Odintsovo, Russia, March 27, 2014. The team of Besiktas ISTANBUL has arrived in Russia ready for a difficult, but successful battle with Zarechie ODINTSOVO for the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women. The first leg of this final clash for the trophy is scheduled for Thursday evening at 19:00 local time (16:00 CET) at the Volleyball-Sports Complex in Odintsovo, with the decisive return match slated for Sunday in Istanbul.
Winning the Challenge Cup would be a historic success for either of the two teams as they have never won any of the European Cups so far. Indeed, for Zarechie this will be the third final in history after finishing as runner-up in the 2007 edition of the same competition, then called the CEV Cup, and in the 2008 edition of the Champions League. The best Besiktas has ever done in continental competitions are the two fourth places, in 1998 and 2001, from Europe’s third ranked club tournament. So being in this season’s final is already a historic success for the Turkish team, but no one from the Istanbul club would mind taking it one step further to claim the Cup.
"We started the season by winning the BVA Cup, which gave us a chance to participate in the Challenge Cup and now we have gone as far down the road as this final,” 21-year-old Besiktas middle blocker Dicle Nur Babat comments. “It would be nice to win the Cup at the end of the road. We have watched many matches of our opponents in the final and I can say we will fight a very strong team which plays with high speed. We have made ourselves familiar with our rival and now our hard work will continue during the match. Our only goal is to come out with a score advantage before the second match in Istanbul. I believe that in the return game at home, with the support of our fans, we will win the Challenge Cup!"
Showing the importance of the upcoming final, Besiktas sports club president Fikret Orman is also travelling with the women’s volleyball team to Odintsovo. “This is the first time I am going somewhere with the volleyball squad,” he admits. “I think the occasion is well worth it. We have an incredible team. They play a spectacular game, enjoyable to watch. Our hearts are beating with desire for victory and craving the trophy. I believe that with the players’ best endeavors and our wholehearted support, it will come to be.”
Click here for more details on today’s final and/or here to watch it live on LAOLA1.tv.