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18/04/2015 12:11
58 blocks for Eczacibasi’s Maja Poljak to leave her mark on fabulous European campaign, TRENTINO’s Emanuele Birarelli tops men’s charts on 39
2015 European Cups

Luxembourg, April 18, 2015. As we continue our review of the 2015 European Cup season, we move on to the best blockers across all six competitions that unfolded from late October all the way through to mid-April. Maja Poljak and Emanuele Birarelli are the players topping this season’s charts after recording as many as 58 and 39 blocks, respectively!

The Croatian middle blocker of Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL had a fabulous season which was crowned on April 5 in Szczecin when she and her team struck gold at the Final Four tournament of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. Poljak was also included in the ‘Dream Team’ of the Finals alongside teammates Bethania de la Cruz and Gülden Kuzubasioglu as Jordan Larson-Burbach and Christiane Fürst received the MVP and Fair Play awards respectively to complete an unforgettable weekend for the Turkish giant.

Poljak’s 58 blocks are more than enough to distance the second best player in this fundamental, Serbia’s Milena Rasic, who totalled 45 throughout a season where she wore the shirt of another Turkish team, VakifBank ISTANBUL, the eventual bronze medallists at the Champions League Finals in Szczecin. Elena Yureva of Dinamo KAZAN completes the top three with 38 blocks, but she played far less matches than Poljak and Rasic as the 2014 gold medallists from Russia were eliminated from the race for Europe’s most coveted crown already in the Playoffs 12.

Emanuele Birarelli’s 39 blocks are enough for the experienced player of Italy’s Energy T.I. Diatec TRENTINO to top the men’s charts across all three European Cup competitions. 10 of these 39 blocks actually came in the return leg of the CEV Volleyball Cup finals with Dinamo MOSCOW on Saturday, April 11 (see the video here). This outstanding performance could not prevent Dinamo from seizing the trophy, but further cements TRENTINO’s quality as Matey Kaziyski had finished atop the tables for the number of aces scored throughout this year’s European Cups. One of Birarelli’s teammates, Argentine Sebastian Solé, settles for third place in this virtual standing with 33 blocks, tied with Cedomir Stankovic of Serbia’s Vojvodina NS Seme NOVI SAD, whilst second place goes to the Croatian middle blocker of Ethnikos ALEXANDROUPOLIS, Ivan Mihalj, on 35.  

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