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06/01/2018 10:36
Allianz MTV STUTTGART back to business
2018 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women

Stuttgart, Germany, January 6, 2018. This was a vacation everyone needed! However, last week Allianz MTV STUTTGART Greek-born coach Ioannis Athanasopoulous, together with his female assistant Tamari Miyashiro had some work to do.

After a thrilling match with SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN on December 26,  which Allianz MTV STUTTGART lost in three close sets (33-35, 19-25, 25-27) after fighting for 95 minutes in a repeat of last year’s national league final to finish the first half of the regular season in second place, the team spent a well-earned break with family, friends and loved-ones.

However, they are now back to business.
And this means preparing for a double-header in the amazing atmosphere of STUTTGART’s home ground, the SCHARRena, a 2,000-seat unique sports hall located underneath the seating area of a huge soccer stadium, home to German Bundesliga professional soccer team VfB Stuttgart.

On Saturday, January 13, the second half of the national league is starting for Allianz MTV STUTTGART when hosting 9th ranked VfB SUHL Lotto Thüringen.

But first, it is to time for the CEV Cup! STUTTGART is hosting VK UP OLOMOUC, national cup winners and vice champions of the Czech Republic, this coming Wednesday, January 10, at 19.00.  “We know them, we won the first match 3-0, but we must not underestimate them, because they are a good team and they have good and experienced players,” states Athanasopoulos. “After our first game they changed some things, especially in their offense. We have to adapt to stop them. For sure we have to give our maximum to qualify to the next round.”

Athanasopoulos is very pleased with the results of the first training sessions of the year. “I think that our players needed this rest having a little break from Volleyball. This was obvious from the first sessions we had. Everybody is concentrated and working hard. Now we have to show the same attitude in the coming matches. Our goal is to try to go as far as we can in the CEV Cup,” he says.

There is one player in his team, who is a little extra excited: Michaela Mlejnková, member of the Czech national team and one of STUTTGART’s most effective outside hitters. “It is always nice to play against your home country. I would say, I know almost everyone in their team, because when I was still with Olymp PRAHA, I played many times against them in the Czech national league,” says Mlejnková, who has just returned from a few days with her family in her Czech home. “I believe that if we play our game, starting with a good serve, good defence and block, we should win. But we have to focus right from the start.”
Ready, set, go: former STUTTGART player Kim Renkema, who serves now as the Sports Director of the club, was watching the away game: “I think that we are better in all elements of the game and therefore I expect from my team to reach the next round.”

After losing the game versus SSC Palmberg SCHWERIN and missing out on a great chance to reach the national cup final for the fourth time in a row surrendering to VC WIESBADEN just two days before Christmas, her team is in need of the feeling of success again. In other words, the break is over. Back to business.

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