CEV Champions League Volley 2022 | Men
CEV Champions League Volley 2022 | Men
Wednesday was only the second day of the fourth round of the CEV Champions League Volley 2022 - Men and with as many as seven games played across Europe, it could really be called a Super Wednesday. The highlight of the day was the Super Match of the Week which featured the reigning Russian champion Dinamo Moscow and bronze medalist of the Polish League Projekt Warszawa who locked horns for the first time in the Champions League. The game turned into fantastic five-set Volleyball show. The hosts were losing 0-2, but managed to astonish spectacular comeback to secure important opening win.
The side from Poland enjoyed a perfect opening of the match starting it with leading 8-4 and keeping the score safe until the middle of the set. Then, with Vadym Likhoserstov on serve the hosts started to chase the score, to eventually reduce the gap to one point at 16-15. However, the squad led by coach Andrea Anastasi withstood a pressure and in the decisive part Projekt Warszawa tipped the balance to their favour with great efforts of their top middle blockers Piotr Nowakowski and Andrzej Wrona, along with outside hitter Bartosz Kwolek, who closed the set with his spike.
From the beginning of the second part Dinamo could count on their star Tsvetan Sokolov, who was absent in the opener. But despite of the presence of their leader, again it was Warszawa controlling the situation on the court. Dinamo made it even easier for the guests, delivering them as many as 10 points by own mistakes, including 8 errors on serving line.
Having their back against the wall, Dinamo spared no effort to keep their chances alive. From the beginning of the set they were dominating on the court in all skills. Pavel Pankov, being in charge of playmaking led perfectly balanced game which, next to block - 5 points in this component, was a key to win in this part.
The Russian champions kept the momentum, and they were not even thinking about slowing down. Earning a six-point advantage in early stage of the set, they made sure to improve it further, reaching 72% of success in attack. Adding 6 block stuffs to this impressive numbers, they were simply unstoppable.
Tie-break is always a battle of nerves, and this match proved it very well. Dinamo even more confident after winning two previous sets was dominant side again. But Projekt Warszawa was aware that's their last chance, so they did their best to fight back, even once staying four points behind at 8-4 and 12-8. With Trinidad on service line they tie at 12-12, but it was a cold shower for the hosts. After a time-out called by their coach, they returned to the court even more eager to grab this victory. Eventually, two aces served by Yaroslav Podlesnykh closed the match. Dinamo's setter and captain Pavel Pankov was honoured with MVP title.
"Project Warszawa showed us, that is Champions League. We had many mistakes on service and attack. Maybe, we were a little bit nervous at the start of the game. Than we started play clearly in different components and won three sets."
The encounter between Cucine Lube Civitanova and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk was expected to be another big battle, but the hosts - even without their superstars Ivan Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena (both recovering from injuries) managed to earn an emphatic 3-0 victory. The game was a show of two young spikers Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Marlon Yant. 20-year-old Yant was on fire this night, giving many reasons to remember his name, as he not only scored the match-high 16 points, but also served impressive 6 aces. In general, it was stunning performance of Lube on serving line, as their players scored - in total - 17 points in this skill.
On Wednesday the reigning #CLVolleyM champions - Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle also started their campaign in Pool C with the match-up against Slovenian champion OK Merkur Maribor that ended with emphatic win for the Polish team. In Pool A, VfB Friedrichshafen and Knack Roeselare produced the second tie-break of the day, however this game ended on the favour of the guest team from Belgium. All other matches ended in three sets.