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18/11/2020 17:30
Champions League 2021 Women Pool A Preview
CEV Champions League Volley 2021

Luxembourg, November 18, 2020. With the CEV Champions League Volley 2021 fast approaching and 20 teams competing from several different national leagues, it can be tough to keep up with all the moving parts of professional volleyball. That's why we are sharing previews for every pool of the Champions League 4th round with the key transfers and the most important questions clubs are facing heading into the competition. Here it is for Pool A in the women's competition.

 

Developres SkyRes Rzeszów (POL)
In
: Kiera Van Ryk, OPP (CAN), Alexandra Lazić, OH (SWE)
Out: Michaela Mlejnková, OH (CZE), Alexandra Frantti, OH (USA)
Key Question: Is prospect Kiera Van Ryk ready to take over the scoring load?

It seems like there are an unlimited number of dynamic young opposites among the teams participating in Champions League 2021. Tijana Boskovic, Isabelle Haak, Paola Egonu, Jordan Thompson, just to name a few. But Canadian Kiera Van Ryk is making a name for herself as one of the most prolific scorers in Poland. And so far that has translated to a dominant season for Rzeszów, with them remaining undefeated and leading the league in attacking and serving. But will Kiera and the rest of the team be able to keep this up against better block defenses? 

Savino Del Bene Scandicci (ITA)
In
: Megan Courtney, OH (USA), Mina Popović, MB (SRB), Kimberly Drewniok, OPP (GER)
Out: Alexa Gray, OH (CAN), Lonneke Slöetjes, OPP (NED), Samantha Bricio, OH (MEX), Jovana Stevanović, MB (SRB), Agnieszka Kąkolewska, MB (POL)
Key Question: Will a complete rebuild be competitive in year 1? 

Despite a successful 2019-2020 Champions League pool phase that saw them finish 5-1, handing VakifBank Istanbul their only loss along the way, Scandicci turned over almost their entire starting lineup. Due to the brilliant emergence of youngsters Elena Pietrini and Magdalena Stysiak, Scandicci could afford to move on from Bricio, Gray, and Slöetjes. Relying on two players who just barely entered their 20s is a risk however, and it is still a question if Stysiak can play an entire season as an outside hitter instead of an opposite. 

SSC Palmberg Schwerin (GER)
In
: Hayley Spelman, OPP (USA), Lisa Alsmeier, OH (GER)
Out: Denise Hanke, S (GER), Louisa Lippmann, OPP (GER), Kimberly Drewniok, OPP (GER) 
Key Question: Can they sneak wins in against a stacked group? 

If it wasn’t already hard enough for a German team to compete against the best clubs from Turkey, Russia, Poland, and Italy, Schwerin will have to beat out 3 of the top clubs in Europe to have a chance at the quarter finals. This will be especially difficult after losing German national team members Hanke, Lippman, and Drewniok. New American opposite Hayley Spelman will be able to fill in some of the hole left by the departures, but German national team coach Felix Koslowski will have to maximise every player on the roster to produce wins against elite competition. 

Unet e-work Busto Arsizio (ITA)
In
: Jordyn Poulter, S (USA), Alexa Gray, OH (CAN), Jovana Stevanovic, MB (SRB) 
Out: Britt Herbots, OH (BEL), Karsta Lowe, OPP (USA), Haleigh Washington, MB (USA), 
Key Question: Can the production of Britt Herbots be replaced across multiple players?

For Busto Arsizio, a fairytale season was cut short last year. After Belgian outside hitter Britt Herbots took the step from mini star to bona fide superstar, she led the team to a 16-3 2nd place finish above powerhouses such as reigning Champions League winners Novara, Scandicci, and Casalmaggiore. Unfortunately for the fans, the season, and Herbots’ time with team, was cut short and we won’t see what could have been. They have brought in some talented players to fill in the gap, but it could be tough to regain the momentum from 2019-2020. 

Watch all matches live on EuroVolley.TV


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