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27/03/2016 22:10
BR Volleys reaching for the stars in CEV Cup finals
2016 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Berlin, Germany, March 27, 2016. The BERLIN Recycling Volleys have added an extra chapter to their success story already by qualifying for the final of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men, but now they want to reach for the stars, aiming to claim the first international title in 20 years since the club was established. As they host the Russian top club Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT on Tuesday night for the first of two matches on schedule to determine the eventual winners of Europe’s second most prestigious competition, the team of head coach Roberto Serniotti (pictured) is determined to make use of their home advantage before the re-match follows on Saturday, April 2 in Surgut.

Anticipating the home clash with one of Russia’s standout clubs with delight and exertion, the Italian mentor is aware of the great challenge which lies ahead for his team: “I’m really looking forward to this final series in the CEV Volleyball Cup and I am curious to see to which extent our players will be able to demonstrate their skills. This match may turn into a fight at eye level, but we will have to give our best and grow beyond ourselves to eventually take the victory home.”

The club’s recent record in European Cup matches against Russian teams is not necessarily a good omen for the clash with SURGUT: the BR Volleys have lost five times in as many matches with Zenit KAZAN, another two matches were lost when facing Belogorie BELGOROD and another fight against Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK ended with a clear-cut loss. However, there is a match that may come to mind of every Volleyball fan in Berlin – a match with a surprisingly happy end: on December 4, 2012 the BR Volleys saw off the eventual gold medal winners of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK in front of more than 4,000 spectators at Max-Schmeling-Halle (3-1).

However, even though the Russian star ensemble of SURGUT including top scorer Kostyantin Bakun and the former team captain of Zenit KAZAN, Nikolay Apalikov, is the pre-favourite in the final stage of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup, their appearance in this championship series can undoubtedly be called sensational. After making it through the previous rounds against Abiant Lycurgus GRONINGEN (NED), Finland’s Tiikerit KOKKOLA, Greece’s Olympiacos PIRAEUS and #Dragons LUGANO of Switzerland, the team of head coach Ruslan Zhbankov faced their arch-rivals and compatriots of Dinamo MOSCOW in the semi-finals. The Muscovites took a straight 3-0 home win in the first match. However, SURGUT came back and edged Dinamo 3-0 and eventually claimed the golden set (15-11) that followed in front of a partisan home crowd.
The BR Volleys also got the right boost of confidence for the final series after outdoing VaLePa SASTAMALA and Knack ROESELARE in the Challenge Round and semis: “SURGUT is a physically strong team with some world-class players. We must not be anxious to play at high risk and keep our errors down to a minimum. Yet again, it will be our serve and reception quality that will matter”, Serniotti explains, adding: “If we manage to put SURGUT under pressure and position our block in the best way, we will have a chance even against such a high-class team like Gazprom-Ugra!”

News nr. 5 of 60
29/03/2016 23:20:00
BERLIN claim dramatic tie-break win over SURGUT in CEV Cup finals first round
19/03/2016 21:21:00
BR Volleys secure historic qualification for CEV Cup finals with speedy home win

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