Galatasaray return to European Cups semis after 17 years
2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Istanbul, Turkey, March 1, 2017. Galatasaray HDI ISTANBUL progressed to the semis of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men after claiming also the re-match of their quarterfinal fixture with Israel’s Maccabi TEL-AVIV 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-17).
The last time Galatasaray had made it this far in the European Cups was back in the 1991-1992 season, where they made it to the semis of the CEV Cup together with Bayer WUPPERTAL, Giotto PADOVA and Sky Volley PARMA. In the 1999-2000 season, the Turks progressed to the Final Four tournament of the Cup Winners’ Cup but lost to PARIS Volley 0-3 and had to bid farewell to the competition.
Galatasaray HDI were determined to make history and played a well-organised game. In the first set, they made up for their mistakes from the service line with their imposing blocks. It was a close affair as Maccabi had great serve rounds with Andjelko Cuk and their captain Mark Plotyczer before Galatasaray HDI won the set 27-25.
In the second set, the hosts managed to make way less mistakes, while forcing Maccabi to make more. Galatasaray HDI paved their way towards the semis after winning the second set 25-19. The hosts played the third set with their younger players, who delivered a very solid performance, much to the delight of the fans and club officials. The youngsters rallied to a 25-17 win, thus sealing a 3-0 victory for Galatasaray.
After the match, team captain Hüseyin Koç stressed the importance of making it to the Challenge Cup semi-finals. “We are not in a good position in the Turkish championship. Our fans are not happy, and we know that. We are working hard to change this. It is our main goal to perform well in the Challenge Cup. The next round will be tough. We will start working on it right away.”
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