Quarter-finals line-up set for #CLVolleyM, with new champion to be decided


Article Fri, Feb 9 2024
Author: Adrian Costeiu

A disappointing season for the reigning champions Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle has been once again confirmed, as the CEV Champions League Volley 2024 Men will see a new champion crowned, after three years of domination by the Polish powerhouse.

After a 3:2 win in the first leg of the play-offs against Halkbank Ankara, Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle had little chance against the Turkish side, which is now aiming for their second semi-finals berth in a row. Halkbank pulled no punches and secured a 3:0 win, progressing to the quarter-finals, where they are due to meet one of the most consistent teams in the competition, Cucine Lube Civitanova.

With another quarter-final set immediately at the end of the Round 4, with the last season’s runners-up Jastrzębski Węgiel facing Gas Sales Daiko Piacenza, two other quarter-finals pairings were decided this week, in the conclusion of the play-offs.

What looked to be the most balanced tie in the play-offs, the doubleheader between Berlin Recycling Volleys and Tours VB, was swiftly decided with two clear wins for the German side, the best third-placed team in Round 4, with a 3:0 home win and a 3:1 away win against the French team.

Once again, Berlin Recycling Volleys will face an Italian team in the quarter-finals, Trentino Itas, after the German side was eliminated last season in the same phase of the competition by Perugia, conceding a 1:3 and a 2:3 loss.

Berlin and Trentino have also faced off in the quarter-finals in the 2021/22 season, when the Italian side progressed after a 3:0 win on their home court, conceding the second match, 2:3, before losing the final against Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle.

In their debut season in the European premium competition, Guaguas Las Palmas recorded an unprecedented performance for Spanish volleyball, securing a quarter-finals berth in their maiden season in the CEV Champions League Men, after a 3:0 win on their home court against VK Lvi Praha, and a 1:3 loss in Czechia.

A superb comeback in the golden set, 15:8, saw Guaguas, the only team which started in the Round 1 of the competition still standing alive, progress to the quarter-finals, where they will be big underdogs against Ziraat Bank Ankara, the only team with an unblemished record so far in the European premium competition – six wins out of six matches.

Three Italian teams – Trentino Itas, Cucine Lube Civitanova and Gas Sales Daiko Piacenza – are between the eight sides still alive, with all the Italian sides starting the competition winning their pools and progressing directly to the quarter-finals. Two Turkish teams – Ziraat Bank Ankara and Halkbank Ankara – joined them, with one team from Germany, Spain and Poland completing the quarter-finals line-up of the season.

The four quarter-finals will be played in a doubleheader system, with the teams boasting the best records at the end of Round 4 hosting the second leg. The dates of the matches will be confirmed, but the quarter-finals are due to be played in the last two weeks of February.