It is all to be decided in a six-day tournament starting today in Plovdiv with organizer Maritza hoping to make history by winning its first ever national cup.
And the “Yellows” are indeed the pre-tournament favorite not only because of the home court advantage on their side.
Maritza tops the midseason standings in the championship having lost only two points in six matches.
The only damage to the team’s perfect record came from the five-set season opener lost to Levski Volley SOFIA.
Furthermore, just a month ago Maritza managed an away win against incumbent champion and cup-holder CSKA SOFIA – something that had not happened in well over 20 years.
Bulgaria’s only representative in this year’s women’s European Cups also enters “Kupa Bulgariya” with some extra confidence and extra experience despite the two Challenge Cup losses.
Of course, all other six teams have their aspirations for the tournament in Bulgaria’s second largest city with traditional powerhouses Levski Volley and CSKA also focusing on winning the Cup.
The Blues and the Reds from SOFIA are the most decorated teams in the 53-year history of the competition.
Levski triumphed with the trophy a record 25 times, while CSKA has lifted the cup 18 times, including in three of the last four editions of the tournament.
In fact, history knows of only three cases when “Kupa Bulgariya” went to a club from outside the capital with the last occurrence back in 1984.
The seven teams have been divided into two pools with Maritza PLOVDIV, Slaviya-SU SOFIA and Spartak 96 PLEVEN playing in Pool A and Levski Volley SOFIA, CSKA SOFIA, Spartak Intercom Group VARNA and Feniks 09 SHUMEN in Pool B.
Crossed semifinals are scheduled to take place on Friday and the Cup Final is set for Saturday, January 15. The competition takes place in “Olimpiada” sports hall.