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21/01/2016 23:46
Halkbank claim ‘Match of the Week’ before record-breaking Austrian crowd
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Innsbruck, Austria, January 21, 2016. Halkbank ANKARA claimed on Thursday night a 3-1 away win (25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19) in their matchup with Austria’s champions Hypo Tirol INNSBRUCK in what was the ‘Match of the Week’ on schedule for the fifth round of play in the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men.

Already before the start of the game it was certain that the organisers could celebrate an all-time record of attendance at the Olympic Stadium in Innsbruck – indeed, 2,100 spectators had come to follow and witness the ‘Match of the Week’.

Home coach Daniel Gavan commented: “As expected it was a high-level match. After we started out really bad, we recovered with Gabriel Soares Pessoa replacing Stefan Chrtiansky and we could change the course of the game. Up to the point when Dragan Travica joined the actions we played at the same level as Halkbank. I am very happy and satisfied with our performance and next week we will go to Kazan to try and keep alive our slim chances of continuing our European campaign this season.”

Halkbank ANKARA started out really strong by putting a lot of pressure on the Tirolean team with their serve. As a result Hypo Tirol had to run their offensive game mostly through high balls against a strong Turkish block. At the score of 19-9 the rhythm of the game changed, as finally the hosts found their way into the match and the crowd followed immediately. Point after point the difference got smaller and at 22-18 the match reached its first climax. Hypo Tirol INNSBRUCK improved their passing and were able to put more pressure on their opponents. Halkbank piled up four set points at 24-20 but after surviving to two of these, the hosts had to accept their loss at 25-22.

Despite this setback, Hypo Tirol were able to keep the momentum from the end of the first set and started well into the second set. 2,100 fans got to see a close fight as it was impossible to separate the two teams. At 18-16 for the home side Lorenzo Bernardi, head coach of Halkbank ANKARA, took his first time-out. An ace by Janis Peda shortly after that made it 20:17 and at 21:19 INNSBRUCK coach Daniel Gavan stopped the game. A strong block by Marek Beer made it 23:19 and at 24:20 there was no way back for Halkbank, as the Austrian fans could celebrate the 25-21 set win of their heroes.

Halkbank ANKARA reacted and changed setter, as Dragan Travica replaced Ulas Kiyak at this stage of the match. The Austrian champions stayed on top of the game also at the beginning of the third game with early 8-5 and 11-7 leads. At 12-12 the set was tied and at this moment the Turkish fans in attendance got louder and louder. The match had everything to offer you would expect from a Champions League fixture. Another ace serve by Janis Peda made it 14-12 for the hosts and at this point of the game Burutay Subasi replaced Dick Kooy for Halkbank. The lead went back to Halkbank and at 19-17 Hypo Tirol head coach Daniel Gavan asked for a time-out. Halkbank acted a little more efficient at this stage of the game and got their first set point at 24-21, which they used to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Both teams knew very well what was at stake and it remained a close, emotional and high-level match also in the fourth set. Halkbank edged 16-12 ahead at the second technical time-out and Stefan Chrtiansky was back in action for Hypo Tirol as Lorenz Koraimann replaced Renee Teppan. In the end Halkbank ANKARA had the upper hand at 25-19 and with that the visitors from Turkey sealed – and celebrated – their 3-1 away win.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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