Ankara, Turkey. Halkbank ANKARA of Turkey claimed on Thursday a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-16, 25-13) in their second matchup with UVC Holding GRAZ of Austria to secure their spot in the 16th Finals of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2021. A week ago, when playing at home, the outsiders from Austria were close to claiming at least one set, but this time Halkbank ANKARA were obviously the dominant force. Halkbank’s next opponent in the competition will be Hapoel KFAR SABA of Israel.
The match statistics reflect the clear result, with the Turkish hosts scoring 11 aces (vs 4), 33 points in attack (vs 24) and registering a 59% success rate with their spikers. The visitors from Austria, on the other hand, made as many as 28 own errors vs. only 15 for Halkbank. Gökhan Gökgöz (13), Fernando Hernandez Ramos (7) and Alexander Berger (6) scored the most points for Halkbank, as Mark Kremer and Tiago Pereira piled up 10 each for GRAZ.
GRAZ in MEVZA League on Saturday
The Austrians will return to compete on the international stage again next Saturday. They will be playing their first ever MEVZA League home game in the Raiffeisen Sportpark, and they will face OK Merkur MARIBOR of Slovenia starting at 8 p.m.
At their Middle European League premiere, UVC Holding GRAZ had to admit defeat to defending champions ACH Volley despite delivering a strong performance in Ljubljana. They hope to be able to claim their first victory in the competition against MARIBOR, who currently have one win from three games. “My team performed well in the home game against Halkbank and at ACH Volley as well. I hope that we can build on this on Saturday evening. Maribor is a strong team, but in the Raiffeisen Sportpark we have the chance to challenge the Slovenes and maybe even beat them,” said UVC Holding GRAZ head coach Robert Koch.
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