Trento, 22 November 2023
On Thursday at ilT quotidiano arena starts the 2024 CEV Champions League
The 2024 CEV Champions League gets underway; on Thursday November 23rd at the Trento's ilT Quotidiano Arena the first round of the group stage of the most important continental club competition, which Trentino Volley is going to play for the thirteenth time (the fifth consecutive time) in its history. The Yellow-blue will make their debut in front of their home crowd, facing the Slovenians of ACH Volley Ljubljana in one of the two matches scheduled for Pool B. Kick-off set for 8:30 p.m. Italian time: live on Radio Dolomiti and DAZN.
HERE TRENTINO ITAS The Yellow-blue team is back in the European limelight with the ranks of reigning Italian Champions and the SuperLega's sole leading team, in the middle of a period that will see them take the court every three days until the beginning of December.
"I am very glad to be able to start this competition in front of our public," explained coach Fabio Soli, making his personal debut as Head Coach in the CEV Champions League. "Thursday's match with Ljubljana will be our only home match in the first half of Pool B, because we will then have to play two away matches. Starting well will be extremely important; we will have to make the best possible use of every moment on the court and, if possible, try to get the victory with the maximum number of points and in the shortest possible time, taking into account that then on Sunday we will face Catania again. The Champions League round is difficult and challenging at the same time, because Tours certainly does not evoke pleasant memories for our club and Resovia is a Polish volleyball powerhouse, with an important budget and squad. It is a delicate period, but we only think about one match at a time".
The Yellow-blue will attend the match in its entirety; the match will mark the CEV Champions League debut for two players on the roster: setter Acquarone and hitter spiker Magalini. The former on duty will be Slovenian middle blocker Jan Kozamernik, whom Trentino Volley took from Ljubljana in the summer of 2017.
THE OPPONENTS The one that opens in Trento for ACH Volley Ljubljana, originally from Bled, will be the fifteenth participation in the Champions League in the last sixteen seasons. In the recent past, only in the 2021/22 season it did not take part, playing in the Challenge Cup (which ended in the semi-finals). In the last edition of the highest continental trophy it stopped at the group stage (second place in Pool E behind Perugia), then moving on to the CEV Cup where it was defeated by Modena in the quarter-finals. The orange-blue club's trophy cabinet counts nineteen national titles, fourteen Slovenian cups, thirteen Mevza titles (the Central European international trophy) and a Top Teams Cup, won in 2007 by beating Modena in the final at PalaPanini. Their best result in the Champions League was in the 2009/2010 season, when they reached the Final Four, placing fourth.
Last season they won the national championship and Mevza Cup, which is why they decided to continue on the path they had taken under the technical management of confirmed coach Radovan Gačič. The coach, who had also led the team between 2006 and 2009, can count on the great protagonists of the previous year such as the hitting spiker Šket (former Modena and Molfetta) and Šen, the opposite spiker Gjorgiev, the middle blocker Videcnik and Koncilja, the libero Kovacic (former Ravenna) and the setter Mejal. In the Slovenian championship, after nine days, Ljubljana is currently in second place in the standings with eight victories and one point behind the leader Calcit. In the last round they won 3-0 in Novo Mesto against the Krka locals. ACH Volley Lubljana's roster: 1. Primoz Mejal (st), 3. Jost Krzic (mb), 5. Alen Sket (sp), 6. Nejc Najdic (st) 8. Luka Marovt (sp), 9. Klemen Sen (sp), 11. Daniel Koncilja (mb), 13. Jani Kovacic (l), 14. Nikola Gjorgiev (o), 15. Jaka Sesek (o), 16. Jan Pokersnik (sp), 17. Matic Videcnik (mb). Coach Radonvan Gacic.
THE FORMAT The match opens the group phase of the 2024 CEV Champions League; after the first preliminary rounds, the tournament gets into full swing, dividing the twenty participating teams into five pools of four each, which see them face each other in an Italian round with round-trip matches. In the Main Phase, the Italian ranking points system will be applied, but the first discriminating factor is the number of victories. At the end of this phase (the last match is scheduled for 27 January 2024), the first classified of each pool will directly access the quarter-finals, while the second classified and the best third will qualify for the round of 16, which will be characterised by direct clashes with round-robin matches. The Final will be played on 5 May 2024 on a neutral court. In the same pool on Thursday evening is going to be played also the match between Resovia and Tours, with the French hosting Trentino Volleyball in a week's time (second round).
THE BACKGROUND During its long European campaign Trentino Volley has faced ACH Volley Ljubljana only three times. Two of these in the 2009 edition of the CEV Champions League (the first one it took part in): after the aforementioned 3-0 win in Trento on 4 November 2008, there was also room for the 3-1 win in Slovenia on 21 January 2009 (scores of 17-25, 25-23, 20-25, 23-25). Again by 3-1 the success in the semifinal of the following edition, played on 1 May 2010 in Lodz (Poland) and closed with partials of (25-13, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17).
The referees The match will be directed by Marie Catherine Boulanger, the first Belgian referee from Liège, and Bogdan Laurentiu Stojca, the second referee from Sibiu (Romania). For both of them this will be their first meeting with Trentino Volley.
RADIO AND INTERNET The match will be broadcast live on Radio Dolomiti, Trentino Volleyball's radio partner, starting at 20.30. The frequencies to tune in to the regional network can be found at www.radiodolomiti.com, where it will also be possible to listen to the live radio commentary in streaming.
Live video streaming is also planned on DAZN, a platform available on a wide range of Internet-connected devices, including Smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles. It requires registration; the service is chargeable.
On the Internet, point-to-point updates will be provided by the CEV website (https://www.cev.eu/match-centres/2024-european-cups/cev-champions-league-volley-2024-men/clvm-43-trentino-itas-v-ach-volley-ljubljana/), by www.trentinovolley.it and will also be active on the Yellow-blue social networks (www.trentinovolley.it/facebook, www.trentinovolley.it/instagram and www.trentinovolley.it/twitter).
TICKET OFFICE The match is included in both types of season tickets offered for this season by Trentino Volley (full and basic). Tickets for the single match can be purchased at any time on the Internet by clicking https://trentinovolley.vivaticket.it/it/event/champions-league-2024-trentino-itas-vs-ljubljana/224203. The coupons will also be available on Thursday at the Palazzetto cash desks, which will be open from 7.30 p.m. (the same time at which the Palazzetto entrances will also open).
Trentino Volley Srl