CEV Champions League 2019

  • I know Lube has signed-up Bieniek for next season and Stankovic will need to find a new team, but he deserves a new contract:white:.


    He changed the second match of the finals against Civitanova when he replaced Simon in the second set and today he has been amazing, serving, attacking and blocking.

  • I know Lube has signed-up Bieniek for next season and Stankovic will need to find a new team, but he deserves a new contract:white:.


    He changed the second match of the finals against Civitanova when he replaced Simon in the second set and today he has been amazing, serving, attacking and blocking.

    Fefe worked with Bieniek so it's not a far cry thought that he wants him in the team. I don't really feel it's a bad trade. Stankovic is on the decline and at the same time he doesn't deserve to be benched.

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • Juan is the MVP. :heart:

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    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • He stole another MVP award. Seriously? :white:

    GoT fans petitioning to remake season 8 vibes from everyone. :gone:

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • Let me also jump in and congratulate Lube for the awesome season finale! Let me also emphasize on the tactical change in the third set no one talked about. Even if it failed completely for Alekno, it is still worth mentioning because it was not mainstream and because it gave us a hint to what we might expect from Zenit next season. Following Zenit's decline from the second set on and Mikhaylov's low attack percentage, Anderson was converted to a receiving opposite and Mikhaylov moved to an OH. Technically, in that third set, Zenit received sometimes with 4 men, but the rest of the time Mikhaylov was covered in back line (or stayed behind the MB when in front and didn't intervene with the reception line) and concentrated on his attack from 4. He even had one pipe, as far as I can remember. I think MIkhaylov played as a full-time receiver only when Anderson was in position 3 (as the American obviously wouldn't have been able to step back). Nevertheless, neither the experiment nor the performance of Zenit worked. It was still interesting to see Alekno react, hence I enjoyed his tactical approach. One of the main problems, to me, they had this season was that they seemed "heavy" and quite often not hungry at all. Whether it was because they lost motivation after so much success lately, or because the roster didn't have the balance from previous campaigns is another topic. Clearly, Ngapeth didn't quite fit Zenit's style and it had been predicted from day 1. Of course, Leon's departure didn't make things easier, but that's not the only aspect. I would mention the absolutely selfish recruitment of a very mediocre Alekno Jr. as a back-up setter to that list, completely depriving the squad of alternatives. And we remember what a second setter like Kobzar used to contribute. Not to mention something that I already criticized during the WCCH - take Alekno Jr, Alekseev, and Ngapeth and you have an obviously overweight group of players.


    It was as if miraculous, though, that Zenit Kazan still performed perhaps their best volleyball this season in the first set. Even if the physical condition and momentum hadn't been in their favour, they had prepared well for the game and started impressively. Like it literally made no sense based on their display throughout the entire season. Great pressure from the service line, not only the jump serves but also the floats, very solid and clinical in block and attack. Then, things got back to normal. Too bad that this concentration lasted for only a set, the game afterwards turned into a massacre. Credit goes to De Giorgi who changed the pace of Lube's game, probably the game and the entire season would have turned otherwise if it wasn't for the coach. Bruno had a lot of low and inaccurate passes throughout the match but he had a decent game overall. Leal was the real MVP, of course, although let's not neglect Juantorena and Sokolov's contribution.


    Second only to Trentino's win against Dinamo Moscow in the final some years ago, this must've been one of the most one-sided CL finals in recent history, despite Zenit grabbing that first set.