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24/01/2018 09:00
Make-or-break match for Dinamo against titleholders VakifBank
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women

Luxembourg, January 24, 2018. Wednesday’s schedule in the pool stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women features three matches – and the most anticipated one is due to take place in the Russian capital where Dinamo MOSCOW play an almost make-or-break game with titleholders VakifBank ISTANBUL. Dinamo lost to Galatasaray in the previous round and have to take some points from this fixture if they want to stay in contention for a spot in the Playoffs. Elsewhere, Pool A leaders CSM Volei Alba BLAJ travel to France to play ASPTT MULHOUSE, as Poland’s Chemik POLICE host Bulgarian sensation Maritza PLOVDIV in Pool C.


•    CSM Volei Alba BLAJ are a young club (their establishment dates to 2011) but they have already shown their prowess. They are three-time Romanian national champions and claimed the last edition of their national cup as well. This is their third straight appearance in the CEV Volleyball Champions League.
•    On the other side, ASPTT MULHOUSE are one of the ‘oldest’ French teams, and they have been competing at the highest level for more than 25 years; they won the French Championship title for the first time last season and the Supercup at the beginning of the current season, and currently sit in third place in their domestic league.
•    These teams will compete against each other for the first time.
•    CSM Volei Alba BLAJ are the leaders of the Pool, after their 3-1 home victory over Volero and 3-0 win at Developres SkyRes RZESZOW. ASPTT MULHOUSE lost their away match in Poland, but pulled out a 3-2 victory two weeks ago in Zurich.

Bojana Markovic, team captain of MULHOUSE: “Alba BLAJ have two victories to their name so far. We expect a tough game! I trust my team and I know that my girls will give their best. I hope it will be a good and interesting game. We play at home and with our supporters, it is much easier for us to perform.”

Britt Herbots, player of ASPTT MULHOUSE VB: “I think it will be a very hard match! They won against Volero and in Rzeszow without dropping any points. Therefore, it is on us to give everything, as we have nothing to lose. It all starts with service and block-defence. If we do this well, we will have a good chance. The team feels a lot of excitement ahead of this first home Champions League match before our supporters.”

Magali Magail, head coach of MULHOUSE: “Alba BLAJ is a very good team with a very good outside spiker and experienced players. We expect a difficult match but our players are ready to deliver a great fight in front of our public. The key will be service / reception and a big commitment in defence.”

Adina Salaoru, team captain of CSM Volei Alba BLAJ: “We are about to play a tough match against the reigning French national champions. ASPTT MULHOUSE is a very strong team, and they won in spectacular way their last match against Volero. We have been working hard for this match, we are looking for a victory and we hope that we will get back to Romania with another good result for our fans and for Romanian Volleyball, too.”

Marina Vujovic, libero of BLAJ: “We have a tough time ahead, and I hope that we will achieve all of our goals. Our first challenge will be in France, in Mulhouse, where I hope that we will play our best Volleyball. We respect the French champions, we respect the fans of Mulhouse, too, but our dream is to come back to Blaj with a great result for our fans, maybe the best fans in Romania.”

Darko Zakoc, coach of BLAJ: “It is very important that we had an entire week to prepare for the match against MULHOUSE. This match is very important for us, not only regarding the final score, but to keep the good atmosphere on our team because we have two very important games in the Romanian championship coming up soon against C.S.M. BUCURESTI in Blaj and away at C.S.M. TARGOVISTE. We watched the last match in the Champions League that MULHOUSE won against Volero and I believe that we will meet in France a very strong team. They never give up, they have an excellent defence and our team has to remain 100% focussed if we want to take something from this match. Until now, nothing is clear in this pool, every team has good chances to go further in the Champions League and for this reason every match is a new challenge. Now our fans have high expectations but if we want to keep the first place, we have to stay focussed, keep the same rhythm as in our first two matches, otherwise we can have problems.”
Chemik POLICE (POL) vs. Maritza PLOVDIV (BUL)

•    Chemik POLICE beat Vizura 3-0 in their first match in Pool C before losing 0-3 at home to Dinamo KAZAN.
•    Maritza PLOVDIV lost two matches in a row so far – first to Dinamo KAZAN (0-3) and two weeks ago to Vizura RUMA (1-3).
•    Maritza are making their first appearance in the group stage of the CEV Volleyball Champions League – the first women’s Bulgarian team to achieve this feat.

Natalia Mędrzyk, player of Chemik POLICE: “I do not think that Vizura is a much better team than Maritza. Okay, they won the previous game with Maritza, good for them. However, Vizura is such a young team. One day they can play fantastic, and the other day their concentration and efficiency go down. My point is that Maritza is able to make a surprise in Pool C, so we have to be prepared and focused.”

Marek Mierzwiński, assistant coach of Chemik POLICE: “We need to prepare for a strong and consistent serve. They really are able to put pressure on the opponent with their serve, so a key part of this game will be our reception. We need to make their lives harder with our serve, because they tend to play with their middles a lot – and they do have strong middle blockers.”

Dinamo MOSCOW (RUS) vs. VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR)

•    Dinamo have been intensively preparing for the ‘big match’ with VakifBank since after their home loss to Galatasaray two weeks ago, the Muscovites cannot drop any further points in Pool D.
•    Middle blocker Elena Gendel has returned from injury and she is hopeful to be able to help her team as much as possible.
•    Dinamo’s last match in the Russian league was with Zarechie ODINTSOVO, so they did not have to travel that far and could focus on their preparations for the upcoming game with VakifBank.

Zoran Terzic, head coach of Dinamo MOSCOW: “VakifBank is one of the best teams in the world, so it is hard to predict how the game will unfold. We must show our best Volleyball, take risks and catch a good start to the game from the very beginning.”

Elena Gendel, player of Dinamo MOSCOW: “We would not be professional athletes, if we did not prepare for each game as carefully as we can. Yes, it will be difficult and the situation for us is not easy, but we have to get together and play like a real team!”

Vera Vetrova, player of Dinamo: “VakifBank is a very strong team. The fate made it happen this way - we need to play our best, at last, to prove ourselves, despite the fact that Galatasaray beat us in the last game. We should believe in ourselves!”

How to follow the matches...

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Social Media: Follow via the official event hashtag (#CLVolleyW) with the most regular updates coming on our competition Twitter account @CEVolleyballCL

News nr. 47 of 100
24/01/2018 20:09:00
Wins in #CLVolleyW for VakifBank ISTANBUL, Chemik POLICE and CSM Volei Alba BLAJ
23/01/2018 19:27:00
Galatasaray pull out second straight victory in ‘pool of death’

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