Knack ROESELARE take on mission impossible when hosting Zenit KAZAN

Monday 13th of March 2017

Roeselare, Belgium, March 13, 2017. Knack ROESELARE already caused a sensation by progressing to the Playoffs 12 of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men a couple of weeks ago. In a pool featuring the likes of Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA, Belogorie BELGOROD and Halkbank ANKARA, the reigning Belgian national champions collected nine points, a stunt which received a lot of well-deserved appreciation and admiration across Belgium’s Volleyball family. However, the Drawing of Lots for the Playoffs 12 put the team back with their two feet on the ground. With Zenit KAZAN, the Belgians have to play the only team boasting an immaculate record of six wins in as many matches contested in the League Round.

“The four-time gold medallists from Europe’s elite club competition was the team which was at the bottom of my wish list,” commented head coach Emile Rousseaux the next day. “They play Volleyball from another planet. They are the main candidate to claim a fifth gold medal in the Champions League. Thinking of moving on to the Playoffs 6 against them is completely unrealistic and even ridiculous. However, we will welcome them with a lot of respect. And we rather die against a giant than against a toddler.”

Knack ROESELARE played Zenit KAZAN in the 2012-2013 edition of the Champions League. From the 2012 team, only Matthew Anderson, Maxim Mikhailov, Evgeny Sivozhelez and Vladislav Babichev are still in the ranks of the Russian armada. With Hendrik Tuerlinckx, Stijn D’Hulst, Ruben Van Hirtum, Stijn Dejonckheere, Pieter Coolman and Gertjan Claes, more players from Knack Volley still remember the matches against the Russians. Zenit KAZAN rallied to two 3-0 victories but the Belgian team ended second in their pool and moved on to the CEV Cup against... yes, Halkbank ANKARA.

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