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21/02/2016 16:09
Allianz MTV STUTTGART to test German unwritten law in CEV Cup Challenge Round
2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women

Stuttgart, Germany, February 21, 2016. In German sports there is a very well-known unwritten law which goes by the following adage: ‘The cup has its own rules.’ In only a couple of days Germany’s Allianz MTV STUTTGART will try to turn this into reality when on Tuesday the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League rookies will be hosting last year’s gold medallists Dinamo KRASNODAR of Russia at SCHARRena for the Challenge Round of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Women.

Allianz MTV STUTTGART were able to prolong their European campaign this season by making the Challenge Round of the CEV Volleyball Cup and after a heavy 3-0 loss in Krasnodar the team of Spanish-born coach Guillermo Naranjo Hernandez is willing to show a much better performance at home.

However, his players know very well that there are ‘some’ differences to be taken into account when comparing the two teams: their financial budget, the staffing and last but not least, the height, which supports the blocking and spiking abilities of national heroes like Liubov Sokolova (192 cm), Tatiana Kosheleva (191 cm) or Marina Maryukhnich (196 cm). Six players of Dinamo KRASNODAR are members of Russia’s national team that earlier this year secured their qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics by winning the women’s European Olympic Qualifier held in Ankara, Turkey.  

But there is one factor which means a lot to Allianz MTV STUTTGART except their strong hearts and dedication: the crazy and loud fans that will be in attendance in their home stadium, the SCHARRena. “Everyone was pulling the thumbs for us, and enjoyed witnessing our first set win in the Champions League and on that same evening we even beat Lokomotiv BAKU,” says STUTTGART team captain Kim Renkema. “Then we did win also our match versus Azerrail BAKU. You know, it is pretty simple: we just hate losing.”

She and her teammates know that they have to win at least four sets to reach the semi-finals in the CEV Volleyball Cup. But hey: the cup has its own rules, as they say in Germany.

Speaking of the national cup, the team of Allianz MTV STUTTGART are the defending champions and next Sunday the city of Mannheim will turn into the real ‘Mecca’ of the German Volleyball scene. The biggest national Volleyball event is expected to attract as many as 12,500 fans to fill the SAP-Arena, when Allianz MTV STUTTGART will play German national league champions DRESDNER SC for the final showdown in the domestic competition.

The challenger is also pretty busy prior to this huge event. DRESDNER SC have to travel to Russia, meeting up with Dinamo MOSCOW on Wednesday in the Playoffs 12 of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women, before getting to Mannheim to play in the national cup final.
 
Maybe this trip is more strenuous for DRESDNER SC compared to STUTTGART’s advantage of having a home game and playing one day earlier. But again: the cup has its own rules. And the aphorism will be further tested on Tuesday night when STUTTGART host titleholders Dinamo KRASNODAR...

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