CEV Men's Champions League Fourth Round Preview

The fourth round of the CEV Men’s Champions League begins on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and continues through Thursday, Nov. 22. Over those three days, the 20 professional club teams from across Europe that either advanced through the three rounds of the qualifier or earned an automatic berth will face off in the first leg of the group stage. 

The CEV Champions League stretches over eight months and features the top teams on the continent, many of which boast Team USA’s top players. 

Here’s what you need to know before tuning into these matches on FloVolleyball. 


Nov. 20

Knack Roeselare @ Halkbank Ankara, 8 AM CT (Pool A)

Chaumont @ Zenit Saint Petersburg, 10:30 AM CT (Pool C)

Trefl Gdansk @ PGE Skra Belchatow, 11 AM CT (Pool D)

Nov. 21

United Volleys Frankfurt @ Zenit Kazan, 10 AM CT (Pool A)

Tours @ Arkas IZMIR, 10 AM CT (Pool E)

CEZ Karlovarsko @ Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle, 11 AM CT (Pool B)

ACH Volley Ljubljana vs. VfB Friedrichshafen, 1 PM CT (Pool C)

Dinamo Moscow @ Sir Colussi Sicoma Perugia, 1:30 PM CT (Pool E)

Nov. 22

Greenyard Maaseik @ Berlin Recycling, 12:30 PM CT (Pool D)

Azimut Leo Shoes Modena @ Cucine Lube, 1:30 PM CT (Pool B)

Zenit Kazan Kicks Off Its Title Defense

Russia’s Zenit Kazan has dominated Champions League for the past four seasons, winning every title since 2015 and claiming a total of six championships in the team’s history. 

American superstar Matt Anderson has been a big part of those last four titles, and this season, he’ll be joined by French outside hitter Earvin N’Gapeth, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 FIVB World League and comes to Kazan from Modena. The squad also includes Russian national team members Artem Volvich, Alexander Butko, Alexey Verbov, and Maxim Mikhaylov, the MVP of the 2018 Volleyball Nations League. 

In short, Kazan is once again the team to beat. The team will kick off its title defense on Wednesday, facing off against United Volleys Frankfurt, which includes former UCSD opposite Tanner Syftestad. 

Averill Playing a Key Role for Chaumont

USA men’s national team middle blocker Taylor Averill joined fellow American Michael Saeta at Chaumont in France’s Ligue A and already Averill is making significant contributions to his new professional team. Against Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad of Serbia in the third round of Champions League, Chaumont got the sweep in both the home and away legs, with Averill contributing nine points in the first meeting and a match-high 12 in the second. 

In Ligue A competition, Averill, Saeta, and their Chaumont squad are 3-2. They take on Zenit Saint Petersburg in their first Champions League group stage match.

The Best Thanksgiving Volleyball in the World

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition by tuning into one of the Champions League matches that happen to fall on Turkey Day. Both matches feature a number of American athletes, so it’s also a great way to support your favorite Team USA athletes as they spend their holiday competing overseas.

First up, at 12:30 PM CT, you can see Americans Dustin Watten, Jeff Jendryk, Ben Patch, and Kyle Russell don their Berlin Recycling Volley’s jerseys and face off against Greenyard Maaseik from Belgium. So far in Germany’s Bundesliga, the Recycling Volleys are 4-2.

Then, at 1:30 PM CT, Max Holt, Jennings Franciskovic, and Micah Christenson, competing for Azimut Modena, will take on Cucine Lube and their fellow men’s national team member Brenden Sander. Modena and Lube both compete in the Italian SuperLega and are ranked third and second, respectively, in the current league standings; however, they have not yet gone head-to-head in SuperLega competition. 

Americans in Action

All but two first leg matches feature American players. In addition to the ones mentioned above, you’ve got Sam Holt (CSUN) with Knack Roeselare, Mitch Stahl (UCLA) with Tours VB, Jalen Penrose (Penn State) with Cez Karlovarsko, and Jonah Seif (UCSB) with Sir Colussi Sicoma Perugia.

The second leg of the CEV Champions League group stage will take place Dec. 18-20, 2018.

Mara Green Is Thriving (And Avoiding Tuna Pizza) With Hameenlinna

Mara Green almost passed up on professional volleyball entirely. 

EIVA Notebook: Princeton Hands Mason First League Loss

Conference action in the EIVA men’s volleyball conference has hit full stride. This week, the eight teams in the league played six conference matches and a couple of non-conference contests.

Princeton Opens League Play With Back-To-Back Victories

Princeton and George Mason stand tied atop the EIVA standings with identical 2-0 conference records; however, non-conference matches continue to make up the bulk of the competition among EIVA squads. 

EIVA Notebook: Saint Francis Drops Ranked Buckeyes

Last week in EIVA men’s volleyball featured one major upset, a couple of very close calls and continued excellence from two of the league’s top outside hitters.

Star-Heavy Berlin Still Searching For Sustained Success

Heading into the 2018-19 Volleyball Bundesliga, the Berlin Recycling Volleys generated a lot of hype and high expectations. 

EIVA Notebook: Penn State Enjoys Unbeaten Week

Last week was a slow one for teams in the EIVA men’s volleyball conference, with only six of the eight teams in action and just six matches total. 

Dustin Watten: The Most Zen Man In Volleyball

It all began during one cold professional season in Finland. 

Catching Up With VNL Hero Michelle Bartsch-Hackley

Bartsch-Hackley Ignites USA Comeback Victory

To the casual American volleyball fan, it might seem like your favorite Team USA volleyball players disappear at the end of the summer, not to be heard from again until national team competition starts up again in May.

Ellie Holzman Named National Gatorade Player Of The Year

On Wednesday morning, Gatorade surprised Ellie Holzman with its National Volleyball Player of the Year award. The honor serves as the cherry on top of an incredible prep career for Holzman at Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, and with the club Adidas WD Nation.

EIVA Notebook: Mason Shocks Ohio State, Vaults Into Top 15

As we approach the end of the first month of the 2019 men’s college volleyball season, teams are continuing to find their rhythm and negotiate the best lineups and plays.