Halkbank Ankara took first step towards 2021/22 CEV Challenge Cup by beating 3-0 (25:20, 25:22, 25:23) Narbonne in final first leg.
French side has lost the direct clash above all from the service line (6 aces and 12 errors for the winners, and 3 aces and 17 errors for Narbonne) in a match balanced in attack (48% and 29% efficiency in attack for Halkbank, 44% and 26% efficiency in attack for Narbonne).
In first set Halkbank stretch the 8-5, to reach even a conspicuous +8 with a clear 21-13, with the rivals who relapse only in final of the set, ended 25-20.
Second set very balanced until 17-17, when the hosts find a double advantage, 19-17, and they managed to keep it until the end, closing at first set ball.
In third set Hernandez, as well as all Halkbank, goes down in attack and it seems that Narbonne can be reopen the game, taking a lead of 10-17. However Halkbak put down the ball of 17-21 and the guests suffered an inexplicable black out on the float serve of Vigrass, 22-21. A block from Hernandez over Bassereau is worth the 24-22, and the set is closed 25-23 by a bad error from the service line.
About the numbers, opposites of both sides were the most prolific players of the match with 15 points each: Cuban Fernando Hernandez with 45% in attack, 2 aces and a decisive winning block, while brazilian Rafael Araujo, in Narbonne’s jersey, ended the match with 60% in attack.
Interestingly, about coach Atik, his team became the first team from Turkey that plays the final in three different cups, and he has been part of the staff in all the three cases!
Aslan Eksi, Setter of Halkbank Ankara: “When I first came to Halkbank, we took the CEV Cup in that season. Today, we are in the final of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup, and we want the trophy again. We are going to France with a good score, but we will act as if the first match had not been played, and we will play with te same serious approach. We want all Turkish fans to believe that we will do everything we can to bring the trophy to Turkey, and present it to our fans. This is our team’s goal.”
🏐| CEV Challenge Cup 2021/22 – Final 1st Leg
| Tuesday 15th March
• Halkbank Ankara (TUR) – Narbonne Volley (FRA) 3-0 (25:20, 25:22, 25:23)
| Second Leg
| Tuesday 22nd March
• Narbonne Volley (FRA) – Halkbank Ankara (TUR)