Illustrative photo – Match of the 3rd preliminary round of the Volleyball Champions League between VK Jihostroj České Budějovice and the Finnish team Ford Store Levorant Sastamala, November 12 in České Budějovice. From left, Radek Mach and Petr Michálek from Budějovice and Urpo Sivula from Finland.
Kutná Hora – Volleyball players from České Budějovice, Karlovarska, Beskydy and Liberec will compete in Kutná Hora for the Czech Cup on Sunday and Monday. The three semi-finalists are the same as last year and only one victory was enough for them to advance, while the Beskydy had to win three matches to make their debut in the Final Four. South Bohemia will defend the trophy in the Klimešek hall.
The Beskydy players will not be favorites in Sunday's match against Liberec. Shortly before the end of the regular season of the extra league, they are behind Dukla by ten places and 39 points. “As we have already shown during the season, we will be ready to use it when we get a chance. Dukla is definitely the favorite, but we have not played a single game against them that was completely bad. We will try to surprise,” he said on the association's website, coach Beskyd Michal Provazník.
The evening duel between Karlovy Vary and České Budějovice will be a repeat of last year's final, which Jihostroj won in five sets and won the cup for the eighth time. On the other hand, the champion Karlovy Vary, which was already in the final four times, he still doesn't have a cup trophy.
Karlovarsk coach Jiří Novák reminded that the West Bohemian leader of the extra league only recently finished in European cups. “The targeted preparation for the Czech Cup could not even take place because of this, so we will go to the Final Four to try to perform as well as possible and see where it will take us. Our balanced matches against Jihostroj in the regular part (extra league) indicate that we have one of the more difficult opponents who will be in the final tournament,” said Novák.
České Budějovice also expect a balanced fight for advancement. “Our ambitions are the highest, even if we are playing against last year's extraleague champion. It was good for us that in the last match against Odolena Voda we could also use less-used players from the bench,” said coach Vojtěch Zach. “Our matches with Karlovy Vary are always spicy and are one of the highlights of Czech volleyball. The details really matter. I expect it to be the same in the semi-finals of the cup,” said general manager Robert Mifka.
Final Four Chance program of the Czech Volleyball Cup in Kutná Hora:
Sunday, February 26 – semi-final:
16:00 Black Volley Beskydy – Dukla Liberec,
19:30 ČEZ Karlovarsko – Jihostroj České Budějovice.
Monday, February 27: