Grupa Azoty KĘDZIERZYN-KOŹLE reaches Semi-Final after a real volleyball thriller


Article Thu, Mar 16 2023
Author: Nika Aurora Ključarić

All Semi-Finalists of the #CLVolleyM are known! JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel, Sir Sicoma Monini PERUGIA, and Halkbank ANKARA qualified on Wednesday and today Grupa Azoty KĘDZIERZYN-KOŹLE joined the big four.

The last match of the men’s Quarter-Finals was played today. On one side was the winner of the last two editions, Zaksa, and on the other side was the team that is used to making it to the semifinals, TRENTINO Itas. And the winner is – Zaksa, with a 3-2 Trentino win (25-19, 23-25, 27-29, 25-21, 15-12). The first match finished with a 3-2 win by Zaksa and today they qualified after a Golden set.

Volleyball fans had an opportunity to enjoy the real thriller, as well as the big crowd in Trento. In the first set, Trentino took the initiative and went into the early lead (8-4) but soon enough Zaksa closed onto them (10-9). But this wasn’t enough. Zaksa was either just a little behind or they equalized with Trentino, but they never went in the lead in this set. Trentino closed the first set by 25-19 and with two aces written in their records.

The second set was a whole different story. It was a typical cat-and-mouse type of play where they were chasing each other for the score. And for reaching the Semi-Finals… Trentino managed to “get away” from Zaksa (10-6 and 17-11) but then a plot twist! Zaksa turned over the result and equalized the whole match, again (22-22)! The Polish team took the well-deserved set win by 23-25.

The third set definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart. Although it began calmly with a few points difference, soon enough it turned into a real thriller. It was played completely point-by-point (from 15-14) up until the very end. With a play like this, they soon reached 25 points and there was still no winner. So they continued playing. A couple of times Trentino had a chance to take the set advantage, and a couple of times Zaksa but in the end, the Polish guys managed to turn everything around and locked another set by 27-29.

Trentino knew that they had to win the fourth set if they wanted to have any chances of going through to do the Semi-Finals and they used that motivation in this set. Although they were quite equal with Zaksa, they took that strength and won the fourth set by 25-21.

The fifth set was the last chance for Trentino, in order to go to the Golden set and a last chance for Zaksa to put an end to the whole match and avoid the Golden set. But, Trentino did manage to take a win in the fifth set (15-12) and a Golden set was required. And after the 15 points the winner was Zaksa and they are advancing through to the Semi-Finals of the #CLVolleyM!

In Semi-Finals Halkbank will play against Jastrzębski and Perugia will play against Zaksa.

"We didn’t start in the best way this evening since we were very emotional at the beginning and Trento was aggressive in the service. This guys have an amazing character, they stayed focused and together. They never gave up and after winning the second set we definitely woke up. It was a very long game: four sets, five sets and then six. But we stayed there and I am very happy about it and for these guys. It hasn’t been always a good volleyball, but we fought back and found our stability."

Tuomas Sammelvuo
Head Coach of Grupa Azoty Kedzierzyn-Kozle

"We are proud of what we did tonight, but obviously, there is a lot of regret for not having reached the qualification. Our dream stopped at the Golden Set, but tonight’s game proves we have great potential. Congratulations to ZAKSA for the qualification and us for fighting until the end."

Srecko Lisinac
Trentino ITAS Middle Blocker