Arkas makes history with Champions League success
IZMIR - Hürriyet Daily News
Arkas Spor becomes the Turkish team to advance to the CEV Champions League Final Four in men’s volleyball. The İzmir team will meet host Skra Belchatow in the Final Four on March 17-18. Trentino will meet Zenit Kazan in the other semifinal. AA photoArkas Spor made Turkish sports history by being the first men’s team to advance to the 2012 CEV Volleyball Champions League final four.
After losing last week in straight sets to Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, on March 1 Arkas players stormed back to score first a 3-2 win (25-27, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14) and then take the deciding golden set with the score of 15-11 to earn a name in history books.
The team, hailing from the Aegean province of İzmir, will play host PGE Skra Belchatow in the final four of the 2012 CEV Volleyball Champions League scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Lodz, Poland.
Arkas had to come back from two sets to score a memorable win, which paved the way for a third Final Four showing for the team’s Canadian coach Glenn Hoag.
“It was a very tough opponent. They almost made no mistake,” Hoag said to Anatolia news agency. “It is always tough to play a third set whent you are two sets behind, but we overcame it and started to believe.”
Hoag had previously led France’s Paris Volley and Slovenian SCH Volley Bled to the CEV Champions League Final Four. Now he did it again with Arkas, the very first men’s volleyball team from Turkey to take a European trophy with the GM Capital Challenge Cup in 2009.
“That success is the result of effort put by everyone at the club, with the vision of the administration and the commitment of the players,” Hoag said.
Three-time champion of Trentino PlanetWin365 will meet Zenit Kazan in the other semifinal.
As for the women, whose final four is scheduled for March 24 and 25 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the 2010 club world champions of Fenerbahçe Universal of Turkey will meet Russian giant Dinamo Kazan while France’s RC Cannes and MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese of Italy.
Another Turkish team in women’s volleyball, Galatasaray, beat Red Star on March 2 to advance to the CEV Cup semifinals.