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18/11/2019 11:00
Big all-Turkish clash to mark first week of #CLVolleyW pool stage
CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women

Luxembourg, November 18, 2019.  Time has come for the fourth round of the CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women to get underway. The league round, or the core stage, of Europe’s most prestigious club competition is set to take place for the 20th consecutive time after the European Champions Cup was transformed to Champions League at the turn of the millennium. Excitement is set to start sparkling with the very first game of the round, a titanic all-Turkish Match of the Week clash between Istanbul powerhouses Eczacibasi VitrA and Fenerbahce Opet.

20 of the continent’s elite club teams split into five pools of four by a draw held in Sofia on October 25 are now ready to embark on a six-leg quest towards the elimination stage. The pool stage starts on Tuesday, November 19, and ends on Tuesday, February 18, when the five pool winners, as well as the three pool runners-up with the best records will have booked their spots in the quarterfinals.

Istanbul giants Eczacibasi VitrA, starring CEV’s Volleyball Player of the Year Tijana Bošković, and Fenerbahce Opet, featuring another world and European champion with Serbia – Brankica Mihajlovic – and led by Serbian national team coach Zoran Terzic, will lock horns in the pool stage opener starting at 17:30 local time at the magnificent Burhan Felek Volleyball Hall in the Turkish megalopolis.

• Istanbul city rivals Eczacibasi VitrA and Fenerbahce Opet meet for the third time in the Champions League, after a double meeting in the 2016/2017 Playoffs 6.
• Eczacibasi reached the 2016/2017 semifinals after a 2-3 defeat on March 23 and a 3-1 win on April 4, both at Burhan Felek.
• Fenerbahce's only other Champions League matches against teams from Turkey came against VakifBank ISTANBUL, winning one out of four matches: 3-2 on March 12, 2015.
• Eczacibasi won only two of their last 15 Champions League matches against Turkish opposition, the aforementioned 3-1 win against Fenerbahce on April 4, 2017 and a 3-1 win over VakifBank on April 4, 2015 in the semifinals in Szczecin, Poland.
• The last encounter between these two teams took place earlier this month. On November 2 at Burhan Felek, Eczacibasi defeated Fenerbahce in five sets – 3-2 (23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12) – in a Turkish domestic league game.

Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL
• Eczacibasi are participating in their 17th Champions League season, third most all time. RC CANNES and VakifBank ISTANBUL will appear this season in their 19th and 18th Champions League campaign respectively.
• Eczacibasi have recorded two podium finishes in the Champions League: they won the competition in 2014/2015 and finished third in 2016/2017.
• Coming into the fourth round, only VakifBank (124) and RC CANNES (96) have won more Champions League matches than Eczacibasi (95).
• Eczacibasi won their opening match in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns. The only exception was a 2-3 defeat against Pomì CASALMAGGIORE of Italy in 2015/2016.
• Eczacibasi have won each of their last eight Champions League matches in which they won the opening set.
• Eczacibasi have lost three of their last four deciding sets in the Champions League.

Fenerbahce Opet ISTANBUL
• Fenerbahce won the Champions League once. In 2011/2012 they defeated RC CANNES 3-0 in the final.
• Fenerbahce also finished runners-up once, in 2009/2010, and took third place on three occasions, in 2010/2011, 2015/2016 and 2018/2019.
• Three teams have collected more Champions League podium finishes than Fenerbahce (5): VakifBank ISTANBUL (8), Volley BERGAMO (7) and RC CANNES (6).
• Fenerbahce participate in the Champions League for the sixth successive season, and for the 10th time in total.
• Fenerbahce have won their opening match in each of their last eight Champions League participations. Only on their Champions League debut, in 2007/2008, they lost their first match: 0-3 to Winiary Bakalland KALISZ.
• Fenerbahce have lost four of their last five deciding sets in the Champions League.

In the other Pool A match this week, Poland’s Budowlani ŁÓDŹ entertain Finland’s LP SALO on Wednesday.

Pool B action will also start with a high-level battle in Istanbul, on Wednesday. Four-time winners and four-time runners-up of the Champions League and reigning club world champions VakifBank, the most decorated club of the current decade, host Italy’s Savino Del Bene SCANDICCI in another duel between Serbian champions of the world and/or Europe. VakifBank’s roster boasts the names of Milena Rasic and Maja Ognjenovic, while Jovana Stevanovic and Bojana Milenković defend the colours of Savino Del Bene. In the other match in the pool, also on Wednesday, Russian rookies Lokomotiv KALININGRAD Region welcome Slovenia’s Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR.

2019 Champions League winners Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA of Italy start the defence of their continental crown on Wednesday with a home game against qualifiers from the third round Khimik YUZHNY in Pool C. Stefana Veljkovic, Elitsa Vasileva, Cristina Chirichella and the rest of their teammates in CEV Women’s Volleyball Team Coach of the Year Massimo Barbolini’s squad will entertain their Ukrainian opponents at 20:30 local time. On the day before, Poland’s ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ host Germany’s Allianz MTV STUTTGART in the other Pool C match.

The other 2019 finalists, Italy’s A. Carraro Imoco CONEGLIANO, also get their new Champions League season going with a home match against a team coming in as a qualifier from the third round. On Tuesday evening at the Palaverde in Villorba, with a stellar line-up featuring the likes of Paola Egonu, Monica De Gennaro, Kimberly Hill, Miriam Sylla, Joanna Wolosz and Robin de Kruijf, the 2019 silver medallists welcome Hungarian champs Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST, who made it to the pool stage at their maiden Champions League appearance, for a Pool D encounter. An hour earlier, at Mangin Beaulieu in Nantes, current Romanian champions and 2018 Champions League runners-up C.S.M. Volei Alba BLAJ, relying on the services of Bianka Busa and Silvija Popovic, also world and European champions with the national team of Serbia, will challenge hosts NANTES VB of France in the other Pool D fixture.

An all-Russian clash between the two most decorated teams in the history of Europe’s premier club tournament will highlight the first leg in Pool E. In this week’s only Champions League game scheduled for Thursday, 11-time continental champions Dinamo MOSCOW host eight-time winners Uralochka-NTMK EKATERINBURG at 19:00 local time in the Russian capital. Pool E action is set to start on Tuesday, when Bulgarian national team middle blocker Mira Todorova and her clubmates from France’s RC CANNES welcome the team of her native club Maritza PLOVDIV.

All Champions League games are streamed live on EuroVolleyTV.
For further information on the competition, go to the CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women section.

News nr. 39 of 66
19/11/2019 20:00:00
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17/11/2019 17:00:00
Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR excited ahead of #CLVolleyW group stage debut

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