CEV Cup 2018

  • Stuttgart is clearly stronger than Dresdner this season. Non only the OHs are weak from Dresdner. Stuttgart has got an amazing couple of MBs way too strong compared to the ones of their opponents.


    McCage is NT and Top teams material.


    Yes, our US middles are a bank or better wall to work with. And especially regarding Mallory "Molly" McCage I'm afraid we can't keep her, because she will get certainly offers from Italy or other leagues superiour financially and regarding chances in European Cups. Paige Tapp is playing the first time in a really good professional league (Puerto Rico is much weaker IMHO), but she seems to improve weekly - very similar like her twin sister developed in Schwerin last season rapidly.

  • Yes, those were two surprises, but maybe not as big, as some might think, more because of the relatively clear outcome:


    Minsk is far too superiour in Belorus, so they always need to adapt a bit in European Cups when playing good teams there, but they do this well and quickly enough. I considered as possible, if our team Stuttgart might have a chance, and Minsk kicked off two French teams this season already, they might be on a similar level and could have a chance against Ekaterinburg - but it was difficult to guess precisely.


    Schwerin did great in Cremona today: as I expected they have a chance, now a very good chance, because like Minsk they need just two sets or the Golden Set at home in their Palmberg hall to proceed. Despite Pomì buyed some expensive players lately (like Martinez and Balkestein-Grothues) they are still weaker than last season I think.

  • Yes, our US middles are a bank or better wall to work with. And especially regarding Mallory "Molly" McCage I'm afraid we can't keep her, because she will get certainly offers from Italy or other leagues superiour financially and regarding chances in European Cups. Paige Tapp is playing the first time in a really good professional league (Puerto Rico is much weaker IMHO), but she seems to improve weekly - very similar like her twin sister developed in Schwerin last season rapidly.


    Actually LVSF is a very good league. Criollas de Caguas can win easily every german team IMHO. And the other teams are good too. Every single PR player abroad this season is shining! :teach:

    "Voglio i tuoi occhi quando sognerai per farmi rimanere qui"
    "...come la terra la pioggia d'estate"
    "Io ti ho coperto le spalle, scoprendo tutto il mio cuore"
    - Emma :heart::love:


  • Actually LVSF is a very good league. Criollas de Caguas can win easily every german team IMHO. And the other teams are good too. Every single PR player abroad this season is shining! :teach:


    This is hard to judge, because there are no direct comparisons in matches of teams of both leagues. It is not, that they have be shining in club world championships for example. I will propose friendlies against them to find out :) .

  • Despite Pomì buyed some expensive players lately (like Martinez and Balkestein-Grothues) they are still weaker than last season I think.


    Martinez has been playing with Pomi since the beginning of the season, Grothues and Drews are newcomers instead of Drews and the Chinese Opp/OH. Neither of them seems to make any significant difference anyway :aww:


  • Actually LVSF is a very good league. Criollas de Caguas can win easily every german team IMHO. And the other teams are good too. Every single PR player abroad this season is shining! :teach:


    But it's like semi-proleague. Megan Courtney said they had only 2-3 hours morning practises.

  • A surprise was completed by Schwerin, which upset Casalmaggiore, which is in real trouble, because our German teams like Schwerin and Stuttgart couldn't win against strong teams from Italy like Conegliano, Novara, Scandicci or Busto Arsizio.


    The semi is a joke, because we have no measure against "monsters" like Eczacibasi. I give Schwerin no more than about 70 minutes on the court, to be honest, against them. The same is true, if Stuttgart gets to the finals.


    But the other semi Stuttgart vs. Minsk is rather interesting and can't be seriously predicted regarding outcome. Minsk has the slight advantage of home match as return match.

  • Stutgart vs.Minsk will be interesting indeed


    btw.. which one is expected to get German league title this season : Stuttgart or Schwerin ?
    Dresdner didnt seem to be a real contender for it


    Dresdens head coach Waibl told after the quarters, that Stuttgart should win the championship. Stuttgart has the advantage to start definitely as best league round team throughout the playoffs with home advantage and less on the road advantage.

  • Nearly forgotten: the task for Eczacibasi in the quarters was even easier than expected, because Krasnoyarsk key player Maria Frolovoa couldn't (or nearly not) play due to injury.

  • I watched Minsk a few times now (Stuttgart not much yet, 1 time) but what I can say about Minsk is that they are crazy good and very underrated. Imo they might even be better then some teams that are still playing in CL. That semi will be enjoyable for sure.

  • I watched Minsk a few times now (Stuttgart not much yet, 1 time) but what I can say about Minsk is that they are crazy good and very underrated. Imo they might even be better then some teams that are still playing in CL. That semi will be enjoyable for sure.


    They defeated two French teams and now also fourth of Russian superleague Ekaterinburg. I'm pretty sure, that they are really good, including a considerable number of Belorus NT members.


    Our coaching staff is already investigating Minsk team thoroughly, maybe better, than they expect. Stuttgart is in great shape now, but I can't tell at all, which team will get through to the finals anyway. I can only assure you, that our players are kind of insane and want to play Eczacibasi, which is much too strong to withstand for both Stuttgart and Minsk...

  • They defeated two French teams and now also fourth of Russian superleague Ekaterinburg. I'm pretty sure, that they are really good, including a considerable number of Belorus NT members.


    Our coaching staff is already investigating Minsk team thoroughly, maybe better, than they expect. Stuttgart is in great shape now, but I can't tell at all, which team will get through to the finals anyway. I can only assure you, that our players are kind of insane and want to play Eczacibasi, which is much too strong to withstand for both Stuttgart and Minsk...


    Ofc Eczacibasi is the best in here but I believe Minsk and/or Stuttgart could for sure give Vitra a nice run for the cup if they give their all. Minsk took a set from VB and played decent against them as well. Stuttgart is imo the best German team atm. I don't expect 2, 3-0 matches in the final. Cev Cup is already much better then Challenge cup this season and I btw agree on it should be merged. What can I say, may the bests win/proceed :D

  • Are Stuttgart,Minsk and Schwerin much weaker than e.g Krasnoyarsk ? i dont think
    Krasnoyarsk had played well at first match against Vitra
    i guess/hope two of these three teams can do the same though Vitra will be clear fav. against them

  • I have now watched two sets of Minsk playing in Ekaterinburg and have to state, that they are playing really impressively well. For the semi final, honestly our head coach doesn't expect to win on the road in Minsk, so Stuttgart has to win (likely with three points) the home match, where they are really very strong in Stuttgarts SCHARRena partly due to the major support of us fans. But even if this task is done well, which will be no way easy, to carry this advantage into the return match in Minsk will prove extremely difficult without any doubt, a Golden Set would be played there after the match, if necessary, as you know.


    Minsk is still carrying the CL signs from their failed qualification trial to the pool stage - they lost in third round there all six sets played to VakifBank, but VakifBank is together with Eczacibasi the absolute top of worlds club teams IMHO. And Minsk managed to lose a set just 25:27. I think, Minsk can still gain from this experience, if they get to the finals against Eczacibasi, while Schwerin and Stuttgart have too long had no experience with this kind of "opponent".


    When Stuttgart managed to win a place in challenge round playing CEV DenizBank CL 2016 in the CEV cup they had (playing generally pretty good) to play than defending champions and two times Russian cup winners Krasnodar - and they never arrived into the away match in Krasnodar, the Russians shot them off court in just 61 minutes :( . The return match in Stuttgart began similarly, but when Kosheleva went out due to injury in third set that one became much closer, but Krasnodar still won. Despite Stuttgarts team has become clearly stronger in the meantime, you have to consider the following:


    Eczacibasi is for sure still offended for not being allowed to play CL this season, but they will certainly do anything to take this trophy as kind of substitution and not doing the three remaining underdogs the favour, to underrate them. That means, they will likely start with the same 6 (+1) as when playing VakifBank and there is the chance to keep their underdog opponent out of the match the whole time, when they are (what I supposed they will be) focused all the time.

  • One day before the semis a few more informations: Schwerin labels the home match against the clear-cut title favourites Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL as giant challenge, but is nevertheless no way willing, to wave the white flag (this is a common features of all VBL teams :) ). Schwerin is starting with the usual 13 professionals, not filling the 14.th slot for the match with a dual license player. Eczacibasi had to omit some listed players to keep in the 14 at most roster (of course also two libero players included), but all of the stars are there. The betting quota is embarassing, but of course this is mission impossible for Schwerin: ranges are 1.05 to 1.10 for Eczacibasi, but 6 to 8 for Schwerin, one of the least balanced values I have seen (but I'm checking those only occasionally).


    Stuttgart is also using all 14 professionals as usual (in the league), while Minsk reduced considerably by omitting also one libero to 12. But all of the expected strong players of Belorus are already here, they were already doing a short training session in the SCHARRena in the evening. Stuttgart declares this match as difficult (what it is without any doubt), we will see, if they can continue their good European Cups performances against good opponents tomorrow anyway. While I guess their chances are no better than 60 to 40 even with the valuable home advantage, it was a surprise for me to see the betting quotes clearly in favour of Stuttgart (1.22 to 1.28 compared to 3.6 to 3.8 for Minsk).