Defying the blizzard, Spindleruv Mlyn prepares for snow volleyball
The men’s line-up is highlighted by the presence of last year’s European Tour 'King of the Snow' Michal Matyja from Poland. His rise to the top of the continent started here, in Spindleruv Mlyn, where he and his Czech partner Robert Kufa claimed the trophy.
The CEV regulations no longer allow mixed international duos on the Tour, so now Matyja and Kufa will attempt to defend their title separately, each with a new teammate. Robert has teamed up with his brother David Kufa, who finished runner-up in the 2016 edition, while Michal has joined forces with Piotr Janiak.
The two pairs crossed ways in the third place match at the international tournament in Iran a couple of weeks ago, with the Polish team ending up on the podium. They are the two best-ranked duos out of the 29 that have signed up to play at Spindleruv Mlyn.
Another Polish pair, Adrian Sdebel/Michal Nalborski, who took Spindleruv Mlyn bronze in 2016, have also registered to battle for honours at the Svatý Petr Valley Station. They are one of the 20 duos from Czechia, Poland, Germany and Slovakia that will go directly into the main draw. Four more will join them after the completion of Friday’s single elimination qualifications.
The women’s line-up is led by Anna Dostalova/Michaela Knoblochova. The Czech pair played in the final of last year’s Snow Volleyball European Tour stop in Italy and will now try to use the home snow advantage to go one better. They are facing tough competition from Slovakia’s Silvia Poszmikova and her current partner Zuzana Snopkova. Poszmikova will be defending her Spindleruv Mlyn gold from 2016, when she and Czech teammate Zuzana Vojtiskova climbed to the top of the podium. She is coming to Czechia also with a bronze medal from the first stop of the 2017 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour in Erciyes, Turkey, where she and Eva Elekova won the third place match.
The women’s main draw action on Saturday and Sunday will feature 12 teams. 10 of them have already been confirmed. Two more will emerge from the qualification tournament on Friday. For more information, visit the CEV website.
This weekend’s tournament in Czechia is the first of five CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour events organized by Austrian promoters Chaka2.
“Since the first professionally organized snow volleyball event in 2009 in Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria a lot of things have changed and the sport has developed remarkably,” said Martin Kaswurm, Managing Director at Chaka2. “Due to close cooperation with the CEV, as well as with the FIVB, the sport will keep on growing globally. This year’s events will mark another milestone in the development of the sport. With the first ever FIVB Volleyball Your Way Snow Festival in Wagrain-Kleinarl we are happy to make grassroots the number one focus of Chaka2. Today the second stop of the 2017 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour will take off in Spindleruv Mlyn and we are excited to announce a record-breaking number of 47 teams participating.”
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