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06/02/2018 22:00
Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS and NANTES VB first to book tickets to #CEVChallengeCupW quarterfinals
2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women

Luxembourg, February 6, 2018. Reigning Greek champions Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS booked a 3-1 away win, while French top squad NANTES VB completed a perfect sweep in front of their home crowd to make the next round in the #CEVChallengeCupW.

Here are the full results and the match reports:


C.S.M. TARGOVISTE (ROU) vs. Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS (GRE) 1-3 (17-25, 25-16, 21-25, 22-25)

Volleyball fans could look forward to a very promising matchup between C.S.M. TARGOVISTE and Greek champions Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS. After the 3-2 away victory in Greece, the Romanian side had an edge in the race for a spot in the quarterfinals of the CEV Challenge Cup. Thus, the spectators in attendance at the sports hall in Targoviste were standing on their feet to cheer the home side on from the very beginning of the game.

The two sides delighted the 1,500 fans in the stands with Volleyball at its finest. Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS, however, started better into the first set and were ahead by 8-3. The team from the harbour town did not hand over the reins and defended their lead to eventually claim the first set 25-17. C.S.M. TARGOVISTE came back stronger in the second set. The home squad dominated the Greek champions all through the set due to a cold-blooded offensive game. Thus, Guillermo Naranjo’s squad managed to build a six-point advantage and to prevail 25-16 in the second set.

Nevertheless, Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS fought their way back into the game due to the overwhelming pipes by German internationals Jana Franziska Poll and Saskia Hippe. It was in the crunch time of the third set when the Greek champions proved the longer wind and decided the set 25-21.

The team from Piraeus kept the pace high, while Guillermo Naranjo’s side started to miss out on big chances in the attacking game. The home squad did not want to give in, despite a 3-8 deficit in the beginning of the fourth set, but once again it was Poll and Hippe who made the difference. The German duo led the Greek champions to a 25-22 win in the fourth set to clinch a berth in the CEV Challenge Cup quarterfinals.

Olympiacos SFP PIRAEUS coach Branko Kovacevic was relieved after the hard-fought victory. “I am sure that Volleyball fans could enjoy two wonderful games, one here in Romania and the other in Greece. It was the first time this season we played such a strong team. I am very glad that we made it to the next round.”

C.S.M. TARGOVISTE captain Milagros Collar, on the other hand, was just grateful for the big support. “I really want to thank our fans for the big support. I am proud of my team, despite today's defeat. We showed that we can compete with the strong teams in Europe.”

NANTES VB (FRA) vs. Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST (HUN) 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-14)

All eyes were on the Jean Jahan of St-Joseph-de-Porterie hall in Nantes on Tuesday evening. After the hard-fought tiebreak win from two weeks ago in Budapest, NANTES VB were poised to book their tickets to the CEV Challenge Cup quarterfinals in front of their passionate 800 spectators.

Sylvain Quinquis’s squad started full steam ahead into the 2nd leg of the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Finals. The “Nantaises” were able put their opponents from the Hungarian capital under pressure with well-timed serves and overwhelming power in the offensive game. The two ace serves by American opposite hitter Katie Lynn Carter that sealed a 25-12 win were the icing on the cake for the home squad in a perfect opening set.

The team from Brittany kept the pace high in the second set. Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST did not find a way to overcome the strong French block. NANTES VB spikers Odette Ndoye and Carter, on the other hand, overwhelmed the Hungarian defence with their powerful spikes to take the French squad to a comprehensive 25-15 win in the second set.

At this stage, NANTES VB were only one set away from reaching the CEV Challenge Cup quarterfinals – and the French squad were poised not to let BUDAPEST take the bread out of their mouth. Ana Tiemi Takagui and Marion Gauthier-Rat nipped the Hungarian attacks in the bud with their impressive performance at the net. As a consequence, NANTES VB eventually prevailed 25-14 to complete a perfect sweep in front of their home crowd.

NANTES VB coach Sylvain Quinquis was satisfied with the performance of his team. “I insisted on a good serving game and a more stable reception than in the first leg. That is what my team eventually did. We knew that we could make the difference in offence. The girls played a good match, now we have to continue in this same way.”

Click here for more information, including schedule, results, stats and photos.

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