The CEV Champions League draw took place today in Brussels ©CEV

A sibling rivalry headlines the women's European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Champions League Volley pool stage draw for the 2022-2023 season here at the Bozar in Brussels while the men's reigning champions Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle seek a third straight title.

Swedish international Isabelle Haak could not surpress her delight from the crowd as her new team, Imoco Volley Conegliano of Italy, were drawn against her older sister Anna's Volley Mulhouse Alsace of France in Pool A of the upcoming edition of Europe's most prestigious club volleyball competition.

The younger Haak recently transferred to the Italian side from VafkiBank Istanbul, with whom she won last year's title with.

Curiously, she decided to join Imoco who were on the losing end of the decider in Ljubljana last year.

The two teams have developed a fierce rivalry alongside their reputations as the best in Europe, following Imoco's victory against the Turkish team in 2020-2021.

Haak's presence at Imoco make them a favourite in many people's eyes especially as she was named as the European Women's Player of the Year at the CEV Gala which took place here after the draw.

Developres Rzeszόw of Poland take up the third slot while the winner of a second-round fixture which will be Tenerife La Laguna, Bimal-Jedinstvo Brčko, VDK Gent Dames or Vasas Óbuda Budapest.

Sisters Isabelle and Anna Haak are set to face off in Pool A of the Women's CEV Champions League ©CEV
Sisters Isabelle and Anna Haak are set to face off in Pool A of the Women's CEV Champions League ©CEV

Reigning champions VafkiBank Istanbul go into Pool C as top seeds with Igor Gorgonzola Novara expected to provide their toughest competition.

The Italian outfit were champions in 2019 and will meet German side SC Potsdam and one of Mladost Zagreb, Calcit Kamnik, Red Star Beklgrade or Pölkky Kuusamo.

2021 CEV Cup winners Vero Volley Monza of Italy are tipped to saunter through Pool B against Volero Le Cannet of France, CS Volei Alba Blaj of Romania, and SC Dnipro of Ukraine.

Fenerbahçe Opet Istanbul will be eager to go further than their semi-final finish last year where they fell agonisingly short against their city rivals and eventual champions VafkiBank Istanbul on golden score.

They will compete in Pool D with ŁKS Commerce Łódź of Poland, Allianz MTV Stuttgart of Germany and the winner of the third round playoff which is played between losing teams from rounds one and two.

Poland's Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle headline the men's draw as reigning champions, and victory this season would mark a third consecutive title.

Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle will be looking for a straight Champions League win this season ©CEV
Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle will be looking for a straight Champions League win this season ©CEV

Similarly to VafkiBank Istanbul in the women's draw, Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle used to boast the talent of the newly crowned player of the year, but this time it is Kamil Seminuk.

Seminuk was also named as last season's men's most valuable player.

However, the Pole has swapped his allegiances to Sir Safety Perugia of Italy who have been drawn into Pool E alongside SWD Powervolleys Düren of Germany and ACH Volley Ljubljana of Slovenia.

The 11-time German champions Berlin Recycling Volleys will go head-to-head with Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie of Poland, Halkbank Ankara of Turkey and one of Mladost Zagreb, Hebar Pazardzhikm and C.S Arcada Galati.

Pool A is set to be a fascinating battle with pot one side Jastrzebski Wegiel due to meet VfB Friedrichshafen of Germany, Montpellier Volley UC of France, and Serbia's Vojvodina NC Seme Novi Sad.

Exact dates are yet to be confirmed but the main tournament for both the men's and women's Champions League competitions is due to run from November 2022 to May 2023.