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02/12/2019 15:00
Clash between Chemik & Galatasaray highlights European Cups sixteenthfinals
CEV Volleyball Cup 2020 - Women / CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 - Women

Luxembourg, December 2, 2019.  The main phase in the women’s CEV Volleyball Cup 2020 and CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 is set to get underway this week, as most of the sixteenthfinal first-leg games in both competitions are scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The CEV Cup clash between Poland’s Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE and Turkey’s Galatasaray HDI ISTANBUL, two of the big names in European women’s club Volleyball, seems to draw the most attention as the highlight of this week’s programme.


In CEV’s second strongest club competition, the 2019-2020 season actually starts with the sixteenthfinals. 32 elite teams from all over Europe (or 31, after the withdrawal of Romania’s C.S.M. BUCURESTI) are ready to embark on a quest for continental honours.

The duel between Chemik and Galatasaray (18:00 local time at the Netto Arena in Szczecin) is one of the 11 fixtures on Wednesday’s programme. The club from Police returns to the second-tier European club tournament after registering one appearance in the Cup Winners Cup 1993-1994 season. For the past five seasons, Chemik have been part of the top-tier Champions League. They even hosted the Final Four tournament back in 2015. In 2019, they finished fourth in the Polish national league, but claimed both the national cup and the Supercup. Galatasaray have been European Cups regulars since 2010 and have multiple appearances in the Champions League and the CEV Cup as representatives of the strong Turkish national league. They also hosted the Final Four of the Champions League, back in 2013. Galatasaray are two-time silver medallists in the CEV Cup – in 2012 and 2016. In 2019, they also finished fourth domestically.

Interestingly, Chemik are now coached by 33-year-old Turkish specialist Ferhat Akbas, who started his coaching career as a statistician at Galatasaray some 15 years ago. “Galatasaray are a very difficult opponent, especially at their hall, where it can be very hot,” he said for his club’s website after finding out the results of the draw. “However, we do not look at the other side of the net. We play for the win - boldly, without any fears. We will prepare tactically, and then, on the court, we will try to prove that we can be better even than teams considered by many to be favourites.”

At the same time, elsewhere in Poland, another intriguing encounter will be taking place as Developres SkyRes RZESZÓW welcome France's ASPTT MULHOUSE. An all-Croatian clash between OK KAŠTELA and Mladost ZAGREB is also expected to spark extra CEV Cup fever on Wednesday.

In the season opener, Romania’s CSM TARGOVISTE host Fatum NYIREGYHAZA from neighbouring Hungary on December 3 at 18:00 local time. This, in fact, is the only CEV Cup game scheduled on Tuesday. The CEV Cup’s first week will close with the local derby between two representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina - UOK Banjaluka Voley BANJA LUKA and ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BRČKO – on December 5 at 19:00 in Banja Luka, the only match on Thursday’s programme.

Two of the first-round clashes will not start this week, as Switzerland's TS Volley DÜDINGEN host Montenegro's Luka BAR on December 12, while both matches between Ukraine's Orbita ZNU Zodush ZAPORIZHZHYA and last season’s Challenge Cup winners Saugella MONZA of Italy are scheduled to take place in Busto Arsizio on December 17 and 19, the week set for the second-leg fixtures.

Challenge Cup

The season in the Challenge Cup, CEV’s third-tier club competition, has already started with a qualification round, which took place in November, with THY ISTANBUL of Turkey, Olympiacos PIRAEUS of Greece, SIP SEMPETER of Slovenia and Volley LUGANO of Switzerland advancing to the main phase and shaping up the line-up for the sixteenthfinals. The round of 32 has, in fact, already started as well, with Greece’s AO THIRAS Santorini mastering two speedy shutouts of Kosovo’s KV Drita GJILAN last week in Santorini and becoming the first team to secure a spot in the eighthfinals.

One more eighthfinalist will become known this week. It will emerge from the two games between THY ISTANBUL and Spain’s Ibsa CV CCO 7 PALMAS, both of which will take place at 16:30 local time on December 3 and 4 at the Burhan Felek Volleyball Hall in Turkey. The first one will actually open this week’s Challenge Cup programme, which also includes three more matches on Tuesday and 10 more on Wednesday. The week will close with Thursday’s only game, between SIP SEMPETER and Austria's Askö LINZ-STEG, set to start at 18:00 local time in Slovenia.

For more info, go to the CEV Cup 2020 and the CEV Challenge Cup 2020 sections.

News nr. 368 of 11261
02/12/2019 22:00:00
THY ISTANBUL excited to continue their #CEVChallengeCupW adventure
02/12/2019 13:53:00
Anticipation mounts in Lugoj ahead of first-ever European Cup fixture in town
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