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02/12/2014 23:56
Czechs stay true to tradition as Dukla downs Omonia
2015 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Nicosia, Cyprus, December 2, 2014.  Dukla LIBEREC scored an important victory, defeating Omonia NICOSIA by 3:1 (20-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-21) and taking a first step towards a berth in the eighthfinals of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men.  The win extended Dukla’s winning streak against Cypriot clubs to six since they first played on the Mediterranean island in 1994.  Historically, Czech and Czechoslovak clubs have won all 11 of their matches against Cypriot teams ever since 1989, dropping just three sets (including tonight’s) along the way.

With their Brazilian star Reinaldo De Outeiro Da Silva heading the scoring and keeping the reception steady, Omonia got off to a great start in the first set.  They kept Dukla at bay for a 24-18 lead and a 25-20 finish.  But with Reinaldo’s performance going downhill after that, and the Czechs increasing pressure with their serving (and subsequently their blocking), Dukla gained an early lead in the second set, which they kept throughout to finish at 25-23 and tie the overall score at 1:1.

Omonia led again through most of the third set, but it was Dukla that first reached set point.  The Cypriots cancelled two of those and even had one of their own at 26-25, before Adam Zajicek scored an ace and Lubomir Stanek stopped Achilleas Petrakidis for the first time in the match with a brilliant stuff to finish the set at 28-26.  Omonia once more took an early lead in set 4, but by the second technical time-out Dukla was completely in control and brought the game home at 25-21.

Adrian Patucha led the scoring for Dukla with 16 points, although Achilleas Petrakidis, with 23, Reinaldo, with 21, each scored more for Omonia.

“It was a very difficult win for us, because Omonia have an excellent float serve,” said Dukla’s head coach Michal Nekola after the win.  “After the first set, however, we improved our serving and our defense to take the match.  We now expect a huge crowd in the return match at home and we very much look forward to qualifying for the next round.”

The return leg is in two weeks’ time in Liberec, with Dukla needing just two sets to qualify.  The qualifying team from this tie will play either Italy’s CMC RAVENNA or Estonia’s Bigbank TARTU in the eighthfinals.

Click here for more details including match statistics.

Picture: Dukla’s Jan Galabov attacks against the block of Omonia

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