Maritza wins inaugural Super Cup to shape up golden treble [video]
All about this historic match…
Maritza Plovdiv won the inaugural Super Cup of Bulgaria to shape up a historic golden treble on the domestic women’s volleyball scene. Having defeated Levski Sofia twice – in the finals of the National Volleyball League and of the Kupa Bulgariya tournament – earlier this year, on Monday night the Yellows did it again to win their third major trophy in 2015. In the first ever match for the newly introduced Super Cup, the team representing Bulgaria in the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup claimed a 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19)* victory over its archrival from the capital.
The historic game took place in the city of Stara Zagora at the recently built Ivan Vazov sports hall. The stands were completely packed with volleyball fans. Among them were the mayor of Stara Zagora Zhivko Todorov and the presidents of the two clubs Iliya Dinkov and Dancho Lazarov, the latter also president of the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation and member of the CEV Board of Administration. The head coach of the Bulgarian men’s national team Plamen Konstantinov also observed the match with interest.
The squad of Levski, this season boasting some well-known names of Bulgarian internationals like Nasya Dimitrova, Slavina Koleva and Kremena Kamenova, took charge on the court and cruised to a comfortable victory in the first set. This was a wake-up call for the players of Maritza and they established complete domination in the second set. This continued in the following sets as well, although in the third period they wasted a 20-13 lead to allow the Blues to reach set point at 24-23. With some impeccable actions by Viktoriya Grigorova in the middle, the Yellows persevered to win by 26-24. Maritza took an early 4-0 lead in set 4 and stayed in control through the end. An ace by Radosveta Teneva led to match point. Two rallies down the road Tanya Sabkova put the ball on the floor with a beautiful spike and the Yellows rejoiced.
Kremena Kamenova was the top scorer of the match with 20 points for Levski. Tanya Sabkova contributed 19 points to Maritza’s victory. Her teammate Viktoriya Grigorova impressed with 7 kill blocks and 4 aces for a total of 18 points in the game.
“The beginning was a bit tense for us, but I was sure our girls would show their abilities. Our victory was well deserved,” stated Boris Halachev, manager of Maritza.
“It was an emotional game with volleyball on a good level,” added Maritza’s coach Ivan Petkov. “This could be promising for more positive changes and a better future in Bulgarian women’s volleyball. Our team showed some character again. I hope we also finish this season the same way we started it.”
“I am disappointed. We started well, but could not keep up the rhythm. After the first set we had reception problems, while Maritza strengthened their serving. However, the season lies ahead of us and we will meet Maritza again,” commented Levski’s coach Radoslav Bakardzhiev.
“At the beginning we had difficulties adjusting to this opponent, but after that things developed well for us,” said Ana Radicheva, captain of the winning side.
“We were well prepared and each of us performed her assigned task. We played for each other as a team,” said Maritza’s middle blocker Milena Dimova.
“We wanted the victory too much and this proved counterproductive in the first set. It happens, but what is important is that we managed to come back. We are like one big family and we are together in difficult times. We are a good team and that is why we won,” concluded Zhana Todorova, who was honored as the best libero on the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship 2015 All-Star Team.
The new season in Bulgaria’s National Volleyball League Demax+ is set to start this Friday, November 6, with the participation of nine teams. After entertaining rookie Burgas 2007, Maritza will follow up with the second leg of its CEV Cup clash with Belgium’s Dauphines Charleroi on Wednesday, November 11, at the Plovdiv University sports hall.
*Stats: Vladimir Karakashkov, volleyballbg.com
Тагове: Maritza, Levski, Super Cup Bulgaria, Iliya Dinkov, Dancho Lazarov, Plamen Konstantinov, Boris Halachev, Ivan Petkov, Radoslav Bakardzhiev, Ana Radicheva, Milena Dimova, Zhana Todorova, Viktoriya Grigorova, Tanya Sabkova, Radosveta Teneva, Kremena Kamenova