Huber looking to lead Jastrzębski Węgiel to first CEV Champions League Title


Article Mon, Apr 15 2024

Norbert Huber cuts an imposing figure no matter what side of the net you’re on. The 25-year-old Middle Blocker stands 2.07m tall and dominates the centre of the court. His height, however, is just one small part of what has made Huber one of the best players in the sport.

Considered by many to be one of the most well-rounded middle blockers in the game, Number 99 can power down spikes, record kill blocks and hit aces. So far this season in the CEV Champions League, Huber has scored 97 points across ten matches, with 72 coming from winning spikes, 15 from kill blocks and serving 10 aces. Since making his debut in the competition, he has scored 423 points, including 96 kill blocks, and has won 81% of his matches.

Since bursting onto the international stage, he has become an integral part of the Poland team that won the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Nations League and the 2023 CEV European Championship. Going back further, Huber excelled internationally at a junior level. He was part of the Poland team that won the U20 European Championships, winning all 7 matches, and also formed a key component of the Poland U21 side that won 47 consecutive matches; a run which including claiming the U21 World Championships with a 3-0 victory over Cuba.

Back at club level, while playing for ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Huber lifted last season’s CEV Champions League title, defeating his current team, Jastrzębski Węgiel, 3-2 in the SuperFinal. This was Huber’s second CEV Champions League title, having also lifted the trophy the season before, again with ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle.

Jastrzębski Węgiel have never been crowned champions of the CEV Champions League, in fact their appearance in last year’s SuperFinal was their first in the showpiece event, and the good news for them is that this year they do not need to worry about running into the volleyball juggernaut of ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, winners of the previous three editions of the CEV Champions League.

They will, however, be facing off against a team with some serious European pedigree in Trentino Itas. Trentino also have recent wounds in the competition, having lost to ZAKSA in the 2021 and 2022 SuperFinals, but going further back they had some domination in the competition, winning it three times consecutively between 2009 and 2011.

Jastrzębski Węgiel will be in high spirits for their second Champions League SuperFinal, as they conclude an incredible season. They reached the final of the Polish Cup and finished top of the PlusLiga, easing past Olsztyn in the play-off quarter-finals, with Rzeszow now standing between them and a spot in the league final.

Claiming a first domestic and international double would go down as one of Jastrzębski Węgiel’s greatest ever seasons, and having someone with the pedigree of Norbert Huber to rely on means they are in with an excellent chance.