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10/02/2019 12:00
Jay Blankenau aims for revenge with MAASEIK against BR Volleys
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Maaseik, Belgium, February 10, 2019. With two victories over PGE Skra BELCHATOW in the pocket, Greenyard MAASEIK are still fully involved in the race for a ticket to the quarterfinals of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League.

Their setter Jay Blankenau is confident ahead of the two remaining games, especially since they will both be played in the own Steengoed Arena, where the Canadian player lost only one single Champions League game in two campaigns with his Belgian side.

“Home advantage always provides a little extra confidence. We are at ease, since we do not have to travel, we feel familiar with your own gym, and we always have a big crowd behind us,” he says.

However, there is more in Wednesday’s game against BERLIN Recycling Volleys for the 29-year-old Canadian, whose name has a German sound. “Indeed, my grandparents were German. After World War II, they migrated to Canada. My grandma came from the Lübeck area, my granddad from Munich. They have both passed away, but when I was young, they tried to teach me some German words while growing up in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton. But I do not speak German anymore,” Blankenau admits.

Yet he could have used the language of Goethe, since Blankenau spent one season in the German League with SWD powervolleys DÜREN. “Actually, I did not need German in Düren, since I had a couple of Canadian teammates. But I did visit cities like Cologne and Aachen, so I picked up some German culture.”

There was little time for doing so when MAASEIK opened this Champions League season in the German capital end of November. “We lost that game in Berlin 3-1. We really missed the opportunity to grab at least one point and therefore we have a bit of a revenge to take; that gives us a little extra motivation. As far as we need extra motivation, since we need to win both our home games against the BR Volleys and Trefl GDANSK to stay in contention for a spot in the quarterfinals. But with our home court reputation, I am optimistic about that,” Blankenau concludes.   

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