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Champions League: Super Berlin! Comeback in St. Petersburg is worth 1/4 finals! All playoff participants determined!

8 min read

Even though 3 more matches are to be played tomorrow to complete the group stage of the 2022 CEV Volleyball Champions League, the names of all 8 participants of the playoffs were determined at the end of today’s games.

The 4 new participants were added to the 4 that secured their slots earlier: italians Cucine Lube Civitanova and Sir Safety Perugia, Jastrzębski Węgiel from Poland, and Russian titleholders Dinamo Moscow.

At home but as nominal guests in Pool A’s match, Bulgaria’s Hebar dispelled all hopes of Roeselare to reach the playoffs after turning the match around from 2 sets down. Belgians needed two wins against Hebar, and their next mutual encounter is scheduled for tomorrow, and some other results to fit in to qualify for the next stage.
Now, it’s all over.

On the same Pool, Jastrzebski defeated Friedrichshafen at home by 3-1, but the Polish side had already secured its spot for the quarterfinal for two legs before the end of the group stage.

Dinamo Moscow were merciless over Turkey’s Ziraat, who dropped the last chance of qualifying for quarterfinals by losing 0-3 in the Russian capital in Pool B. The winners recorded 6 wins in as many games, just like Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia in Pool E, with the difference that the Italian side didn’t concede a single set.

Konstantin Bryanskiy, head coach of Dinamo Moscow: “We made many mistakes in attack today and in the third set Ziraat Bank made a short spurt. Despite of it, we won the game. We had a good service and defense, this moments became the main factors of our victory.

Pavel Pankov, captain of Dinamo Moscow: “It was a game against very strong and organized team. Our service and receive were main factors of our victory. We controlled the game, but made several mistakes in the third set. It’s good, that we fixed a mistakes and then won the match.

Roberto Santilli, head coach of Ziraat Bankasi Ankara: “Dinamo Moscow is a very strong team. It’s no need to discuss it. Dynamo is one of the best teams in the Europe and in the world. We tried to do our best, but it wasn’t enough. Congrats and all the best to this team.

Bedirhan Bülbül, player of Ziraat Bankasi Ankara: “It was very tough game for us. Dynamo is very good team and we knew it. We tried to do our best, but couldn’t take points. Wish good luck for Dinamo.

On the same Pool, in an irrilevant match, VC Greenyard Maaseik faces
d Projekt Warzawa. After losing the first set, the Poles win in four sets. Petkovic with 23 points wasthe top scorer of the game.

Jay Blankenau, Setter Projekt Warszawa: “Nice to be back in this gym, since I have good memories here. It was awesome to play against my former teammate Jolan Cox. Big fun ! Yet it was a difficult game, because Maaseik played well and they made it a great fight. They pushed it till the end but then we had a couple of players that changed it for us.

Jolan Cox, Captain VC Greenyard Maaseik: “We knew this would be a tough game and actually we let a couple of chances slip through our hands. IN the end of each set, we missed a little bit of killer instinct, the confidence to go for each ball at the full 100 percent. And on the other side side of the net pf course, Warsaw posted a couple of big guys with a huge block… So let’s go for a revenge tomorrow. Absolutely.

In an away match of Pool C, Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle, better known in world of volleyball as ZAKSA, defeated Cucine Lube Civitanova at tie break. This match was supposed to be a do-or-die to the titleholders.
However, the news during the first set changed everything for the Poles: the victory of Bulgaria’s Hebar Pazardzhik over Belgium’s Knack Roeselare, which was an absolutely unexpected result, made ZAKSA sure of being in the Top-8 as one of the top 3 runners-up regardless of the result against the Italian champions.
This fact didn’t kill the intensity of the game, which had a tie-break. Kamil Semeniuk top-scored ZAKSA with 24 points through 74% attack (20/27), while Norbert Huber set up 4 blocks. Simon made 22 points (70% in attack) for italian side…10, including 3 aces, only in fourth set!

Kamil Semeniuk, player of Grupa Azoty Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle: “We are delighted with this win, which gives us a very important qualification for the next round of the competition, uncertain until yesterday. I couldn’t even think about having to leave this fantastic competition after the first stage. This is a special evening for us, also because winning here in Civitanova Marche is, truly, a great experience.

Gianlorenzo Blengini, head coach of Cucine Lube Civitanova: “I feel very satisfied about what we did in this phase of the competition, as in a difficult Pool like ours it was certainly not easy to secure the first place and therefore the qualification to the next round one game in advance. As for tonight’s match, however, I think that the greatest regret is for the comeback suffered in the third set. By winning that set, the final result might have been different.

On the same Pool, all easy for a Lokomotiv Novosibirsk who, in an irrilevant match, won in straight
sets on the field of modest Merkur Maribor, who ended their Champions League campaign winless.

In Pool D Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys topped the charts with today’s great win over Russia’s Zenit Saint Petersburg to secure a ticket for the quarter-finals. Actually, for the first time in their club history, the side from the German capital are the group winners! Today they performed a memorable comeback from 0-2 to 3-2. The team of the head coach Cédric Énard can now look forward to a bonus game tomorrow in the same location and against the same rival without being in any danger of dropping No.1 in the pool.
Given that Turkey’s Ziraat Bankası Ankara lost to Dinamo Moscow, this defeat won’t cost Zenit anything, so tomorrow’s clash against Berlin will be of no significance to them too, as they are through to the Top-8 as one of the runners-up.

Ruben Schott, Player of BR Volleys: “We are overjoyed. This was a very, very important victory – not only for the group constellation, but especially for our heads and our self-confidence. We showed Europe on what a high level we can play Volleyball. Tim and Ben played an outstanding game, in the end we had found each other perfectly as a team and enjoyed it. Chapeau to my team!

Benjamin Patch, Player of BR Volleys: “Coming here to play in Saint Petersburg, we knew that it was going to be a tough match. They are a big team, also physically. We don’t always play against this level, so it was a great opportunity for us to come and to play against this caliber of team. Our strategy was not to try to beat them, but to remember who we are in tough situations. We are not that tall, but we have good Volleyball players who don’t give up. Our willingness to keep trying was the key to the success.

Kaweh Niroomand, General manager of BR Volleys: “This is a huge success for our club. We have never won a group in the Champions League. The team achieved this victory because they always stayed on and fought. Ruben Schott’s service run in set four decided the match in our favour. Now we are among the top eight teams in Europe for the second time in a row. Three teams from Italy, two from Russia, two from Poland and the Berlin Recycling Volleys – we can be proud of that!

Sergey Grankin, Captain of BR Volleys: “It was a very difficult match for us because Zenit are physically stronger than our team: they’re jumping higher than us and attacking harder. But the most important difference between us tonight was that the result was very important for them, and we just enjoyed Volleyball, just enjoyed the show.

Cedric Enard, Head coach of BR Volleys: “It’s unbelievable. I’m happy that we never gave up, we always believed during the game. Even when we were 3 or 4 points behind we just continued to play, we kept the confidence. And that’s why we won tonight.

On the same Pool, in an irrilevant match, Sport Lisboa e Benfica defeats Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad in four sets.

About Pool E, AS Cannes Dragons imposed themselves as hard opponents, but Trentino Itas fulfilled their goal for which they came to France. In fact, thanks to a 3-1 victory, Angelo Lorenzetti’s side claimed second place in the Pool and are ranked among the best 3 runners-up across all pools without a chance to drop below. The Italians made it to the quarter-finals as the 2nd-ranked runner-up.
Interestingly, Trentino wins the match with great Blocks’ numbers, 17 against 4, while Lavia was the top scorer with 24 points in four sets.

| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH

On the same Pool, in an irrilevant match, Sir Safety Perugia defeats Fenerbahçe in straight sets.

These kind of matches are the most dangerous ones if they are not handeled in the right way. We already were on top of Pool E, they struggled to stay in the game…the risk was around the corner. The guys indeed played well. We have played improving every moment, controlling the whole match and giving all the players the opportunity to play tonight“, said Nikola Grbić, head coach of the winning side.

So, this is the list of the teams that will play the quarter-finals:

Pool winners: Jastrzębski Węgiel (POL), Dinamo Moscow (RUS), Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER)and Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA).

Best 3 runners-up: Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn Kozle (POL), Trentino Itas (ITA) and Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)

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🏐| CEV Champions League 2021/22Pool Stage – Day 6

🏐| POOL A

👉🏼 Wednesday 16th February

• Jastrzebski Węgiel (POL) – VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) 3-1 (25:18, 23:25, 25:15, 25:23)

• Knack Roeselare (BEL) – Hebar Pazardzhik (BUL) @Pazardzhik 2-3 (25:23, 25:21, 20:25, 22:25, 14:16)

| Thursday 17th February
• Hebar Pazardzhik (BUL) – Knack Roeselare (BEL)

| STANDINGS (updated on this day)
Jastrzebski Węgiel (POL) 18 QUALIFIED
VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) 6
Knack Roeselare (BEL) 5
Hebar Pazardzhik (BUL) 4

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🏐| POOL B

Tuesday 15th February
Projekt Warzawa (POL) – VC Greenyard Maaseik (BEL) @Maaseik 3-1 (25:23, 22:25, 25:20, 25:22)

👉🏼 Wednesday 16th February

• Dinamo Moscow (RUS) – Ziraat Bankasi Ankara (TUR) 3-0 (25:20, 25:20, 25:21)

• VC Greenyard Maaseik (BEL) – Projekt Warzawa (POL) 1-3 (25:21, 17:25, 18:25, 18:25)

| STANDINGS (updated on this day)
Dinamo Moscow (RUS) 17 QUALIFIED
Ziraat Bankasi Ankara (TUR) 10
Projekt Warzawa (POL) 7
VC Greenyard Maaseik (BEL) 2

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🏐| POOL C

👉🏼 Wednesday 16th February

• OK Merkur Maribor (SLO) – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (RUS) 0-3 (22:25, 23:25, 21:25)

• Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) – Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn Kozle (POL) 2-3 (22:25, 25:21, 24:26, 25:21, 10:15)

| STANDINGS (updated on this day)
Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) 15 QUALIFIED
Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn Kozle (POL) 12 QUALIFIED
Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (RUS) 9
OK Merkur Maribor (SLO) 0

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🏐| POOL D

👉🏼 Wednesday 16th February

• Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB) – Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) @ Lisboa 1-3 (25:19, 24:26, 21;25, 14:25)

• Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) – Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) 2-3 (26:24, 25:20, 25:27, 22:25, 12:15)

| Thursday 17th February
• Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) – Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB)
• Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) – Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) @Saint Petersburg

| STANDINGS (updated on this day)
Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) 14 QUALIFIED
Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) 10 QUALIFIED
Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB) 3
Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) 3

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🏐| POOL E

| Wednesday 16th February

• AS Cannes Dragons (FRA) – Trentino Itas (ITA) 1-3 (23:25, 9:25, 29:27, 14:25)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH

• Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) – Fenerbahçe HDI Istanbul (TUR) 3-0 (25:17, 25:21, 25:17)

| STANDINGS (updated on this day)
Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) 18 QUALIFIED
Trentino Itas (ITA) 12 QUALIFIED
Fenerbahçe HDI Istanbul (TUR) 5
AS Cannes Dragons (FRA) 1

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