Volley Challenge Cup, Monza one step away from the final

With 16 points from the Canadian spiker, Vero Volley beat Galatasaray in three sets. Next week in Turkey two sets are enough to compete for the title

Mint Monza puts one foot in the Challenge Cup final. The 3-0 with which Eccheli’s team defeats the Turkish Galatasaray in the first leg semi-final at the Opiquad Arena confirms a gap between the two teams, even if to reach the last act Beretta and his teammates will still have to win at least 2 sets in the return match on Tuesday in Istanbul.

MONZA-GALATASARAY 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-16)

MVP is Maar (16 points), one more than Kujundzic, better than his team, but all the players from Monza play a careful and precise match, especially blocking (12 goals scored) and serving (7 aces) Eccheli, after the final of the Italian Cup in Bologna, starts again from 6+1 with Cachopa as director opposite Szwarc, Di Martino-Galassi in the middle, Maar and Loeppky in the starting line-up and Gaggini libero. Coach Cakir’s Galatasaray responds with Zimmermann (last year in Monza)-Hradava (in Italy at Lube in 20/21) diagonally setter-opposite, Karasu-Durmaz in the center, Gungor-Kujundzic on the laterals with Hatipoglu libero. Monza immediately ahead 7-2, which becomes 13-7 when Maar scores his fifth point (with the third pipe). The Turks respond with a 0-3 opened by Kujundzic (the liveliest of his at the start, 5 at the end of the half with 7 attacks). It’s a flash in the pan, because Loeppky almost alone (block and ace) signs a 3-0 counterbreak and Monza controls up to the points of Mujanovic (diagonal) and Visic (block), entered for a diagonal change, which establishes the score at 25-17, with the home attack at 61% and Maar at 6. The story doesn’t change in the second half: 7-3 which becomes 16-9, with the Galatasaray attack too unbalanced (and legible) on Hadrava. The Mint, in which Beretta enters for Di Martino, does not change pace and closes easily 25-14, with 9 blocks in total and Maar at 11 (like Kujundzic). Monza also immediately breaks away in the third set (6-3, 11-7) thanks to Loeppky, even if the guests try to stay on track. A vain attempt, because the wall of the house is not scratched. From 14-11, Maar accelerates, dragging his team to 22-14 (4 points for the Canadian in the break), a prelude to the 25-16 that closes the match.

Le Cannet-Chieri 2-3 (25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 13-15)

The victory for Chieri in the first leg semi-final of the women’s Challenge Cup arrives at the tie break. Bregoli’s team makes a desperate comeback after being 2-0 down at home to the French. Driven by Grobelna and Skinner and with Malinov as director, the Piedmontese team recovered the deficit and finished in fifth place. They still have to win at home next week to advance to the final