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KOKKOLAN TIIKERIT - Passion, guts and lust

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Kokkolan Tiikerit or ”Tigers of Kokkola” are currently one of the best volleyball teams in Finland. Their hometown is Kokkola, on the western coast of Finland. Over the last few years, Kokkolan Tiikerit have climbed up to the top of the volleyball league. They were the Finnish champions for the first time in 2013 and silver medalists in 2014, when they also won the Finnish cup. More recently, Tiikerit won both the Finnish Cup and the Finnish championships in 2015.

Kokkolan Tiikerit are a blend of players of different ages, young professionals with promising futures and players with great experience, mixing various nationalities – Finnish, American, Venezuelan, Latvian and Japanese. The team is led by coach Tommi Tiilikainen, who knows how to inspire, challenge and guide the players towards victory while keeping an extremely positive atmosphere within the team.

Tiikerit have set foot outside of Finland to defy teams in France, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are ready to take up the challenge on the European scene again this year!

NEWS – GAME DAYS ARE UP!

Check our calendar “Ottelukalenteri” on the right-hand side, to see when our home games are taking place. You can come to follow the Tiikerit – frenzy at the Hollihaka Liikuntahalli (Hollihaka school - address: Pikiruukintie 4, 67200 Kokkola).

You can buy tickets either:
- At the Tiger’s den, the Tiikeritalo at Torikatu 45, 67100 Kokkola (usually open from Monday to Friday, 13:00 – 17:00)
- Online on http://www.ennakkolippu.com
- At the door on the game day, itself

Ticket prices are:
- 15 € / adult
- 12 € / student / unemployed /pensioner
- Free for children under 12 years

(Notice, ticket prices may vary when it comes to EuroCup games and championship finals)

Live streams:
You can watch Tiikerit-homegames live at http://www.kepit.tv. One game cost 9€ and service is super easy to use. You don't have to create account, only things you need are email adress and credit card or PayPal-account. You can change the langue from finnish to english by clicking the EN-button in the top corner.

THE DEN

Where it all began

The home town of Tiikerit is Kokkola - a small town with nearly 50 000 inhabitants on the west coast of Finland, half way between the capital Helsinki and the famous hometown of Father Christmas, Rovaniemi, in Lapland. Kokkola used to be known only for its industries in Chemistry and higher education institutions, but these aspects are being overshadowed by Kokkola becoming famous for its Tigers and growing volleyball culture. Sports is playing an important part in the lives of Kokkola’s inhabitants, who actively enjoy local football and hockey matches, amongst others. The sport’s association “Kokkolan Tiikerit” was founded back in 1974. Tiikerit began playing in the second division and quickly reached the first league. They started playing in Finnish Champions’ league in 1978. Polish Olympic winner Wlodzimierz Sadalski joined Tiikerit in 1979 and helped them improve their game. Unfortunately, they fell back to the first division in 1981.

Tiikerit continued fighting and rose back to the champion’s league in 2011. Ever since, the only way has been moving up! In 2013, they have won the Finnish Cup and won the gold medal in the Finnish volleyball championships. They took part in their first CEV and Challenge cups games at the European level. In 2014, they won the Finnish cup and reached second place in the Finnish volleyball championships.

Youth and women

The Tiikerit family also includes a successful women’s team. They have playing since the 1980’s. They are currently playing in the Finnish first division. The success of Tiikerit has had a very positive impact on the local cubs, interest in volleyball is also growing amongst the young people in Kokkola. There are many junior teams playing in Kokkola and various volleyball-related activities being organized - with children as young as 7 having a try at volleyball.

THE TEAM

The Players

#1 Lasse Jylhä [Finland] Born: 1996, Height: 192 cm, Role: Setter

Lasse has been predicted a great future as a setter. He is tough when it comes to practice and is ready to put himself on the line, every single day. He has wanted to represent his hometown and now is glad to be doing so with Tiikerit. He is aiming at becoming the number one setter and maybe joining the Finnish national team.

Sponsor: FineWeld

#2 Lauri Jylhä [Finland] Born: 1996, Height: 193 cm, Role: Universal player

In 2014, Lauri was nominated to the Finnish national team, which shows what a huge potential Lauri has. His physical condition is extremely good and he will be truly challenging his older peers next year. As his brother Lasse, Lauri wanted to defend the colors of his home team and hopes to take on in important role within Tiikerit.

Sponsor: FineWeld

# 3 Antti Ropponen [Finland] Born: 1995, Height: 193 cm, Role: Opposite

Antti is left-handed and it brings a little something to Tiikerit –game. He joined Tiikerit in 2014 and is very motivated to both challenge himself and take his career to the next level. He has been very successful at the Junior level and now wants to make things happen also at the champions’ league level.

Sponsor: Konekeskus

# 4 Steven Kehoe [USA] Born: 1987, Height: 191 cm, Role: Setter

Steven joined Tiikerit already in early 2014 and helped them win the Finnish Cup and the Silver medal in the Finnish championships. Steven is a highly skilled and versatile setter. With time, he has taken a major role both on and outside the court; he is currently the team captain. A real fighter!

Sponsor: Hotel Seurahuone

#5 Grayson Overman [USA] Born: 1991, Height: 203 cm, Role: Middle Blocker

Grayson is in his third year playing professionally. He played in both France and Switzerland prior to joining Tiikerit, and will look to make an immediate impact with the team. Grayson's quick tempo out of the middle should add a new dimension to the team's offense. Along with volleyball, Grayson also enjoys traveling, surfing, and music.

Sponsor: Pept

# 6 Tommi Siirilä [Finland] Born: 1993, Height: 203 cm, Role: Middle Blocker

Tommi is currently one of the best Finnish middle men, and he is now playing both in the Finnish champions’ league and national team. Tommi is also extremely good at serving. He is back amongst Tiikerit after a two-year gap playing elsewhere.

Sponsor: Atria

#7 Romans Sauss [Latvia] Born: 1989, Height: 193 cm, Role: Defender

Romans is an extremely skilled player and technical striker. He can also make great jump serves. Roma has been with Tiikerit for a couple of seasons and has been help the team win the silver and gold medals as well as win the Finnish cups twice in row. Roma is up for the challenge and puts all his heart into practice.

Sponsor: Halpa-Halli

#8 Robert Seppänen [Finland] Born: 1990, Height: 195 cm, Role: Universal player

Robert easily found his place in the team, by working hard and learning fast. He may be a little quieter than the rest of team but he is definitely fits in perfectly! Robert used to play in Pielaveden Sampo with Eddy and has played against Tiikerit in the past; he knows how impressive it feels to play with the “black and yellow” fans cheering for the team and he looks forwards to feeling the energy!

Sponsor: KPO

#9 Taichiro Koga [Japan] Born: 1989, Height: 170 cm, Role: Libero

Our new libero, Taichiro, arrived straight from Japan. He has been successfully playing in various tournaments throughout Eastern Asia and for Japanese teams. His former team came third in the Japanese championships and he was asked to join the national team of Japan as libero in 2015. He is playing for the first time in Europe. Thanks to his extremely positive attitude, high energy levels and strong working ethics, he is blending into the team and giving Tiikerit the possibility to play even better volleyball.

Sponsor: Lähitapiola

# 11 Antti Leppälä [Finland] Born: 1992, Height: 195 cm, Role: Middle Blocker

Antti is one of Kokkola’s own boys, he has literally been brought up by Tiikerit. Antti is a strong blocker and knows how to read the game. Antti has been along winning both gold and silver medals in the Finnish Championship, as well as the Finnish Cups. Antti has taken on an important role within the team and is the team’s funny guy.

Sponsor: Kokkolan Kaupunki / the City of Kokkola

#14 Olli-Pekka "Lelu” Ojansivu [Finland] Born: 1987, Height: 197 cm, Role: Opposite

Lelu is a great player, with a truly colorful personality. He is a great server and ready to hit even the toughest balls to the ground. He even likes to share his opinions with the judges, from time to time… He has been leading Tiikerit to the top, winning both gold and silver medals gold in the Finnish Championships as well as the Finnish cup, twice.

Sponsors: KPO, Boliden, Pept and Konttoripiste.

#17 Enderwin Herrera [Venezuela] Born: 1984, Height: 192 cm, Role: Universal player

Eddy is one of the most enjoyable, enthusiastic players to watch in the league. After several years playing in Finland, he is well equipped to play an important role in Tiikerit. He is an especially strong receiver that hits a fast tempo ball from just about anywhere on the court. You can expect some great play and even better entertainment out of Eddy this year.

Sponsor: SH Sounds

Support Staff

Team Coach: Tommi Tiilikainen
Manager: Petteri Ervasti
Caretaker: Jasse Puikko
Statistics: Laura Ahola
Physiotherapist: Jukka Ritola

MERCHANDISING

Gear up in yellow and black! Show your support to Tiikerit! Here you can buy your own hoodie, cap, coat and other fan merch!



   
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