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14/02/2020 13:00
Golden set comeback from 7-12 highlights European Cups eighthfinals
CEV Volleyball Cup 2020 - Men / CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 - Men

Luxembourg, February 14, 2020.  While the first-leg results in the eighthfinals of the men’s CEV Volleyball Cup 2020 hinted correctly at the eventual winners of the series and the second-leg matches delivered no surprises, some intriguing turnarounds sparked lots of excitement in the return games of the eighthfinals in the men’s CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020, including Spor Toto SC Ankara’s glorious comeback from 7-12 in the golden set, as the quarterfinal match-ups in both competitions were determined this week.



CEV Cup


Last year’s CEV Cup finalists Galatasaray HDI Istanbul survived a major scare as they visited C.S. Municipal Arcada Galati with a 3-0 advantage from the first leg at home. The Romanians took a two-set lead and got close to prompting a golden set, before the Turkish team regained control by winning sets three and four, thus booking their spot in the quarterfinals. With 27 points from Niels Klapwijk, who skipped the tie-breaker, Arcada exited the competition with a 3-2 (25-17, 25-15, 18-25, 23-25, 15-8) victory. On Galatasaray’s side, Oliver Venno impressed with five aces (four of them in the game-changer third set) towards a match total of 20 points. An interesting all-Turkish quarterfinal clash was set up as Arkas Izmir powered through to a second win over Germany’s United Volleys Frankfurt, this time at home by 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-22) on the wings of a 24-point contribution from Adis Lagumdzija.

Similar to Galatasaray, France’s GFC Ajaccio had to wake up after losing the first two sets at Mladost Brcko to win the next two and avoid a risky golden set on the way to the quarterfinals. With 20 points from Jovan Delic, the Bosnian team took a 3-2 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 12-25, 17-15) victory, but should regret wasting the 23-22 advantage they had in the third set, when they were so close to reversing the course of the series after the four-set loss in France. Ajaccio registered an amazing team achievement of 22 stuff blocks during the five sets in Brcko. In the quarterfinals, they will go against Italy’s Leo Shoes Modena, who allowed their Czech hosts VK Ostrava to win only one set in their second encounter, advancing with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-9) victory.



Jerome Claude Pierre Clere scored 24 points towards Hypo Tirol AlpenVolleys Haching’s 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 25-14, 21-25, 15-11) home win over Barkom-Kazhany Lviv. After having shut out their opponents in the first game in Ukraine, the German side advanced to a quarterfinal battle with Zenit Saint Petersburg. The Russian squad cruised to a second straight-set victory over Montenegro’s OK Budva, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-21), in the second leg at home.

The other Russian team in the competition, Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, secured their spot among the last eight after winning the first two sets at Draisma Dynamo Apeldoorn and despite losing the next one, went on to emerge with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20) match win over the Dutch opponents en route to a quarterfinal encounter with Belgium’s Lindemans Aalst, who managed a second victory over Croatia’s Mladost Zagreb, this time at home by 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 25-13).




Challenge Cup

Coming home from a catastrophic shutout in Poland, Turkey’s Spor Toto SC Ankara found the strength to hammer out a 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22) victory over Aluron Virtu CMC Zawiercie. In the golden set that followed, the hosts came back from a 7-12 deficit to emerge with a 15-13 win and an opportunity to face Czechia’s VK CEZ Karlovarsko in a battle for a spot among the best four of the tournament. The squad from Karlovy Vary built upon the straight-set win at home with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23) away at Romania’s ACS Volei Municipal Zalau to advance to the quarterfinals.

After losing the first match in five sets at home, Saaremaa VC looked pretty much doomed ahead of their return visit to Unicaja Costa de Almeria. However, the Estonian squad delivered a 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-16) upset of their Spanish hosts in the second match and qualified for a difficult quarterfinal encounter with Allianz Powervolley Milano. The Italians faced few issues on the way to a second straight-set win over Croatia’s Mladost Ribola Kastela – 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-16) at home in Milan.



BDO Volley Haasrode Leuven also managed to reach a golden set in their match-up with Penzugyor Budapest. After losing in four sets in Hungary, the Belgian side returned the favour with a nail-biting 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 35-33) victory in the second leg at home, where each set was resolved by a two-point margin and three of the four went into overtime. In the decider, however, the Hungarians recovered with a 15-12 win to triumph as quarterfinalists. The five sets became the track of a spectacular scoring race between two opposing outside spikers. Penzugyor’s William Reffatti da Costa came out on top with 35 points, while Haasrode’s Seppe Baetens tallied “only” 31 on the other side of the net. Next, the squad from Budapest will lock horns with last season’s semifinalists Sporting Club Lisboa. The team from Lisbon had shut out their hosts Kladno Volejbal cz in the first match and could afford a 2-3 (25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 14-25, 12-15) loss to the Czech opponents in the second game at home in Portugal. Stefan Okosanovic impressed with 31 points for Kladno.

An all-French duel shaped up in one of the quarterfinal match-ups. Montpellier Castelnau UC followed up on their straight-set home win over SAMEN. Lycurgus Groningen with a 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 28-26) away victory in the Netherlands, while Rennes Volley 35 did it the other way around – following up on a four-set away victory with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-21) home win over Slovakia’s VKP SPU Nitra.




The first leg of the quarterfinals in both competitions is set to take place from February 25 through 27, and the second leg is set to be played from March 3 through 5.


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


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