Olympiacos qualified to the semifinals of Challenge Cup as won Menen 3-0 in the second game held at Renti. More than 1000 fans didn’t stop to sing assisting their team to have a great performance and play two sets at high standards celebrating the qualification. It will face the Russian Gazprom-Ugra Surgut which won the Swiss Nafels. The ‘’Reds’’ had an excellent game against Menen and secured another qualification.
Dominant from the first set!
Olympiacos started the first set well and preceded with 8-5 in the first technical timeout. It kept this difference until the second one widening the margin to +7 (21-14). Oivanen scored for 24-16 and Aleksiev did 25-17.
2-0 and qualification to the semifinals!
The ‘’Reds’’ imposed its rhythm and needed a set to secure the qualification at the semi-finals. They ran a 4-0 streak and the guests got a timeout. Olympiacos was ahead in both technical timeouts (8-6 and 16-11). Aleksiev scored for 24-19 and Oivanen gave the qualification.
Olympiacos continued at the same pace in the third set. The two teams were close to the score until the first technical time-out in which Olympiacos went ahead with 8-7. The difference went up to three for 16-13 in the second one. The Belgians reduced to 21-20 and Oivanen replied for 22-20. Three consecutive errors of Menen bring the game to 25-21. 3-0 found the "red-white people" to celebrate the great success with the fans!
The sets: 25-17 (24΄), 25-19 (24΄), 25-21 (22')
1st set: 8-5, 16-13, 21-14, 25-17
2nd set: 8-6, 16-11, 21-17, 25-19
3rd set: 8-7, 16-13, 21-18, 25-21
Olympiacos (Munoz Benitez Fernando): Oivanen 8 (8/17 attacks), Petreas 10 (4/7 attacks, 1 ace, 5 blocks), Bohme 8 (6/10 attacks,1 ace, 1 block), Drzyzga 3 (3/3 attacks), Aleksiev 10 (6/11 attacks, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 60% pos-40% exc.), Rauwerdink 10 (7/12 attacks, 50% pos-50% exc.), Stefanou (L, 50% pos-20% exc.), Daridis (L), Zoupani 2 (2/3 attacks), Stivachtis
Menen (Peris): Ver Eecke 3 (2/4 attacks, 1 block, 36% pos – 18% exc.), Gorski 7 (7/14 attacks, 45% pos-36% exc.), Winkelmuller 22 (18/29 attacks, 2 aces, 2 blocks), Fasteland 1 (1/4 attacks), Folguera, Bernardo (L, 53% pos- 26% exc.), Vercruysse, Van de Caveye 7 (7/12 attacks, 31% pos – 12% exc.), Maddens 1 (1 ace), Andriessen 3 (2/4 attacks, 1 block)
Benitez said: ‘’ We were very concentrated in our tactics. We controlled the game, I am very happy with the players and Olympiacos generally. Today it was an amazing atmosphere and so we want to always play. We want to be always strong at our home. We are happy to qualify to the next round and we are at the phase ‘’4’’ of the Challenge Cup.’’
Oivanen stated: "Today we did what we had to do. It was a great game for us. We did several points from our serve and our block, we made many defenses and did not let them break our own defense to get easy points. We got the win and qualifying in the top four teams of the competition. We want to thank our fans for the atmosphere they created.’’