also their re-match with Fino KAPOSVAR of Hungary 1-3 to leave the European stage for this season.


The captain of TOKAT Belediye Plevne, Gökhan Catal, celebrates the success of his team in Hungary

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Turkey’s TOKAT Belediye Plevne beat VRCK KAZINCBARCIKA of Hungary in five sets to secure their spot in the next round. The home fans in Kazincbarcika started the match with a special choreography, because the Hungarian club is celebrating this year the 50th anniversary since its establishment. VRCK claimed the first two sets (25-19, 27-25), but TOKAT responded by sweeping the following two (25-16, 25-23), what was enough for them to go through to the next round, before they celebrated a 3-2 victory.
The best scorer of the match was Marcilio Jose Braga da Silva from VRCK KAZINCBARCIKA with 24 points, but this was not enough for the home side to provide some 600 fans with a joy to celebrate. During the match, there was a fundraising action for Mate Kovacs, a 15-year-old young Volleyball player, who is fighting with leukaemia and is currently undergoing medical treatment in Israel.


A triple block by RENNES Volley 35 on Gabriel Gomes dos Santos of Fonte Bastardo AZORES

RENNES Volley 35 edged Fonte Bastardo AZORES 3-1 to claim a spot in the next round too. The hosts cancelled two set balls for their opponents (23-24, 25-26) in the first set and had to count on 36-year-old Kamil Baranek who scored eight points, including two aces and a block, to turn things around in their favour. RENNES stormed to a 7-3 lead in the second set, and Fonte Bastardo struggled to mount a comeback (16-12). The home side displayed very good reception and their Brazilian opposite Rafael Rodrigues de Araujo started to play well. The French team wasted three set points (24-20, 24-23) before Baranek secured a 25-23 win. At this stage, RENNES Volley 35 had secured their spot in the next round. Their coach, Nikola Matijasevic, was able to give some game time to younger players (Pierre Toledo, Gildas Prévert). João Coelho made some changes as well and Fonte Bastardo managed to win the third set. Finally, RENNES Volley 35 secured a 3-1 win to celebrate with their 1,350 fans in attendance.

“We got the job done. The essential thing was to qualify, and I took the opportunity not to focus on the same players and give time to others. We saw that we were right about Fonte Bastardo; they had a number of assets, including a float service that we rarely see in the French league,” Matijasevic said.

“RENNES is a very strong team, and they lead their championship with the help of very experienced guys. Today, like in the first game, we were not able to stop their opposite [Araujo] and Baranek. They were unstoppable; we were a little bit better organised than in the previous game and we fought well, and especially we had the first set in our hands even though we let it slip away. It is a well-deserved win for RENNES, they were better,” said João Coelho, Fonte Bastardo coach.

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27/11/2019 22:00:00
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