Maritza adds well-known names to roster before third edition of Kupa Plovdiv

The incumbent women’s volleyball vice champion of Bulgaria, Maritza Plovdiv, has added some well-known names to its roster before the start of the new season.  In the meantime, the club has been busy with the organization of the third edition of the Kupa Plovdiv international volleyball tournament due to start today, Thursday, with the participation of three foreign teams.

The first big transfer news that excited the fans of the Yellows was about the return of Tanya Sabkova.  Product of Maritza’s own volleyball hatchery, Sabkova transferred to the capital Sofia to play for Bulgarian powerhouse Levski at an early age.  Following four seasons of playing in the top domestic leagues of Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as for the Bulgarian national team, the talented and beautiful wing spiker is back to her native Maritza with a two-year contract.

For the upcoming season, the Plovdiv club was also joined by setter Vesela Boncheva.  Herself originally from Levski, last season she played in Greece’s national championship.  Boncheva was part of the junior women’s national team of Bulgaria that climbed to the fourth place at the FIVB World Championship Mexico 2009.  So was opposite Gabriela Tsvetanova, who is the most recent transfer announced by Maritza.  After three seasons and two CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup eighthfinals with Romania’s CSU Targu Mures, Tsvetanova, who started her career at CSKA Sofia, has arrived in Bulgaria’s second largest city to join the ranks of head coach Ivan Petkov’s team, also with a two-year contract.  This past summer she was part of the women’s national team participating in the 2014 CEV Volleyball European League and the FIVB World Grand Prix.

The squad for the new season will be officially presented to the fans on Friday, during the second competition day of Kupa Plovdiv, in the absence of libero Ivelina Monova, who is currently playing at the FIVB World Championship in Italy with the Bulgarian national team.

Participating in this edition of Kupa Plovdiv will be the winners of the previous two editions in 2012 and 2013 – Maritza and Turkey’s Bursa BBSK, respectively, as well as last year’s runner-up Dinamo Romprest Bucharest from Romania and newcomer Rota Koleji SK Izmir from Turkey.  This year the matches will take place at a new venue - the state-of-the-art new sports hall of Plovdiv University.  Two of these squads, Dinamo and Bursa, are also preparing for their matches from the upcoming CEV European Cups season.

“Kupa Plovdiv is already turning into a nice tradition since we are holding it for a third year in a row,” states Boris Halachev, manager of VC Maritza and main organizer of the event.  “The fact that teams, which have participated in the tournament before, are here again, speaks about their satisfaction with the level of competition and organization.  We received calls from other clubs as well, which for one reason or another we could not accommodate.  There has been quite an interest in our tournament and we are already considering increasing the number of participating teams as of next year.  I am also sure that the new venue will raise the organizational level even further.”


Kupa Plovdiv 2014 schedule (all times local - EET):

Sep 25, 16:00:  Rota Koleji SK Izmir vs. Dinamo Romprest Bucharest

Sep 25, 18:00:  Maritza Plovdiv vs. Bursa BBSK

Sep 26, 16:00:  Dinamo Romprest Bucharest vs. Bursa BBSK

Sep 26, 17:50:  Official pre-season presentation of Maritza Plovdiv's women's team

Sep 26, 18:00:  Maritza Plovdiv vs. Rota Koleji SK Izmir

Sep 27, 15:00:  Bursa BBSK vs. Rota Koleji SK Izmir

Sep 27, 17:00:  Maritza Plovdiv vs. Dinamo Romprest Bucharest