Posts by YavorD

    Hmm Stoytchev is too strict as a coach and wants to control everything. He is like Mourinho of volleyball. They have similar coaching pathways. Both coaches career peaked between 2009-2013 and now on decline.

    I am sorry, I just had to say something here. This has been discussed so much before that I don't know why it reappears. The comparison to Mourinho is just ridiculous. After his second tenure at Trentino, where Stoychev achieved enough without the so called superstars, he's been practically out of work. He couldn't even unpack his luggage in a couple of months in Modena and Szczecin and it's not fair to look for results there. Sure, you are absolutely right that he is strict, at times too strict, but this is his approach and it has often been successful. If you don't like him, don't sign with him. Most of the better coaches will be demanding in their own way. Unlike the childish Mourinho who has coached big teams all this time and mostly relied on past glory due to the lack of results, Stoychev and his methods, in my humble opinion, tend to do better. He is not a prophet, though, and I will give you that.

    The hot match In the 7th round: Zenit Kazan 3:0 Fakel


    Kliuka did not play (no sure if he's injured) in this game. Bogdan and Volkov are starters. Fakel played well in the first two sets, but can not hold on at the end of each set. Then the 3rd set was a blowout. Fakel struggled with the reception through the game.


    Butko played bad in the 1st set, but back to normal in the 2nd and 3rd set. NGapeth's attacking was awful, but his reception and defense are solid as rock. Both Maxim and Matt played well with some nice serves.

    Alekno described the match as anti-volleyball. Both teams felt physically exhausted after the long trips and the Club WCH. Fakel's head coach Placi will undergo a surgery in Italy and was missing, Klyuka and Kolodinskiy, two of Fakel's key figures, were injured and were rested. So, despite the importance of the match, Fakel chose not to risk anything. Zenit admittedly didn't show the right mood either but seem to have won mostly due to more experience, available key players, and a consistent Maxim Mikhaylov. Fakel could've still won the first two sets, though, when they often had the advantage. Instead of a real fight, this game obviously didn't show anything remarkable and won't be really taken into account by either side.

    This is the ball I was talking about if you check those two pics. at 17-14 in second set. on Vettori's serve .

    Thank you for the those pics! I saw the situation, too, and thought the same but unlike you, I was too lazy to make screenshots :D However, as correctly pointed out, we don't really know which phase of the ball's trajectory is presented on picture 1. These systems have been tested and I doubt they can show something terribly wrong. It's perhaps the interpretation of the data which can lead to uncertainties. But I won't dare say more, I would love to know in more details how they work.


    Also, while on the subject of technicalities, why have the rules been changed for the two phases of the SAME tournament? Meaning, I noticed there were no TTOs in the group stage, whereas there were obviously regular TTOs during the semis and the medal matches (at points 8 and 16). This is everything but consistent and speaks quite badly against the event's organization/committee.

    Alex Grozdanov (Bulgarian NT, MB, 20-year-old, 205 cm, Calzedonia Verona) will finish the season at Greenyard Maaseik due to Andri Aganits' injury.


    Source: Maaseik's home page.

    A bit contradicting. You say there is no chemistry issue but then end up saying Ngapeth doesn't fit Zenit Kazan and even the stats suggest Butko overloaded Ngapeth and froze Mikhailov in the background until the choke moment.


    Don't you think when the setter is having a hard time of his life to change his style to the type that fits Ngapeth who is essentially a different player from Leon. More complex and adventurous but can be effective if placed under a different condition. If that's not a chemistry issue, I don't know what it is. Ngapeth basically changes the system and with that, Zenit is an entirely new team compared to the team they put up together last season and played a much simpler type of volleyball.

    No, it isn't. And you misunderstood it. You can't put a Frenchman in a Russian team and expect the team to play French. Butko's sets to Ngapeth were already great, that wasn't the issue. Apart from Ngapeth losing some kilos and maybe killing a few more balls in decisive matches, I don't expect more to change in Zenit's (or Ngapeth's) game. It has nothing to do with the lack of chemistry because with Ngapeth in Russia there won't be much chemistry in general. That's what it means that he just doesn't fit. The Russian league and teams are more suitable for physical players (even nowadays). Ngapeth's presence kind of reminds me of Giba's transfer in Odintsovo. A precious swan (funny reference to his brother :D ) taken out of his pond to amuse the mob in a park.

    In 2017-18 Russian League final, game 2, Kazan 3:2 St. Petersburg. In set 5, Leon got 8 points out of 15. Both maxim and matt almost got no balls from Butko. That's exactly what DeCecoo did today - passing all the balls to Leon in tie-break.


    In 2017-18 CL final, Kazan 3:2 Lube. In set 5, When Kazan was down 7:11, Leon became the hero who saved Kazan, while Maxim only got 1 shot after then (if my memory serves well).


    Leon could have an attacking PT% = 60+% in 7 games in a row, which I don't see anyone else could accomplish. As an OH, Leon's stats are even better than a top class OPP.

    Thank you! I thought I was the only one :) Leon was the reason I could never fully enjoy Zenit's game and I never got fond of the mechanical setting to him when it mattered the most. He was also the reason I called them Leonit Kazan :D The guy is insanely good, no question about that, but he made every teammate or tactic redundant. Sometimes it worked for Zenit and you could see their teamwork but I have an unpopular opinion that often Zenit were not the best team in the world but just had the best player in the world (Zenit were the best team last year, for instance, because Lube, although practically on par, lost everything they could have).


    I am sorry to read that it happened again in Perugia's match vs. Monza. But I guess we'll just have to get used to it. Perugia fans probably won't mind :) Still, credits due where credits due, Zenit had a great team alongside Leon. Perugia, on the other hand, have more "holes" in the roster, so let's see how that will work in the long run.

    I disagree. When you don't have enough chemistry, even with Leon, you'll lose.


    This is a very difficult group. Definitely a group of death between the two pools. I like that Zenit Kazan gave an entertaining two matches in a row but when you don't have the chemistry and you're facing strongest opponents, you have to be consistent and unfortunately, they choked but still an enjoyable match in my opinion.

    It's not a chemistry problem! As was correctly stated above, there are only 2 new players in Zenit's starting six and one is a MB which they usually change on a yearly basis. Now, I will agree Zenit are not in shape. Ngapeth has gained kilos, Butko, Mikhaylov, and Anderson are clearly not there yet. There are a lot of reasons as to why they lost two matches in a row, but they have no one and nothing to blame for the dropped 5-points lead in the tie-break. Even when you play with the B team you can't lose when you are up 14-9 in the decider. Ngapeth is the go-to guy in the French NT, but I cannot imagine he will take this role at Zenit. One, because Zenit's style is different. Two, unlike Leon, he can't be as effective. Three, his behaviour just doesn't fit Zenit (but it fits the French NT). And there were reasons why people doubted the choice of replacing Leon with the Frenchman. Mikhaylov will be the go-to guy for Zenit once he gets back in shape. But I absolutely agree Zenit are weaker this year. And that is because they don't have Leon, as simple as that.


    Even when the team was underperforming (or lacking chemistry pops up as an excuse), they had Leon to save their as*es. Rerefence - the 2018 CL final in Kazan. And it was the case on a number of occasions. Mikhaylov is a player I adore and I would trust him no matter what, having saved Zenit many times as well, but he can't always be a match winner. What I mean is, with Leon in the roster Zenit would've killed both matches against Fakel and Lube even with Alekno and his son in the starting six.

    Kazan is weaker than last season. This team only replaced Leon with NGapeth. The chemistry is not the main issue. NGapeth has better defense than Leon, but his offense is not godd enough to carry the team through the tough time.


    If they have Leon, Butko will pass most balls to Leon in set 5. But now Butko has no clue of passing the ball in clutch time. That makes a big difference.


    If this Kazan plays against Perugia (with Leon), they don't stand a chance.

    Absolutely! The only thing I disagree with is that Perugia will dominate. Perugia are still a team under construction and we saw that even out of shape, Zenit Kazan are tough to beat. Alekno still have a lot of options to choose from, unless he decides to suicidally drop 5 points at the end of the tie-break.


    As Camilo Placci said, even Fakel's coaching staff gradually learn what these youngsters can do. They seem fragile at certain times but also very mighty at others. Reception is not always great with Volkov and Klyuka in the reception line but they are both capable of playing out-of-system. I don't know if they would be that strong with a younger setter, Kolodinskiy seems to fit perfectly and does a great job coordinating his attackers. For those of us who follow the European League and the less watchable tournaments and leagues in Europe, Udrys is not a new player :) He is not very young anymore but still at a good age. However, I have to confess that he wasn't really something special in the previous seasons or when he was younger. I guess his stay in South Korea and China improved his confidence and attack skills. I was surprised to see Denis Bogdan as a back-up opposite, I had watched him only as an OH, mainly in the junior and youth NT. Alexander Kimerov should usually be the back-up opposite. Fakel have a day off now, they play tomorrow again in a more or less meaningless match.


    I think Lube rather than Fakel are the team that should not rest players tomorrow. You all mentioned they all still have to get to each other and I would play the starters for a set or two against Fakel, they need more time together as they get better with every match indeed. By the way, kudos to Stijn D'Hulst for the display when he subbed Bruno. The guy was confident, didn't act like the usual bench-warmer. He was inaccurate on a number of occasions, I guess he was nervous, too, also being the only non-star player in the roster at the time. But he was fine and was surely one of the reasons for Lube's great comeback.

    These are money championship. FIVB is selling a product for clubs and their sponsors are paying for extra commercial, if they want. Whole event is not too much related with sport for me.

    I absolutely agree! It is still related to sports but not at all to a World Club Championship anymore. The absence of continental representatives makes it everything else but a World Club Championship. And, of course, the random choice of a second Polish, Italian, and Russian teams. To be read, why Fakel, Resovia, and Trentino? Money, of course, but never mind.

    How does this work with teams use a rotating libero?

    One of the two liberos is usually a reception specialist, the other a defensive specialist. I know it's not that simple in reality, but in all levels of volleyball it comes down to one fixed value - if you can't receive, you are out, otherwise you are a liability. I absolutely agree with you that reception is just the first contact in a rally, in the female game with even less significance, but if you fail to deliver that first touch, your team can't do anything. And I will have to agree with Matthias as to how many more options and scenarios we might have when a team defends. Defence is still almost as important, in my eyes. I will try to depict those in a mathematical (totally biased, as per my volleyball creed) pattern.


    R / D = 1.5

    R / S = 2

    D / S = 1.67


    The smaller the ratios, the better the libero and the overall level of the team.

    So it really looks like Laola is out of CL business. We will have Eurovolley TV instead.


    It is going to be 7,99 Euro/30 days "only" for CL. I wonder why CEV cup isn't included?! While thats probably the way it has to go, coming up with such a major change only a couple of days before the competition starts doesn't seem to be overly professional. Anyway, i will think about subscribing but rather wait for experience reports coming in. Will miss Laola for sure.......

    Yeah, good point. I thought about posting, too. On-demand CL qualifying matches are still available at Laola, but there is nothing planned on Laola from now on for the group stage that starts on Tuesday, as stated above. I guess we'll have to see first how that goes. The subscription is renewed automatically which means that in order to pick certain months instead of paying on a monthly basis, you have to cancel it in advance. And I don't know what happens with the subscription when there will be no CL matches...


    True, the other CEV events are not advertised on the channel. Seems like a tough decision in the long run.

    A new Mikasa volleyball will be first introduced at the 2019 World Cup. You can take a look here:


    Mikasa V200W


    It's way too early to say something about the ball's characteristics. I, personally, barely got used to the new panel design of the current ball, I really love the traditional 18-panel design which had been associated with our game for decades, yet I will struggle to get fond of this football-style look.


    You can share your thoughts.

    Berlin have been capable of stepping up when it matters the most against Friedrichshafen over the past years. It wasn't that crucial tonight, still early in the season, yet Berlin already unveiled what the eventual title race might look like. This Friedrichshafen's style is well-known, they reached the best of it last year and still lost to Berlin in the final play-offs. The only really new thing at Friedrichshafen is the setters' pair which easily explains the better start into the campaign. Berlin will need more time to adjust to the new players, you all mentioned it, quite normally started the season a bit slower, not for the first time, but as of November, they look again as eventual champions.


    It was a weird match that, in my opinion, would've finished earlier had the Berlin side spent more time together or had it been scheduled later into the campaign. We've discussed Friedrichshafen last year, everything is still valid now as well. They need contribution from everywhere in attack due to their short offensive players. Protopsaltis had a great match, but I would argue that Sossenheimer didn't even get the rhythm of it. Janouch is a decent setter but I am curious to see if he has the class to be a starter at a club like Friedrichshafen. He is not that fast, one of his greatest weaknesses, and added to the reception problems and Adam Smith's serve series, we saw Heynen's side struggle at Rotation 1. Also, I like Boladz but he has kind of a spiral swing that spins the ball in a way that prevents him from playing down the line. Boladz is a player who serves great and can be devastating when hitting diagonal but his line attacks cost his teams (or at least what I've seen mostly in Germany) a lot of points.


    Berlin, on the other side, played very organized volleyball for a team that is practically brand new. And they should get better with time. I will confess this was the first longer period in which I watched Kyle Russell. I will need more time to make some impression about his game, he was fine tonight. He is very athletic, though, and I think he should be able to reach higher given that athleticism. But I may get the chance to watch Russell more as Patch again had to be taken out. Now that I think of, Patch played only a couple of matches from the beginning to the end (those that I watched at least) and they were with the NT during the summer when Anderson was on holiday. The guy seems to be having difficulties with the professional volleyball life.

    Levski Sofia's two opposites, the veteran Smilen Mlyakov and the youngster Ivan Pankov, as well as their third alternative, the universal Junior NT player Zhelyazko Apostolov, got all injured weeks and days before the derby match (this week on Saturday) vs CSKA. This is why Levski's head coach, former NT member Vladimir Nikolov, applied for a player licence again and will return from retirement in order to help his team. Funny thing that it was exactly injured opposites which brought him back to the NT one last time for the home ECH in 2015. Even if he was among Bulgaria's best ever opposites, I don't see how he will get in shape in 3-4 days.

    Is it now official that there are no more technical time-outs at points 8 and 16? The Champions League match in Burgas tonight didn't have any and it is an official CEV tournament. Previously, this had only been the case in the Italian league. Does anyone know if this is an all-FIVB-and-CEV thing now?

    Poor Germany will have to travel like crazy, From China to Canada to France to Brazil and then finally Germany.

    Just for the sake of comparison, Bulgaria's schedule doesn't look much more appealing. Argentina -> China -> Bulgaria -> Brazil -> Bulgaria. I can already predict that the B team will be flying to Brazil in the 4th week during the summer :)

    For the german team that means travelling Germany -> China -> North America -> Europe -> South America -> Europe within 30 days. I guess its no hyperbole to say that they will spend more time in planes and waiting rooms than on the volleyball court....:white:

    It has always been the case with most teams, the calendar is never evenly distributed, unfortunately, and it often pays off in the end. This is why I made the comparison to the 2018 edition. This year, France only played in Europe and were supposed to be way more fresh than the rest. In 2019, each team will have to cross oceans/continents at least once, which looks better and fairer on paper than in 2018.