June 3, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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The European Cup is gearing up for Roeselare after a stunning trick against Modena in the European Cup soccer final

Archive the photo© BELGA

Enthusiasm, tactical insight and talent, staggering Roeselare cruised past Italian giants Modena in the first leg of the CEV Cup final to a stunning 0-3 victory. The victory over Piacenza earlier was already an XL miracle, but this victory can be appreciated even more. The second European Cup – 21 years after the first – seduces the West Flemish. Winning two sets next Wednesday in your room will be enough.

Mark Vermeren in Modena

The huge gap in budget, palms and star power between the two teams did not show itself in the first group. Roeselare took advantage of some dribbling on the Italian side to settle into the game, as witnessed in an early 4-5. Group 1’s best rally brought the West Flemish to 14-17, a reward they would never relinquish. At 20-24, the first ball was still in the net, but a dry blast from Pablo Kokartsev, one of the main weapons of the Belgians, secured a partial victory: 21-25.

By skipping Piancenza in the previous round, Roeselare had stunned volleyball in Italy (and beyond). The side effect of this victory: Modena must have been on edge. What happened to the neighbors from Piacenza – who painfully underestimated the Belgians – will not happen to them, but even in Group 2 there was little evidence of this situation. In all his fervor, Roeselare also gets the upper hand: 14-17. The Italian coach’s timeouts became increasingly bitter, but it didn’t help. The most exciting race in Group 2? This also went to Roeselare: 21-24. The first two runs fell behind, but Modena could not get the third through the net: 23-25.


The most successful club in Italian volleyball history has two absolute stars. Bruno, the Olympic champion with Brazil in Rio 2016, is also considered one of the best winners in the world at the age of 36. Earvin Ngapeth also belongs to the best in the world as an MPV in Tokyo 2021. But when the French star missed an easy ball, Roeselare also pulled away in the third set: 11-14, 14-17. Meanwhile, the hundred West Flemish who traveled along the road made more noise than the 3,000 local fans. At the age of 20-23, all these blue-skinned people dreamed of winning 0-3. And they got what they hoped for: 21-25.

As a result, two sets of winners will be enough next Wednesday in the return match in Roeselare. Defeat 0-3 or 1-3 is also not fatal, but then the West Flemish should win the golden set. If one of the two scenarios comes to pass, Roeselare would sign on immediately for the best-performing Belgian indoor club ever.

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