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Champions League: Aluron down Halkbank! Great comeback for Friedrichshafen, all easy for Tours and Trento

5 min read

First week of Group Stage of 2023 CEV Men’s Volleyball Champions League has been completed today with last four games.
The news of the day is that Aluron down a big name of European volleyball in their debut match!

But, in order.
The second duel of Round 1 in Pool A, after the win of Jastrzębski Węgiel two days ago, went in the favor of Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen. In a very balanced game against France’s titleholders Montpellier HSC VB, the Bundesliga giants reversed the score from 0-2 to 3-2 (20:25, 20:25, 25:22, 25:23, 15:11).
In the beginning of the match, the guests played in an almost perfect way, as they were able to get the lead with a clear score and preserve it.
They won 25-20 in the first set, and they closed the second with the same score. The hosts, though, were able to react. From the third set Friedrichshafen, who play their Champions League matches in Ulm, on a ground away from their regular Zeppelin Hall, started the chase and completely changed the situation in the Ratiopharm Arena. After catching up in the third and fourth sets, they secured a 3-2 win, led by Polish opposite Michał Superlak, author of 21 points and 4 aces and Serbian middle blocker Aleksandar Nedeljković, with 6 winning blocks, six winning spikes, one ace and MVP awards.

It was a team effort today and I’m really proud of the team. It took some to find our rhythm but in the end we did pretty well. Montpellier started better and we stayed calm. Respect to my team,” said Mark Lebedew, Head coach of VfB Friedrichshafen.

Olivier Lecat, Head coach of Montpellier: “It was a really tight game at a high level. We started really good in the first two sets, the third set Friedrichshafen came back stronger and we weren’t able to continue playing our game but still the sets were tight. It’s the first time in our club’s history that we play Champions League and I am okay with only taking home one point, we’ve proofed that we are able to keep up with big European clubs like Friedrichshafen.”

Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie made their debut in the competition, and it was a very very very successful debut.
Michał Winiarski’s guys didn’t disappoint and defeated the big name of European volleyball, Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara, in Pool B. Aluron is the ninth club from Poland that appeared in the most elite club competition in Europe, and they were better than the Efeler Ligi silver medalists by beating them in four sets (23:25, 26:24, 25:21, 25:15).
Due to a small capacity, Aluron were forced to change the venue for their home matches in the Champions League, and they moved from their Hala OSiR in Zawiercie to the hall in Dąbrowa Górnicza where they were supported by about 3,000 fans tonight. Serb Uroš Kovačević was the top scorer on the winning side with 26 points.

Tough first game in the CEV Champions League with a strong team with a lot of experience in this competition and with a lot of good players. For sure it was tough and we were prepared well for it. Like we expected three of four sets were on a high level with a lot of changes in the score. Always close score. It will make us grow up as a team and expand our level. So I am pretty happy with our CEV Champions League start,” said Miguel Tavares, Setter of Aluron.

In Pool C, French powerhouse Tours VB didn’t experience the same fate as their compatriots Montpellier, as they swept Belgium’s Knack Roeselare on the road with 21 points from Brazilian Aboubacar Dramé Neto ’Abouba’. The game ended in straight sets, partially 22:25, 19:25 and 20:25. On the home teams’ side Pablo Kukartsev was top scorer with 11 points.

Steven Vanmedegael, head coach Knack Roeselare: “The level of performance of my team wasn’t strong enough today. The gap between the two teams was too big. Tours VB plays this type of matches every week, for us in the Belgian league it’s quite different. We didn’t do our job in defence. For some of my players, it’s the first time they play Champions League and it will take time for them to increase their level. Tours VB played a very good game and I want to congratulate them.

Marcelo Fronckowiak, head coach of Tours: “I am really proud of my team tonight. My respect for Knack Volley, the home team, is very big. This team have a long tradition in the Champions League. My team did a really good job tonight, especially in block and defence. We work hard and we improved our level in the past weeks because our start in the French competition wasn’t that good. But tonight, I am a very happy coach“.

No problem also for the current two-time runners-up of the Champions League, Italy’s Trentino Itas, who dominated Belgium’s Decospan VT Menen in their first match in the new campaign. The rivals were absolutely powerless against the SuperLega side already in the early stages of all three sets of Pool D’s encounter, trailing 7-13 in the first set, 15-20 in the second set, and 1-9 in the third set! 3-0 was in fact the final results (25:16, 25:17, 25:12) and the game lasted just 67 minutes
Daniele Lavia scored 21 points including 4 aces through an 81% attack (17/21, blocked once) for the winners.

Apart from the chosen line-up, today I saw the right attitude on court and also the will of beating the opponent. That was just what we were looking for, in order to let some regular players rest and gain the victory; our attack increased during the match and we made just a few errors,” said Angelo Lorenzetti, Trentino Itas Head Coach.


🏐| 2022/23 CEV Champions League | Pool Stage | Matches of the week

November 8, 2022
POOL A | 18.00 (Local Time) | Jastrzebski Węgiel (POL) – Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB) 3-0 (25:23, 25:19, 25:20)
POOL B | 19.30 (Local Time) | Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) | Hebar Pazardzhik (BUL) 3-2 (23:25, 23:25, 25:17, 28:26, 15:12)

November 9, 2022
POOL C | 19.00 (Local Time) | Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) – Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) 3-2 (23:25, 21:25, 25:19, 25:22, 15:13)
POOL D | 20.30 (Local Time) | Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle (POL) – ČEZ Karlovarsko (CZE) 3-1 (25:22, 25:21, 24:26, 26:24)
POOL E | 20.00 (Local Time) | Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) – ACH Volley Ljubljana (SLO) 3-0 (25:19, 25:16, 25:19)
POOL E | 20.00 (Local Time) | SWS Powervolleys Düren (GER) – Ziraat Bank Ankara (TUR) 3-1 (25:23, 25:18, 21:25, 25:16)

👉🏼 November 10, 2022

POOL A | 20.00 (Local Time) | VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) – Montpellier HSC VB (FRA) 3-2 (20:25, 20:25, 25:22, 25:23, 15:11)

🏐| STANDINGS OF POOL A (updated on this day)
1. Jastrzebski Węgiel 3
2. VfB Friedrichshafen 2
3. Montpellier HSC VB 1
4. Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad

POOL B | 18.00 (Local Time) | Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (POL) – Halkbank Ankara (TUR) 3-1 (23:25, 26:24, 25:21, 25:15)

🏐| STANDINGS OF POOL B (updated on this day)
1. Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie 3
2. Berlin Recycling Volleys 2
3. Hebar Pazardzhik 1
4. Halkbank Ankara 0

POOL C | 20.30 (Local Time) | Knack Roeselare (BEL) – Tours VB (FRA) 0-3 (22:25, 19:25, 20:25)

🏐| STANDINGS OF POOL C (updated on this day)
1. Tours VB 3
2. Cucine Lube Civitanova 2
3. Sport Lisboa e Benfica 1
4. Knack Roeselare 0

POOL D | 20.30 (Local Time) | Trentino Itas (ITA) – Decospan VT Menen (BEL) 3-0 (25:16, 25:17, 25:12)

🏐| STANDINGS OF POOL D (updated on this day)
1. Trentino Itas 3
2. Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle 3
3. ČEZ Karlovarsko 0
4. Decospan VT Menen


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