Youngsters of Topvolley Callant ANTWERP beat Serbian national champs
2017 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men
Antwerp, Belgium, January 6, 2017. On Thursday night Belgium’s Topvolley Callant ANTWERP put on a show rallying to a comprehensive 3-0 home victory (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) over Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD of Serbia in the first of two matches on schedule for the 16th Finals of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men. The rematch will follow in two weeks in the Serbian capital where the players of Crvena Zvezda will be able to count on their always passionate fans in an attempt to go for an all-deciding golden set.
Crvena Zvezda claimed an early 4-1 lead in the first set but ANTWERP team captain Jolan Cox was just unstoppable, thus contributing to a 19-14 advantage for the home side. Crvena Zvezda fought back with the help of their opposite Aleksandar Blagojevic and after improving their reception, the visitors made it a close end of the set. Once again it was Cox who hammered the ball down the floor to make it 25-23 for ANTWERP in the end.
The second set was a close race too with Crvena Zvezda leading by 19-17 going into the ‘money time’. Cox rose to the occasion again and a few kill blocks helped ANTWERP flip the charts around and take the second set by 25-23 as well.
The third set was more one-sided with the hosts leading 8-4 and 20-15; however, ANTWERP made some service mistakes and BEOGRAD closed in (20-18) before the hosts got back on track to seal a well-deserved 3-0 victory (25-22).
“After our loss in the semis of the Belgian Cup our players had a few days off so we did not know how they would perform tonight,” said Topvolley Callant ANTWERP General Manager Tim Verreth after the match. “Though we were missing Simon Peeters who is away with the U21 national team, we delivered a solid performance. We had ups and downs, but in the end we achieved a good result. It is not the first time this season that our young team shows its potential against a strong team, like the Serbian reigning national champions. We are happy with the result and the performance but we know we have a challenging away match ahead and we are still far from having secured our progression to the next round.”
Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match