Plovdiv, Bulgaria, August 13, 2020 – Bulgarian national team setter Petya Barakova has joined the ranks of the country's champions Maritza Plovdiv for the upcoming season. The 26-year-old is back in her home country after transferring from France’s Volero Le Cannet to the CEV Champions League regulars.
The talented 1.80m-tall playmaker replaces the national team's other setter, Lora Kitipova, who moved from six-time-in-a-row national champions Maritza to Ukraine’s top-placed club Prometey Kamienskie.
Emerging from Levski Sofia’s hatchery, Petya Barakova spent the last five seasons abroad, competing for clubs from Switzerland, France, Romania and Poland. In 2018, she earned CEV Champions League silver with Romania’s Volei Alba Blaj.
Barakova has been a member of the Bulgarian senior national team since 2014 and contributed to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup and 2018 CEV Golden European League titles. She also participated in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship as well as in the last three editions of the CEV Volleyball European Championship.
“I am feeling good about staying in Bulgaria this year. I know most of Maritza’s girls from the national team. I hope we have a good run among the best teams of Europe in the pool stage of the Champions League, and defend the title in the National Volleyball League,” Barakova said.
Barakova will enjoy the support of Lora Slavcheva, a former Bulgarian junior international in both volleyball and beach volleyball, recently called to a senior national volleyball team training camp. The 19-year-old playmaker returns to Maritza after playing on loan for Rakovski Dimitrovgrad over the past two seasons.
The Yellow-and-Blues from Plovdiv have announced contract extensions with three more national team members, libero Zhana Todorova (23), outside hitter Aleksandra Milanova (19) and middle blocker Dima Usheva (19), as well as with former Bulgarian international outside Kremena Kamenova (32).
Zhana Todorova in action during the intercontinental Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament in Shreveport-Bossier City last August
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