NANTES wants to fight back to make Challenge Cup final
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Nantes, France, February 28, 2014. On Saturday France’s NANTES Rezé Métropole will vie for a spot in the final of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup trying to surge back after losing the first leg of the semifinal with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Grundig ISTANBUL.
After losing 1:3 on Wednesday to Fenerbahce, NANTES has only one option, i.e. to win the return game by 3:0 or 3:1 to call for a golden set. The team is currently ranked fourth in the national league and already claimed a golden set victory in the 1/8 finals as they hosted Finland’s Tiikerit KOKKOLA. The sports hall in Rezé shall be packed with more than 1,200 fans trying to push their heroes to what would be their best result ever in the European Cups.
Fenerbahce is definitely the toughest opponent that NANTES has played this year as the Turkish heavyweight – who got the right to play in the Challenge Cup after winning the BVA Cup – has a roster full of international stars. Ivan Miljkovic scored 35 points on Wednesday to pace Fenerbahce to their 3:1 home victory and compensated for the absence of Cuban-born Leonel Marshall, who missed out on the first leg of the semis due to illness. However, head coach Daniel Castellani will be able to rely on the complete roster for the game in France.
On the other hand NANTES will be missing two key players: Slovak Stefan Chrtiansky is still injured while Israeli wing-spiker Alexander Shafranovich got injured before the game in Istanbul and his availability for the home match is not confirmed yet. Still the players mentored by head coach Martin Demar have nothing to lose and will be trying to delight the home crowd at the Arthur Dugast sports hall in Rezé.