NIR Ballymoney Blaze compete iN CEV Challenge Cup

The 2016 campaign will get underway on October 24/25 with the first IMG_1017round of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men and right from its outset with a historic milestone since Kosovo’s champions Drenica R&Rukolli SKENDERAJ will become the first Volleyball team from this country to play a European Cup match following the provisional recognition granted some weeks ago by the FIVB Board of Administration to the Volleyball Federation of Kosovo. Drenica R&Rukolli SKENDERAJ will be playing Northern Ireland’s BALLYMONEY Blaze as Ulster’s vice-champions and cup winners are the first team from this ‘home nation’ to play in the European Cups since the University of ULSTER participated in the 2007-2008 edition of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup.

Last year’s winners of the CEV Volleyball Cup and CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Women, Russia’s Dinamo KRASNODAR and Turkey’s BURSA BBSK, will be trying to retain the crowns they claimed in the 2015 edition whilst the race in the respective men’s competitions will certainly end by crowning new champions since this year’s gold medallists Dinamo MOSCOW and Vojvodina NIS Seme NOVI SAD are both set to compete in the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.

“I am extremely pleased with the number of teams that have decided to enter the 2016 edition of the European Cup competitions,” CEV President André Meyer says. “I especially would like to welcome all newcomers, hoping they will use the opportunity to play and perform on the European stage to further grow and develop our sport in their respective home countries. I wish all participating teams the very best of luck and look forward to an exciting season that will reach its climax next spring with a set of world-class final matches.”

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