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01/03/2018 22:16
Olympiacos rout MENEN to claim #CEVChallengeCupM semi-final spot
2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Piraeus, Greece, March 1, 2018. Olympiacos PIRAEUS progressed to the semis of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men following a comprehensive 3-0 home victory (25-17, 25-19, 25-21) over Belgium’s PAR-KY MENEN. Olympiacos will be playing Russia’s Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT in the semis for a spot in the very last stage of the competition. More than 1,000 fans attended the match at Melina Merkouri sports hall in Rentis and did not stop rooting for the home side for a single moment as the hosts delivered a great performance and performed at an extremely high level. After taking the first two sets, Olympiacos had secured their progression to the next round as they had previously claimed a 3-1 win in the away match in Belgium.  

•    Georgios Petreas was the ‘man of the match’ in the first set scoring eight points, including four blocks and one ace, and registering a 50% success rate in attack.
•    It took only 69 minutes for Olympiacos to claim a 3-0 victory.
•    Julien Winkelmuller of PAR-KY MENEN top scored in the match with 22 points.
•    The home side’s setter Fabian Drzyzga delivered an outstanding performance, orchestrating their game in style – with Todor Aleksiev, Jeroen Rauwerdink and Georgios Petreas all scoring 10 times apiece as Mikko Oivanen and Marcus Böhme added eight points each to the count of the hosts.  
•    Olympiacos out-blocked their Belgian opponents 10 to 4.

Ratko Peris, head coach of PAR-KY MENEN: “We tried our best while playing against Olympiacos that is a great team. There are no regrets, since we did the best we could at this stage. We had a problem with our best middle blocker that did not travel to Greece for the game; my setter suffered an injury as well in the first set. Congratulations to Olympiacos. I hope they will win the Challenge Cup and their national championship as well this year. At last, I have to say that I feel lucky that I could be here and experience that warm atmosphere, something truly special! It is good to be here!”

Julien Winkelmuller, player of PAR-KY MENEN: “We knew that against Olympiacos it would be a tough game. We could not count on our captain for this game, but we came here to fight. Olympiacos is a better team than ours is and we knew it already. We are happy with our game, we tried hard and I think this is the most important for us. We are happy despite the loss.”

Fernando Munoz Benitez, head coach of Olympiacos: “We played very concentrated, technically as well as tactically. We did what we had to do to control the match. Overall, it was a very good game. I am very satisfied with my players and very happy for Olympiacos. Today it was a very hot atmosphere for us in the hall and this is how we want to play. We want to fight as we did tonight in all of our home matches. We are very happy to progress to the next round and to be in the semi-finals of the European Cups.”

Mikko Oivanen, player of Olympiacos: “We did what we had to do. It was a good game, we remained focussed all the time and we came in ready for that game. We worked well, we made enough points from our service, block and defence and this was the key. They could not break our reception. We want to thank our fans for the support and we hope to continue to play just the same way.”

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