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04/03/2019 12:16
Romania’s Volei Alba BLAJ close to second straight European final
2019 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Sibiu, Romania, March 4, 2019. CSM Volei Alba BLAJ will be trying to make history again when they play the second round of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Cup semis at Transylvania Hall in Sibiu on Tuesday night. After losing the CEV Champions League final last year, BLAJ are very close to qualifying for a European Cup final for the second year in succession. The team coached by Darko Zakoč are the clear-cut favourites after last week they recorded a 3-0 victory in the first round of the Romanian derby with Stiinta BACAU.

The organisers expect a great atmosphere in Sibiu where the supporters of BLAJ have filled the gym every time this season. The memory of the sensational victory over Galatasaray in last year’s Champions League semis is still in everyone’s mind. Last week, BLAJ played a perfect match in Bacău, and yet they remain cautious. It is the message and attitude shared by head coach Darko Zakoč and team captain Nneka Onyejekwe saying that there is still a lot to play for, despite the very clear victory in the first leg.

Darko Zakoč, head coach of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “It is clear that we are the favourites, we have a great advantage, but we have to stay with our feet on the ground, because it is Volleyball and anything can happen. We want to play the final, that is clear and we want to bring the CEV Cup trophy to Blaj.”

Nneka Onyejekwe, captain of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “It would be great to play a second European final, it has been my dream since I started playing Volleyball, but there is still a lot to play for. We have to be careful, focused and play as well as we did last week in Bacău.”

On the other hand, the team from Bacău, through the voice of coach Florin Grapă, seems to see their chances as rather slim: “I think that Volei Alba BLAJ have more than 80% of the chances to qualify. In the first leg, in Bacău, we did not raise to the opponent’s level; we hope to do so in Sibiu, but for us the most important are the matches in the domestic competitions.”

More positive is Știința BACAU captain Denisa Rogojinaru, who says her team is thinking about getting to the Golden Set, something that is possible to achieve “as long as there are chances.”

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