Greek volleyball giants Iraklis have qualified for the Final Four of the Champions League after a second 3-0 win over Germany’s Friedrichshafen late last week.
The Thessaloniki side will travel to Prague to contest their semi final against Russian opponents.
Iraklis won the first leg in Germany by three sets to nil, and needed just one set to advance to the semi finals.
Their second 3-0 win not only meant qualification, but it also maintained their perfect record this season in Europe of ten wins from ten matches.
The Greeks won the first set easily (25-18), sealing the tie and a place in the Final Four.
The Germans got back into the tie thanks to Iraklis dropping a gear, but the home side proved lethal at the end of each set, winning the second and third sets, 25-20 and 28-26 in front of the vibrant capacity crowd in Thessaloniki.
The Thessaloniki side will now try for the fifth time to win the elusive title that no Greek side has ever managed to win.
The final-four will take place in Prague on April 4-5 and Iraklis will face Russia’s Iskra Odintsovo in the semi final.
As a result Greece has a representative in all three European Cup final fours: Iraklis in Champions League, Panathinaikos in CEV Cup and EA Patras in Challenge Cup.
The Olympic Sports Hall in Maroussi will host the final-four of the CEV Cup on Saturday, March 21, in which Panathinaikos will compete.
They face Italy’s Cuneo while the second semi final will take place between Russia’s Lokomotiv Belgorod and Spaniards Unicaja Almeira.
The two winners will meet in the final the following day, on March 22.
It will be the first time that the final phase of Europe’s second-tier club competition will held in a 20,000 capacity stadium.
“Panathinaikos Athens will host the Final Four of the 2008/09 Men’s CEV Cup in the magnificent scenario of the OAKA – Olympic Indoor Hall, an arena with a capacity of about 18,000 spectators which hosted artistic gymnastics as well as the finals of the basketball tournaments at the 2004 Olympic Games,” reads the official CEV statement.
There was less positive news for EA Patras, who will have to travel to Turkey to play the hosts of the Challenge Cup Final Four, Arkas, at the semifinal in Izmir, on the same weekend of March 21-22.