French setter Pierre Pujol, who was to be the backup setter for Cucine Lube Civitinova this season, has instead signed to join German power Berlin Recycling Volleys for the 2017-2018 season.
Pujol became expendable for the defending Serie A champions after they brought in Croatian setter Tsimafei Zhukouski to serve as the backup to American Micah Christenson.
Instead he’s now landed on the roster of Germany’s top club in its capital of Berlin. Berlin Recycling Volleys were the double German champions last year and have won 3 straight Bundesliga titles. This year, they’re setting their sites on a bigger run in the CEV European Champions League. Last season, they advanced to the Playoff Round of 12, where they wound up tying, and then falling in a golden set, to Turkey’s Istanbul BBK.
“I would have loved to play as expected with Lube Civitanova in Serie A but my injury has decided otherwise,” blows the passer champion of Europe in 2015, who dismissed several proposals from France, Turkey, Poland and Finland in recent days . I’m excited to be bouncing back into an ambitious and well-structured club. ”
Berlin started their season by advancing to the Bundesliga Super Cup final, but fell to their long-time rivals VfB Friedrichshafen.
Pujol may begin as a backup to popular German setter Sebastian Kuhner, who already has 1 Player-of-the-Week honor in Germany.
Berlin has a 2-1 record (6 points) this season, having swept Rottenburg most recently. The team opened in mid-October with a 3-0 upset sweep at the hands of Duren.
Pujol will bring another veteran presence for when Berlin becomes mired in the grind of playing European and domestic volleyball simultaneously. At 192cm (6’3″) tall, Pujol is significantly shorter than the 203cm (6’8″) Kuhner, which manifests most significantly in block height – where Kuhner reaches nearly 7 inches higher than his new French teammate.
Pujol served as France’s backup setter at the 2016 Olympics and was also on medal-wiinning teams at the 2015 European Championships (gold) and 2016 World League (bronze). While he was on the preliminary, expanded roster for this summer’s World League, he was not actually selected for game action behind star setter Benjamin Toniutti.