Fenerbahce claims first semifinal round with NANTES Rezé Métropole
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Istanbul, Turkey, February 26, 2014. On Wednesday Turkey’s Fenerbahce Grundig ISTANBUL edged past France’s NANTES Rezé Métropole 3:1 (25-21, 25-17, 20-25, and 25-15) to claim the first leg of this year’s CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup semifinals, waiting for the return game coming up on Saturday.
The game started with a first point scored by Ivan Miljkovic; helped by some mistakes made by their French opponents, Fenerbahce set the pace of the game at the first technical time-out (8:6) but after the break the score got very tight (15:14) with both teams making errors with their respective players standing behind the service line. However, Fenerbahce showed a great performance in defense in the remainder of the set and this way could wrap it up at 25-21.
Spaniard Iban Perez set the tempo of the game in the early phases of the second set for NANTES but Fenerbahce had already flipped the charts around by the time the first technical time-out was called (8:7). Ivan Miljkovic was simply not to stop as he scored 10 points all alone in this set, well supported by the defensive play of team captain Arslan Eksi (25-17).
Things changed in the third set where Perez once more was NANTES most prolific player and the Frenchmen called for the first technical time-out leading the way by 8:7. Fenerbahce, on the other hand, was struggling in reception and their head coach Daniel Castellani stopped the game as his side was trailing 13:17 later in the set. However, this break could not change the course of the game with NANTES killing a series of blocks and Perez being again very effective to call for a fourth set (20-25).
Fenerbahce got back on track right from the beginning of the fourth set where the winners of the 2013 BVA Cup were paced by their Brazilian wing-spiker Felipe Fonteles (8:5). NANTES could no longer find a way to stop their opponents’ superb performance and Fenerbahce cruised to a 3:1 victory (25-15) to make a step forward on their way to the final where they would play the winners of the clash starring another Turkish team, ISTANBUL BBSK, and Italy’s Andreoli LATINA.
Ivan Miljkovic (pictured) tallied up 35 points in the end for Fenerbahce while Iban Perez paced NANTES with 22.
“We believe we can deliver another strong performance also in France and I am convinced that we stand a good chance to seize the trophy” said Fenerbahce team captain Arslan Eksi.
“NANTES is the toughest opponent we got to play so far this season and we are evidently happy with this victory and the final score” commented libero Ramazan Serhan Kilic.
“We played well tonight and we won the game but the return match in France won’t be easy at all” concluded wing-spiker Turgay Dogan.
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