MACERATA and Zenit KAZAN go for clash of the titans in CL opening round
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Macerata, Italy, October 19, 2013. Two real Volleyball heavyweights, Italy’s Lube Banca Marche MACERATA and Russia’s Zenit KAZAN, will be crossing their ways on Tuesday for the most anticipated game in the opening round of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. Lube Banca Marche MACERATA is making their eighth appearance in Europe’s elite club competition (they won the trophy in 2002) while Zenit KAZAN is a two-time champion (in 2008 and 2012) and bronze medalist from the last edition.
The Drawing of Lots held this past June 28 in Vienna assigned MACERATA and KAZAN to what stands apart as the “group of death” for Pool E also includes the likes of Russia’s Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK, the winners of the last edition, as well as Austrian rookie Posojilnica AICH/DOB.
“We are in the toughest preliminary group and therefore it is very important to catch a good start especially since we will be playing at home” said Bartosz Kurek, Poland’s Volleyball superstar who this year moved to Italy. “Zenit KAZAN is certainly one of the best teams in Europe and so it will be a very difficult match. However, I am confident that we can achieve good results in this year’s CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League where we want to make it to the very last stage. A good performance in this competition represents one of the main goals we have set for this season” Kurek stressed.
The roster of Lube Banca Marche MACERATA includes six players that recently competed at the 2013 CEV VELUX EuroVolley co-hosted by Denmark and Poland. Three won silver – Parodi, Kovar, and Zaytsev – with Italy’s national team while Marko Podrascanin and Dragan Stankovic settled for bronze with Serbia. There is much excitement in Macerata for this home debut with Zenit KAZAN especially after the Russian team signed 40-year old Serbian Volleyball icon Nikola Grbic. After spending 19 consecutive seasons in Italy, Grbic was transferred to Russia to fill in the gap left by Lukasz Zygadlo who suffered a serious injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.