Bulgarian Superliga 2016-2017

  • It is not uncommon for the league's administration members to change the formula during the league itself, hence no team got relegated last season and we have again 12 participants just like past seasons, including the two finalists in the second division.


    The 12 teams are:


    Marek Union-Ivkoni (Dupnitsa)
    Dobrudzha 07 (Dobrich)
    CSKA (Sofia)
    Levski Ball (Sofia)
    Neftochimik 2010 (Burgas)
    Arda (Kardzhali)
    Minyor (Pernik)
    Montana (Montana)
    Pirin (Razlog)
    Teteven Volley (Teteven)
    Slavia (Sofia)
    Cherno more (Varna)


    Only partial rosters are known, the rest is a mystery as usual. I will try to update the rosters list until it is complete.

  • BULGARIAN SUPERLEAGUE
    2016-2017


    TEAM ROSTERS


    ------------
    Marek Union-Ivkoni Dupnitsa


    Head coach: Nayden Naydenov
    ------------
    Setters: Konstantin Nechev, Svetoslav Stankov, Krasimir Dimitrov
    Opposites: Daudi Okello (Uganda), Dimitar Dulchev
    Attackers: Angel Velkov, Stanislav Velichkov (leaving in 2017), Tsvetelin Tsvetanov, Preslav Martinov, Christophe Mukunzi (Rwanda), Svetoslav Ivanov
    Middle blockers: Borislav Apostolov, Ventsislav Trifonov, Alberto Slavchov, Preslav Yordanov
    Liberos: Hristo Kolev, Georgi Mihaylov


    ------------
    CSKA Sofia


    Head coach: Alexander Popov
    ------------
    Setters: Vladimir Stankov, Stefan Stoyanov
    Opposites: Ivan Krachev, Dobrin Vasilev
    Attackers: Ivaylo Stefanov, Yani Georgiev, Plamen Shekerdzhiev, Ivan Kostov, Smilen Mlyakov (usually OPP)
    Middle-blockers: Hristo Tsvetanov, Todor Kostov, Krasimir Georgiev, Andrey Nikolov
    Libero: Martin Bozhilov


    ------------
    Pirin Razlog


    Head coach: Ivan Durev
    ------------
    Setters: Dilyan Ignatov, Vladimir Panev, Vladimir Lobutov (joining in 2017)
    Opposites: Ventsislav Georgiev, Deivid Krastev
    Attackers: Blagovest Katrandzhiev, Georgi Elchinov (universal), Boyan Ivanov, Nikolay Hadzhiev, Ivan Velev, Alexander Rabadzhiev
    Middle blockers: Kostadin Gadzhanov, Martin Krastev, Georgi Levenov
    Liberos: Viktor Kopanarov, Ivaylo Pahov


    ------------
    Neftochimik 2010 Burgas


    Head coach: Petar Dochev
    ------------
    Setters: Lucas Alen Silva (Brazil) (leaving in 2017), Tedy Dremsizov, Georgi Bratoev (joining in 2017), Nikolay Kichukov (joining in 2017)
    Opposites: Petar Hristov, Zhani Zhelyazkov (joining in 2017)
    Attackers: Mario Goncalves (Brazil) (leaving in 2017), Martin Penev, Yavor Genov (leaving in 2017), Denis Karyagin, Andrey Nikolov, Georgi Petrov, Valentin Bratoev (joining in 2017)
    Middle blockers: Stoyan Samunev, Krasimir Gaydarski, Georgi Chalakov, Nikolay Nikolov (joining in 2017)
    Liberos: Martin Ivanov, Svetoslav Tomov


    ------------
    Levski Ball Sofia


    Head coach: Petar Shopov
    ------------
    Setters: Georgi Manchev, Nikolay Manchev, Lyudmil Benov (joining in 2017)
    Opposites: Spas Bayrev, Ivan Pankov
    Attackers: Simeon Aleksandrov, Martin Pavlov, Tsvetan Bonev (joining in 2017)
    Middle blockers: Gordan Lyutskanov, Teodor Bogdanov, Alexander Kordev, Miloslav Dimov
    Liberos: Vladislav Ivanov (leaving in 2017), Ivaylo Lalov


    ------------
    Montana


    Head coach: Daniel Peev
    ------------
    Setters: Lyubomir Agontsev, Delcho Raev
    Opposites: Mincho Minchev, Alexandru Zahar (Romania) (joining in 2017)
    Attackers: Zlatko Kyossev, Georgi Mihalev, Alexander Simeonov, Leon Tonchev, Mihail Vulchovski
    Middle blockers: Nikolay Kartev, Ivan Latunov, Borislav Nakov
    Liberos: Dobromir Ivanov, Georgi Georgiev


    ------------
    Arda Kardzhali


    Head coach: Ivan Halachev
    ------------
    Setters: Raycho Raev, Dimitar Uzunov (used as a MB as well), Soner Yashar
    Opposites: Tihomir Georgiev, Iliyan Georgiev, Ivan Zamfirov
    Attackers: Neven Neshev (universal), Kiril Hadzhiev, Kristiyan Penchev, Valentin Dimov, Simeon Topuzliev, Alexander Iliev
    Middle-blockers: Mladen Kavaldzhiev, Ivaylo Velikov (leaving in 2017)
    Liberos: Nikolay Kolev, Vladislav Lukarevski (joining in 2017)


    ------------
    Dobrudzha 07 Dobrich


    Head coach: Miroslav Zhivkov
    ------------
    Setters: Hristo Enkov, Denimir Dimitrov
    Opposites: Zhulien Georgiev, Dimitar Mateev, Onur Rasim
    Attackers: Trifon Lapkov, Martin Mechkarov, Petar Hristoskov, Dimitar Marinkov
    Middle blockers: Svetoslav Arnaudov, Alexander Grozdanov, Iliya Petkov, Denis Chavdarov
    Liberos: Nikolay Todorov, Hristo Hristov


    ------------
    Minyor Pernik


    Head coach: Stoyan Gunchev
    ------------
    Setters: Stilyan Asenov (leaving in 2017), Pavel Ivanov, Viktor Kostadinov
    Opposites: Kostadin Stoykov (universal), Ivan Damyanov (universal) (leaving in 2017)
    Attackers: Martin Simeonov, Danail Buchkov, Galin Nikolov, Yulian Petrov, Martin Tsvetkov, Georgi Stoyanov (joining in 2017)
    Middle blockers: Zahari Nikolaev, Adrian Anachkov, Stefan Chavdarov, Nikolay Grahlyov
    Liberos: Metodi Metodiev, Velizar Emilov


    ------------
    Teteven Volley


    Head coach: Petar Mechkarov
    ------------
    Setters: Radoslav Dimitrov, Plamen Hristov, Alexander Borisov
    Opposites: Emiliyan Mirchev, Iliyan Ivanov
    Attackers: Miroslav Bratanov, Kamen Kamenov, Martin Hristov, Dragan Stankov
    Middle blockers: Pavel Dushkov (leaving in 2017), Danail Popov, Andrey Ruskov, Angel Neev, Ivaylo Velikov (joining in 2017)
    Liberos: Konstantin Kostov (usually OH), Anton Vasiliev (joining in 2017)


    ------------
    Slavia Sofia


    Head coach: Severin Dimitrov
    ------------
    Setters: Alberto Penkov, Hristo Dormishev, Denislav Mitov
    Opposites: Iliyan Prespov, Bozhidar Slavchev (universal)
    Attackers: Asparuh Asparuhov, Georgi Stoyanov (leaving in 2017), Evgeni Ranchinski, Boris Bradistilov, Denis Stoyanov, Dimitar Vasilev
    Middle blockers: Valentin Blaginov, Kristoffer Petrov, Ivaylo Marinov, Stivan Dimitrov
    Liberos: Kristiyan Petrov, Denislav Tsvetanov


    ------------
    Cherno more Varna


    Head coach: Yulian Tupankov
    ------------
    Setters: Stefan Georgiev, Dobroslav Dobrev, Yoan Kairyakov
    Opposites: Norman Nedkov, Velin Stoyanov
    Attackers: Kaloyan Balabanov, Milen Petkov (universal), Petar Milushev, Vangel Velinov, Emiliyan Georgiev (universal), Simeon Dimitrov
    Middle blockers: Nikolay Kolev, Yordan Atanasov, Trayan Ivanov, Nikolay Mironov (joining in 2017)
    Liberos: Kaloyan Kanev, Martin Ivanov

  • This year there is more information regarding the regular season and when it starts. The draw for the championship was even held yesterday, 20th. The season will start with the Supercup match on a neutral venue.


    Supercup


    16.10, Pazardzhik


    Dobrudzha 07 vs. Neftochimik 2010


    1st round draw, regular season


    18.10


    Pirin vs. Arda
    Marek Union-Ivkoni vs. Dobrudzha 07
    Levski Ball vs. Teteven Volley
    CSKA vs. Neftochimik 2010
    Cherno more vs. Slavia
    Montana vs. Minyor

  • Bulgarian Supercup


    16-October


    Pazardzhik, "Vasil Levski" sports hall

    Dobrudzha 07 - Neftochimik 2010 2-3 (23-25, 25-20, 34-32, 15-25, 12-15)


    The first Supercup in history goes to Neftochimik from Burgas. There is no stats sheet available yet.

  • Hi YavorD, there's some streaming o lineups sheet? Thanks in advance!

  • Hi YavorD, there's some streaming o lineups sheet? Thanks in advance!

    Surprisingly even for me, there is a new broadcast contract this year and matches are finally available on another television, no longer BNT (or not entirely). The coverage is also more professional, which doesn't mean, however, that they show everything. I will try to provide information about to-be-broadcasted matches from now on (even if I usually have time after the respective rounds) and perhaps where you can watch it online. Due to popular demand, I will try and share my impressions from the league. It seems like there are people betting and they find the championship interesting.


    Regarding rosters, no, unfortunately. Our forum and my post above is the only place online where you can find rosters of teams, I have compiled the list myself with a lot of online searching. Even in Bulgaria you can't find a website with team lists. The lineup sheets, as in match stats, I will post after each round (if available). Each team is obliged to have statisticians now (for the first time in 2016!!! - a must for other countries for years!), so maybe we will have a full list of stats sheets.

  • #2


    Slavia - CSKA 1-3 (25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 14-25) stats
    Teteven Volley - Marek Union-Ivkoni 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-23)
    Minyor - Arda 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-18 )
    Neftochimik 2010 - Levski Ball 3-1 (25-16, 15-25, 25-23, 25-21) stats
    Montana - Cherno more 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-21) stats
    Dobrudzha 07 - Pirin 1-3 (23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 20-25) stats


    Standings


    1 - Montana (2-0) 6
    2 - CSKA (2-0) 6
    3 - Pirin (2-0) 6
    4 - Teteven Volley (1-1) 3
    5 - Levski Ball (1-1) 3
    6 - Minyor (1-1) 3
    7 - Dobrudzha 07 (1-1) 3
    8 - Cherno more (1-1) 3
    9 - Neftochimik 2010 (1-1) 3
    10- Marek Union-Ivkoni (0-2) 0
    11- Slavia (0-2) 0
    12- Arda (0-2) 0

  • Judged by the messages with questions I receive, the Bulgarian league should either be among the most interesting ones or among the favourite of our gamblers :) Just a few words from me, you surely can't find much online. I watched little for two obvious reasons. One - not enough time, and two - not enough (although improved) coverage.

    The title's N1 favourite, CSKA, started the season as expected. A very solid performance against Neftochimik in the opening round. CSKA will even get stronger at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2017 when Teodor Todorov joins them. Krasimir Georgiev's contract in Iran was dissolved due to some problems within the club, he is also staying in Sofia for now.


    Speaking of Neftochimik, they might appear a very strong title contender for CSKA providing that they recruit the Bratoev brothers. Valentin is recovering from an injury but he confirmed he will "probably" play for the Burgas-based club. Still no official confirmation. His brother Georgi is still being "held" in Poland until he receives his documents (and his permit to be registered elsewhere). Thus, he missed the deadline to be enlisted in a club in Bulgaria and no one knows what follows for him. Without the Bratoev brothers, Neftochimik has a new Brazilian setter and the team is still trying to adapt to his style. The first round was devastating, the home win versus Levski sent them in the right direction. They might suffer some inexplicable upsets until they regain last year's form, but they should have no problems finishing in the top 3 or 4 at the end of the regular season.


    The champion Dobrudzha has a lot of changes in the squad. It is an even younger team in comparison to last year. Besides, they lost a few key players and we can say fr sure that they will not defend their title. They will rely on Trifon Lapkov, a new NT member, who is not a bad player at all. They don't have the quality of the last year's team and should gain experience during the season. We can say that the project there has almost been restarted as this group of players might start producing results in a few years (the same way last year's squad developed). They have a challenging opponent in the Champions League - Lycurgus Groningen and no real chances of making it to the Champions League group stage. Any additional match in Europe is going to be a huge bonus for this team. They are capable of making surprises but the home defeat to Pirin in the last round only showed where they might end up at the season's closure.


    Levski Ball is an interesting case. They also have a very nice roster and were considered by many a possible title contender in a "dream" final against CSKA. However, I would like to cool down enthusiasm for a while. First, they have a lot of injured players right now. Georgi Manchev is not available, his younger brother Nikolay is the setter right now. Ananiev is absent, the only real opposite Spas Bayrev is also recovering and is playing occasionally. The MB Gordan Lyutskanov has been temporarily converted as opposite. The NT libero Vladislav Ivanov also played two matches as OH. They will need some time to start functioning properly, so it probably won't be till the start of the second half of the regular season, or maybe even the playoffs, before we see the real Levski. However, my prediction is that they won't reach the final playoffs because their bench is too short/inexperienced. But we shall see how that unfolds.


    Marek is not going to have the dominating role from the past few years. They are still waiting for the permit of their new opposite - the Ugandan Okello. He is said to be very athletic and physical, albeit not impressive technically. Marek started the season with Dulchev as opposite and he is surely not enough (and not good enough) to lead the team. Thus, Marek's results and form should not surprise you.

    Pirin is the surprise package of the season so far. The core of the team is more or less the same. They have a brand new setter and it doesn't seem to be a problem for the team at all. They can create a lot of problems and will be a tough team to beat this campaign.

    I got asked about Arda. They are a home team and this should be stated clearly and emphasized on. Besides, this is not Arda from 3-4 years ago that could finish in the top 4-5. The team is somewhat new, a few players left, the quality seems to have decreased. And their form is not even impressive. Perhaps the first points won by the team will be, "surprise, surprise", at home.


    Montana is known to be a solid team and this year they managed to keep the roster partially. They started easily with two matches at home. I would wait for a while to see how they will continue and how they would handle the first visits away from home.

  • #3


    Cherno more - Minyor 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) stats
    Pirin - Teteven Volley 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 26-24) stats
    Marek Union-Ivkoni - Neftochimik 2010 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-23) stats
    Levski Ball - Slavia 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-16) stats
    CSKA - Montana 3-2 (25-19, 26-28, 25-21, 18-25, 15-6) stats
    Arda - Dobrudzha 07 0-3 (23-25, 18-25, 18-25)


    Standings


    1 - Pirin (3-0) 9
    2 - CSKA (3-0) 8
    3 - Montana (2-1) 7
    4 - Cherno more (2-1) 6
    5 - Levski Ball (2-1) 6
    6 - Dobrudzha 07 (2-1) 6
    7 - Teteven Volley (1-2) 3
    8 - Marek Union-Ivkoni (1-2) 3
    9 - Neftochimik 2010 (1-2) 3
    10- Minyor (1-2) 3
    11- Slavia (0-3) 0
    12- Arda (0-3) 0

  • #4


    Cherno more - CSKA 0-3 (19-25, 20-25, 27-29) stats
    Slavia - Marek Union-Ivkoni 2-3 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 7-15) stats
    Neftochimik 2010 - Pirin 1-3 (25-22, 21-25, 10-25, 19-25) stats
    Minyor - Dobrudzha 07 2-3 (26-24, 17-25, 25-18, 16-25, 12-15) stats
    Montana - Levski Ball 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-6) stats
    Teteven Volley - Arda 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-19)


    Standings


    1 - Pirin (4-0) 12
    2 - CSKA (4-0) 11
    3 - Montana (3-1) 10
    4 - Dobrudzha 07 (3-1) 8
    5 - Teteven Volley (2-2) 6
    6 - Levski Ball (2-2) 6
    7 - Cherno more (2-2) 6
    8 - Marek Union-Ivkoni (2-2) 5
    9 - Minyor (1-3) 4
    10- Neftochimik 2010 (1-3) 3
    11- Slavia (0-4) 1
    12- Arda (0-4) 0

  • Needless to say which team has been the disappointment of the season so far based on the standings. A disastrous start by Neftochimik. The team's captain and ex-NT member Martin Penev had to appeal in court and I doubt he was fully focused on volleyball last week. His stats prove it. The new Brazilian setter did not even start. The team lost at home, the most unexpected result in the round, lost the third set 10-25, and overall doesn't impress. There are a lot of question marks. In the next round they travel to Kardzhali where they will play against the league's weakest team this year, even if the latter usually perform well at home.


    Arda, said team from Kardzhali, is surprisingly the weakest team so far. A few players left but they still have a part of the team's core there and they are yet to win a set or even get close to winning one. Even the youngsters from Slavia took their first point against Marek on Friday. Arda is weakened, sure, but the scores are more than bad and they already faced some supposedly weaker opponents. Their schedule won't help them much.


    Pirin has been the positive surprise. 4 full-points wins in a row, with a solid block performance in Burgas. You wouldn't expect results so fast, they also have a brand new setter and some new players, but their form is impressive. In 2 weeks they will play in Montana in what promises to be a very entertaining match.


    I watched the last two sets of Montana vs. Levski Ball on Friday. Levski are still struggling with injuries, they also try players on new positions. Gordan Lyutskanov, who started the season as an opposite, replacing Spas Bayrev, entered the court in Montana as a receiver. The last set isn't worth mentioning (25-6), but Montana's performance is. With the NT setter Agontsev in the roster, Montana have great options on every position in the starting line-up. Zlatko Kyossev, a former Youth NT libero, now OH, has got used to playing in attack for several seasons now and surely is one of the league's revelations. You can freely bet on Montana in the games to come and expect them to solidify their top-status in the championship.

  • #5


    Arda - Neftochimik 2010 0-3 (20-25, 26-28, 15-25)
    Pirin - Slavia 3-0 (25-20, 28-26, 25-13) stats
    Marek Union-Ivkoni - Montana 1-3 (17-25, 21-25, 25-22, 19-25) stats
    Dobrudzha 07 - Teteven Volley 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 27-25)
    CSKA - Minyor 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 26-24) stats
    Levski Ball - Cherno more 3-2 (25-13, 18-25, 25-19, 24-26, 15-10) stats


    Standings


    1 - Pirin (5-0) 15
    2 - CSKA (5-0) 14
    3 - Montana (4-1) 13
    4 - Dobrudzha 07 (4-1) 11
    5 - Levski Ball (3-2) 8
    6 - Cherno more (2-3) 7
    7 - Neftochimik 2010 (2-3) 6
    8 - Teteven Volley (2-3) 6
    9 - Marek Union-Ivkoni (2-3) 5
    10- Minyor (1-4) 4
    11- Slavia (0-5) 1
    12- Arda (0-5) 0

  • #6


    18.11 Cherno more vs. Marek Union-Ivkoni
    18.11 Montana vs. Pirin
    18.11 Slavia vs. Arda
    18.11 Minyor vs. Teteven Volley
    18.11 CSKA vs. Levski Ball (17:30 CET, live on Diema Sport)
    21.11 Neftochimik 2010 vs. Dobrudzha 07 (17:30 CET, live on Diema Sport 2)


    The Sofia derby between CSKA and Levski will be shown on TV only thanks to the history of the two teams. The real derby of the round is in Montana, where the hosts will meet the undefeated Pirin. The visitors are yet to lose points in the championship. Unfortunately, this match won't be broadcast. In comparison, the Sofia derby will be played in front of an empty hall due to the police's concerns regarding safety in the sports hall 8| The very same hall that, although not the most modern facility but nevertheless, has hosted matches for years, including previous derbies. This is an obvious provocation (another one) by Levski, the story was similar last year, too.


    Even without spectators, CSKA is a better team and in a better form, so anything but 3 points for the "reds" will be a surprise.

  • #6


    Cherno more - Marek Union-Ivkoni 2-3 (22-25, 14-25, 26-24, 25-21, 12-15) stats
    Montana - Pirin 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18 ) stats
    Slavia - Arda 1-3 (13-25, 25-13, 19-25, 18-25)
    Minyor - Teteven Volley 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-14)
    CSKA - Levski Ball 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-13, 33-31, 15-10) stats
    Neftochimik 2010 - Dobrudzha 07 0-3 (19-25, 19-25, 14-25)


    Standings


    1 - CSKA (6-0) 16
    2 - Montana (5-1) 16
    3 - Pirin (5-1) 15
    4 - Dobrudzha 07 (5-1) 14
    5 - Levski Ball (3-3) 9
    6 - Marek Union-Ivkoni (3-3) 7
    7 - Cherno more (2-4) 8
    8 - Minyor (2-4) 7
    9 - Neftochimik 2010 (2-4) 6
    10- Teteven Volley (2-4) 6
    11- Arda (1-5) 3
    12- Slavia (0-6) 1


    CSKA - Levski Ball 3-2, full match


    aLhqAKMQots

  • #7


    25.11 Levski Ball vs. Minyor
    25.11 Arda vs. Montana
    25.11 Pirin vs. Cherno more
    25.11 Marek Union-Ivkoni vs. CSKA (17:30 CET, live on Diema Sport)
    26.11 Teteven Volley vs. Neftochimik 2010
    26.11 Dobrudzha 07 vs. Slavia


    Not too many interesting matches in this round. We have 3 encounters that may produce (partial) upsets. Arda won their first win of the season but Montana's form is devastating, although the latter have a missing MB (replaced by the youngster Nakov). I doubt Montana will fail to win 3 points. Marek vs. CSKA is the derby of the round and will be shown on TV later today. CSKA is the better team, they lost concentration against Levski and surprisingly dropped the first two sets. I doubt this will happen for a second match in a row. Marek shouldn't be capable of winning more than a set at home. Teteven vs. Neftochimik is the most difficult match to predict. The visitors have their backs against the wall. A win could finally see them get into top 8. They have confidence problems, the coach is rotating the squad. He might do the same, following the fiasco at home versus the defending champions Dobrudzha. My prediction is that Neftochimik should pull themselves up this time and win in Teteven but this is a game that can go either way.