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23/02/2021 14:00
C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ sets sights on third European Cup final in four years
CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2021 - Women

Targu Mures, Romania, February 23, 2021. C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ will host 1. MCM-Diamant KAPOSVAR of Hungary on Wednesday in the first leg of the semi-finals of the women’s CEV Challenge Cup 2021. For the reigning Romanian champions, this is the third appearance in a European semi-final in the last four years and they will be trying to repeat their achievements from 2018 and 2019 when they reached the gold medal match of the CEV Champions League and CEV Cup, respectively.

C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ are in high spirits since this past weekend they claimed their third title in the Romanian national cup (see picture) after a dominant performance including a 3-1 victory over C.S.M. TARGOVISTE in the semis and 3-0 shutout of Dinamo BUCURESTI in the final. However, there is not any time to celebrate, since BLAJ are now due to take on a highly motivated team from Kaposvar, which made history by becoming the first Hungarian side to reach the semis of the CEV Challenge Cup.

Darko Zakoč, the head coach of C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ, acknowledges that his team is the favourite, but they will approach Wednesday’s match with much attention and focus: “We are happy that we have achieved one of our objectives by winning the Romanian Cup, but we must not relax, we must stay focussed on what we have to do next. Next is the Challenge Cup, where we are one of the favourite teams to win the trophy. We have an advantage in the semi-finals, because we avoided the teams from Turkey. We can qualify for the final if we take the two matches with KAPOSVAR seriously and if we deliver our usual game. Winning the Challenge Cup is our goal this year.”

The team captain, Ioana Maria Baciu, is aware of the importance of Wednesday’s fixture, which the players from Blaj are waiting for with a lot of confidence: “An important match awaits us on Wednesday. We are ready and eager to reach the final. The team’s morale and atmosphere are very good after winning the Romanian Cup. We thank those who support us and are always with us, despite this period in which we cannot physically enjoy our achievements together. We want to give a new joy to our fans.”

After Wednesday’s fixture in Targu Mures, the return match will be taking place on March 3 in Kaposvar.

The other semi-final, a Turkish derby between THY ISTANBUL and Sistem9 Yesilyurt ISTANBUL, will be taking place next week with consecutive matches in the Turkish megalopolis.

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