World class derbies highlight CEV Champions League playoffs
Luxembourg, January 25, 2013. The 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League is moving to its most intriguing and exciting stages after the Playoffs 12 were completed this week with a series of world-class fixtures and a few tickets to the next-to-last round being assigned only via the so-called “golden set”.
Evgeny Sivozhelez helped Russia's Zenit Kazan claim a couple of tie-break wins over Berlin Recycling Volleys as the Tatars continue their chase for a second consecutive crown |
The Playoffs 6 coming up in February – home matches are scheduled for February 5-7 while the return games will be played a week later – will eventually determine the three teams advancing to the final four that is to be hosted by Galatasaray Daikin ISTANBUL (women, March 9-10) and Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK (men, March 16-17).
In the men’s division the Playoffs 6 will be highlighted by a couple of derbies, a sort of family affairs that in Russia and Italy will prolong long-lasting rivalries. Last year’s champions of Zenit KAZAN could best Germany’s sensation BERLIN Recycling Volleys only after two dramatic tie-breaks to cross their ways with their archrivals of Dinamo MOSCOW. Though still sidelined by some injuries, the Muscovites could stop the run of four-time club world champion TRENTINO Diatec via a home win (3:2) and by taking the golden set played in Italy after Kaziyski & Co. had cruised to a straight victory in the return match.
On the other hand, Lube Banca Marche MACERATA and Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO clearly imposed their quality and supremacy in their respective fixtures with Poland’s Asseco Resovia RZESZOW and ACH Volley LJUBLJANA to contribute that derby the Italian Volleyball fans were waiting for since the DOL for the Playoffs 12.
The last fixture will see Arkas IZMIR get to test the likes of Poland’s Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE; after causing quite a surprise this past Wednesday by edging PGE Skra BELCHATOW, the players mentored by Canadian Glenn Hoag will have to best another side from Europe’s Volleyball “Mecca” in order to qualify for the final four for the second consecutive season.
In the women’s competition, the major highlight of the Playoffs 6 will be the Turkish derby that will oppose the likes of Vakifbank ISTANBUL to Eczacibasi VitrA, another star-studded side from Turkey’s megalopolis. These teams have assembled some of the most decorated players of the past decade as their sole goal is to seize the trophy of Europe’s most elitist competition, so this double fixture is supposed to contribute world-class actions and emotions up to the very end. Two Italian-born coaches, Giovanni Guidetti and Lorenzo Micelli, will be crossing their ways thereby prolonging a rivalry that has left its mark also on Turkey’s domestic competitions in the past couple of years.
The vice world champions of Rabita BAKU will also have a very demanding test in the next round as they play Russia’s and last year’s bronze medalist Dinamo KAZAN. Rabita has probably the most cosmopolite roster in the competition – and curiously no player from Azerbaijan – while Ekaterina Gamova – who recently scored 40 points in the derby with Dinamo MOSCOW – will try to anchor the Tatars to their second appearance in the last act of the Champions League.
Azerbaijan has got another representative in the Playoffs 6, namely Azerrail BAKU, whose next opponent will be Italy’s Unendo Yamamay BUSTO ARSIZIO. The winners of last year’s CEV Volleyball Cup will be trying to restore Italy’s supremacy in the competition but it won’t be easy since Azerrail – similarly to Rabita – has signed a bunch of world-class players to fulfill their dream to win the CEV Volleyball Champions League for the first time in history.
- Tianjin, Taipei undefeated, Hisamitsu lead Pool A after day 3 of Asian Women’s Club Championship
- Fuzhou Open Q&A: Get to know China's beach volleyball stars
- Birarelli eyes successful Club World Championship comeback
- 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Media Guide now available
- Tianjin, Taipei enjoy second win in Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship
- Top players on form for clubs ahead of World League
- Tsvetan Sokolov dreams of becoming Bulgaria's champion with Marek one day
- Venezuelans back in tandem for Fuzhou Open
- Favourites have field day at Asia Volleyball Women’s Club Championship
- Makowski announces Polish 22 player roster for the year ahead
- Thailand and Iraq claim gold at latest Asian Beach Volleyball Tour event
- VolleyWorld reflects on a truly Italian affair with the Women’s World Championship Drawing of Lots
- England looks forward to hosting CEV Continental Cup tournament
- "ThrowbackThursday" recognizes anniversary of FIVB Constitutional Congress
- Poland announces men’s national team roster for 2014 season
- Wallace boosts Sada Cruzeiro ahead of Club World Championship
- FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship wild cards go to Trentino and Al-Rayyan
- Kids Beach Festival praised as fantastic experience
- Matin Varamin claim Asian Club Championship title, ticket to FIVB Men's Club Championship
- Baic Motor claim third spot with win over Kondensat-Zhaikmunay at Asian Men’s Club Championhip
- Beach Volleyball Seminar sets scene for season ahead
- Chinese Taipei finish fifth, host place seventh at Asian Men’s Club Championship
- Sierra Leone men and Rwanda women top podium of African qualifiers for Youth Olympic Games
- Al-Rayyan, Matin Varamin in finals of Asian Club Championship for ticket to FIVB Men's Club Championship
- Alison and Bruno continue impressive form
- FIVB World Tour champs hitting top form
- Sada Cruzeiro take Superliga title on their way to Club World Championship in May
- Serbian Beach Volleyball duo to celebrate FIVB Grand Slam debut in Shanghai
- Chinese Taipei, Iraq's South Gas Club Sports to fight for fifth place of Asian Men’s Club Champs
- Organisers of Moscow Grand Slam unveil plans for a memorable 2014 edition
- Kovac looking forward to getting to grips with Iranian national team
- Kondensat-Zhaikmunay, Matin Varamin, Al-Rayyan, Baic Motor cruise to semis of Asian club championship
- Argentina and Chile take gold in Tucuman stop of South American Beach Tour
- Zurich glory for Swiss and German duos
- Match times announced for FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship first round
- CEV President signs agreement with Danish Federation to establish Europe’s fifth Regional Volleyball Development Centre
- Field takes shape as more teams book ticket to Youth Olympic Games
- Watch skilled young athletes and training videos on FIVB Development YouTube
- Puerto Rican and American boys ticketed to Nanjing
- Puerto Rican and Canadian girls grab spots to Nanjing
- Top New Zealand pair out to boost beach volleyball’s profile before taking on world
- Volero Zurich leads national teams, as preparations begin for FIVB Women's Club Championship
- American duo breezes past opponents in day one in Carolina
- Canadian twins steal the show in Carolina
- South Gas Club Sports, Matin Varamin, Al-Rayyan, Baic Motor top their pools in Asian Club preliminary round
- Aussie pair takes important first step before FIVB World Tour
- Qatar, Vanuatu share honours at Khanom Asian Beach Volleyball Tour
- Al-Rayyan on course to a clean sweep in the preliminaries
- Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, China clubs remain unbeaten after Day 3 of Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship
- FIVB stars on show as Swiss Tour gets underway