Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey and U.S.A. will fight for the final six in Round 2's venue, Modena
Modena, Italy, September 30, 2014 - For United States and Russia, dreams of glory are allowed, while Bulgaria and Turkey will need four victories in straight sets to hope for a place in the Final Six. Dream and hope, confidence and desperation, will be at stake in Modena, the legendary venue for FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 round 2.
Local hero Massimiliano Barbolini – “born and raised” between the walls of Arena PalaPanini – will hold homecourt advantage in the opening match set for tomorrow, Wednesday, October 1, at 17.00 (GMT +1 time) between Turkey and USA, coached by Modena’s historic rival Karch Kiraly, who played for Messaggero Ravenna back in the early Nineties and was always victorious on this court.
At 20.00, Russia will face Bulgaria in a particularly important match for the destiny of the two teams: after the 3-1 defeat sustained against the USA, coach Ivan Marichev and the Russians need a big win to consolidate both their chances to enter the final six and their confidence in the final victory. Bulgaria, coached by former Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin, brought only three points from round 1 and needs to win for three, period.
Kuzyutkin, world champion in charge on the Russian bench, has chosen to refuse any speculation about Bulgaria’s odds: “I am the coach, not a journalist, so I’m not going to comment our chances to go to the final six. We must focus on the single matches, sharing pressure and responsibility altogether: the younger and the elder players, equally."
Russian coach Marichev still has some regrets about round 1’s final defeat against the USA: “We really should have scored at least one point, it was such a close game. Now our path to the final six becomes tricky: experience and concentration will be needed to score the points we need in round 2."
U.S. coach Karch Kiraly sounds much more confident: “The big win against Russia was a decisive step forward. Hopefully we will play our chances of victory in the final six. Modena is a special place for volleyball, a place of greatness. So I hope the glorious history of this arena will be a source of inspiration for my players."
For Modena’s own Massimo Barbolini, optimism must be regained on the court: “With only two points we cannot hope for much in round 2, but nothing is decided yet. Hopefully the audience will be on my side… And I am really looking forward to experience PalaPanini’s unique atmosphere once again."