Maritza Plovdiv settle for silver in Bulgaria
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, May 8, 2014 - Maritza Plovdiv's women’s team settled for the silver medals in the Bulgarian National Volleyball League. The Yellows had already secured a podium spot by finishing second in the regular season, but had to wait for the end of the championship series to find out the colour of their medals.
According to the Bulgarian championship regulations, the playoffs serve only to determine the champion, while the rest of the final standings are based on the teams’ positions in the regular season.
Maritza were the regular season's runner-up, second only to Levski Sofia. The women from Plovdiv moved swiftly through the quarterfinals, but could not overcome their semifinal obstacle, reigning champions CSKA-Demax Sofia, who had finished third before the playoffs.
Head Coach Ivan Petkov's team then had to wait for the outcome of the final series between Levski and CSKA to know whether they would finish the season second or third in the final standings. A victory for Levski would mean silver for Maritza, but if CSKA moved on to retain the title, the Yellows would have to be satisfied with the bronze medals.
With two victories and one defeat, Levski emerged victorious from Bulgaria’s ‘eternal derby’, claiming their 29th title and leaving the champions from the previous four seasons, archrivals CSKA, in third place.
For Maritza, who have never climbed all the way to the top of women’s volleyball in Bulgaria, with the exception of the 2012 national cup, this is the fourth medal in the past five seasons after winning silver in 2010 and 2011 and bronze in 2012.
“It might be prestigious to win the silver medals from the national championship, but we had already done that,” coach Ivan Petkov commented. “For the past several seasons our goal has always been to win the title – something we could not achieve this year either, despite having played a good season. But this gives us all the more reason to look forward to the next season and to prepare even harder in order to finally win the title. What is more important is that our young players are growing and playing better and better, which means that our club is moving in the right direction.”