CEV Challenge Cup 2019

  • We start yet again another European Cups thread discussing a team that is said to withdraw from the European participation...


    Having won the Romanian league last season, Tricolorul Ploiesti suffered a significant budget cut and gave up their Champions League qualification berth. They applied for the Challenge Cup instead and now, with the financial problems deepening, they are said to have withdrawn from that tournament, too. I haven't read an international confirmation on this news yet, so I can't declare it official, but Ploiesti's Challenge Cup Qualification opponent, Levski Sofia from Bulgaria, are said to move automatically to the next round where there are Perungan Pojat Rovaniemi from Finland waiting.


    Let's see how that story unfolds and whether there will be other refusals.

  • Another remarkable turn of events as Sporting came back from behind to beat Monza 3-2 away. Massive contribution by the veterans Dennis and Marshall for the Portuguese. This outcome will make the return leg in Lisbon next week very entertaining. Hopefully, Monza will have Plotnyskyi and Sporting Niki Nikolov respectively, forming their best possible line-ups.

  • Does anyone know if there is a minimum amount of players who have to be present for an international or any professional game? The reason I am asking is Poitiers's decision, I assume, to travel with only 9 players for the visit in Belgorod this week.

  • To me, the most interesting encounter last night was not in the Champions League but rather in Monza. Pity that no one wrote anything here or that perhaps only few watched it.


    Neither Belogorie nor Monza played their best volleyball yesterday but the match was spectacular nevertheless, with Monza clearly coming close to their best. Both Dzavoronok and Plotnytskyi played and it changed Orduna's distribution accordingly, leaving the opposite Ghafour with fewer balls than the two OHs. I really fancy this year's Monza team, their style is kind of a mixture between old school and modern volleyball. Old school because of the OHs' distribution at times and Plotnyskyi in particular (his style, jump, and overall technique), and still modern due to the great speed at times and Orduna's distribution (pipes, change of pace, etc.). Dzavoronok, to me, the MVP of the match, finished with great numbers.


    Belogorie will mostly be remembered in Monza for the provocative behaviour which came in larger parts from Gutsalyuk and Petric. Both were constantly staring arrogantly through the net without an apparent reason. I had never seen Slobodan Kovac get so angry so often in a match, you could sense/see things didn't work they way he had planned. Belogorie are rather shaky and often unimpressive this season, especially in Russia, and the eventual victory in the Challenge Cup could've partially provided some consolation to the season. Now, having lost to pretty much the only real contender (not counting the nail-biting Golden Set in Lisbon against Benfica), this also seems in danger. I just don't quite like the roster, to start with. Poroshin, surprisingly receiving a NT call this year, is a rather boring, straight-forward, predictable setter without much imagination. To be able to win with him, you would need strong attack reinforcements. Muserskiy, however, is gone, and none of Gutsalyuk, Safonov, and Khanipov is actually something special. They are all just average, back-up option MBs who can still make a difference in Europe but clearly not in the Superleague. Let's move on to the opposite. Zemchenok is not even a top one. The guy would fit a middle-/bottom-ranked team way more, like Nova, Ugra, Yenisei, for instance. He barely even reaches the 50% attack mark and I see him as one of the worst that has performed in Belogorie. Naturally, Perrin and Petric are supposed to carry Belogorie on their shoulders. Whereas I have doubted Petric's overall greatness over the years, I will leave my opinion about him aside and state that the guy is not in his best form. Apart from staring across the net, Petric did relatively fine yesterday, also from the service line, but he and the only really reliable option in attack Perrin just weren't enough. Petric and Perrin have a height advantage over Plotnytskyi and Orduna at the net which will be used again in the return leg where Belgorod have to step up in order to unbalance the better-organized defensively Monza. It should also be a great second match, I am looking forward to watching it.

  • To me, the most interesting encounter last night was not in the Champions League but rather in Monza. Pity that no one wrote anything here or that perhaps only few watched it.


    Neither Belogorie nor Monza played their best volleyball yesterday but the match was spectacular nevertheless, with Monza clearly coming close to their best. Both Dzavoronok and Plotnytskyi played and it changed Orduna's distribution accordingly, leaving the opposite Ghafour with fewer balls than the two OHs. I really fancy this year's Monza team, their style is kind of a mixture between old school and modern volleyball. Old school because of the OHs' distribution at times and Plotnyskyi in particular (his style, jump, and overall technique), and still modern due to the great speed at times and Orduna's distribution (pipes, change of pace, etc.). Dzavoronok, to me, the MVP of the match, finished with great numbers.


    Belogorie will mostly be remembered in Monza for the provocative behaviour which came in larger parts from Gutsalyuk and Petric. Both were constantly staring arrogantly through the net without an apparent reason. I had never seen Slobodan Kovac get so angry so often in a match, you could sense/see things didn't work they way he had planned. Belogorie are rather shaky and often unimpressive this season, especially in Russia, and the eventual victory in the Challenge Cup could've partially provided some consolation to the season. Now, having lost to pretty much the only real contender (not counting the nail-biting Golden Set in Lisbon against Benfica), this also seems in danger. I just don't quite like the roster, to start with. Poroshin, surprisingly receiving a NT call this year, is a rather boring, straight-forward, predictable setter without much imagination. To be able to win with him, you would need strong attack reinforcements. Muserskiy, however, is gone, and none of Gutsalyuk, Safonov, and Khanipov is actually something special. They are all just average, back-up option MBs who can still make a difference in Europe but clearly not in the Superleague. Let's move on to the opposite. Zemchenok is not even a top one. The guy would fit a middle-/bottom-ranked team way more, like Nova, Ugra, Yenisei, for instance. He barely even reaches the 50% attack mark and I see him as one of the worst that has performed in Belogorie. Naturally, Perrin and Petric are supposed to carry Belogorie on their shoulders. Whereas I have doubted Petric's overall greatness over the years, I will leave my opinion about him aside and state that the guy is not in his best form. Apart from staring across the net, Petric did relatively fine yesterday, also from the service line, but he and the only really reliable option in attack Perrin just weren't enough. Petric and Perrin have a height advantage over Plotnytskyi and Orduna at the net which will be used again in the return leg where Belgorod have to step up in order to unbalance the better-organized defensively Monza. It should also be a great second match, I am looking forward to watching it.

    Yes, their first match was pretty intense. Monza has been a tough team in Italy league this season, but they are not stable. They can beat Perugia, but can also lose to a weak team. Both Petric and Perrin are good OHs, but not decisive ones. Petric is not even the starter in Serbi NT during WCH 2018. Perrin has never reached to his peak after his waist injury. But Belogorie still have a chance to win the trophy at home.


    The 2019 roster of Russia NT announced today is a rough one. We won't see something really meaningful until they cut that list down to 22 players. Poroshin is on this raw list, but the chances he will be in NT are slim. Butko and Kovalev will take two setter spots. Pankov and Poroshin will compete the 3rd spot.

  • Personally, I want Monza to win but I have a feeling Belogorie will increase their level at home.


    Besides, Gutsalyuk has a legacy to protect although it's a running joke about his teams winning wherever he is. :lol:


    I also have to wonder about Monza's schedule. They will have to try to beat Trento to get the more favorable match up for the scudetto race and then have to prepare for their flight to Russia and acclimate themselves to a colder place. It could be a tough juggling two important tasks in just a short time.


    Still Bravo to both teams. This looks more like a final compared to CEV Cup.

    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

  • I agree with you guys, the match was entertaining yesterday. I hoped Monza could finished it in the fourth, but Belgorod grabbed it in the end. Nothing is done yet, they must play their best game in Russia.


    I don't know, at this point, how much they would care to win against Trento.. they would probably go out at the quarter finals in play off, so I wouldn't care about having a better match up, as Trento Lube and Perugia are way above them, but I would concentrate on the return match instead.

  • I agree. Challenge Cup is real. Superlega is a dream.


    I heard Orduna and Rizzo played amazing. I wish I had a chance to watch the match.

    In Russia it will be very hard. Belogorod is a club used to european finals, they have the mentality, despite their season has been quite bad so far.