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Poland: Jastrzębski still alive! ZAKSA miss first opportunity to close Final series

4 min read

Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle wasted a great chance to close the 2021/22 Polish Plusliga, as they were leading 2-0 in the series of playoff finals and they were only one victory short of the gold medal. However defending champions Jastrzębski Węgiel, pushed against the wall, managed to prolong the title face-off by winning in four sets (24:26, 25:20, 23:25, 22:25) on the road in Game 3.

What might worry Champions League finalists ZAKSA more than a defeat, however, as they still have the upper hand in the series, is the injury of their starting middle blocker Norbert Huber who suffered, apparently, a serious injury in the 4th set and was taken away from the court.

French Trévor Clévenot top-scored Jastrzębski with 14 points, while Jakub Popiwczak made 88% reception (16 digs, 1 error, 63% perfect). Kamil Semeniuk was the most prolific player for ZAKSA with 19 points.

In first set ZAKSA make first break with the error by Wisniewski (2-1) and the block by Janus on Clevenot (6-4). Jastrzebski react with Counterattacks by Fornal and Clevenot, and the ace Wisniewski: 9-11. An error in attack by Fornal
level the score (14-14), but Jastrzebski work well in blocking, stopping first Kaczmarek with Fornal (15-17) and then also Semeniuk with Hadrava (15-18). But at the end ZAKSA recover two break first with q block by Kazcmarek on Boyer (22-23), then the block by Fornal that cancel second set point: 24-24. Hadrava closew the set, first with an attack, then with the winning block on Semeniuk: 24-26.

ZAKSA start better also in second set with two winning blocks on Clevenot (4-2 e 6-2) and, in the middle, a counterattack by Sliwka (5-2). The error by Sliwka and counterattack by Fornal (6-5) closed the gap, but ZAKSA stretch with counterattack and block by Kaczmarek, 11-7. With Semeniuk (12-7) and Clevenot (12-9). Jastrzebski try to reopen the set with a block by Wisniewski on Smith, 12-10, a counterattack 15-12, and win Clevenot (15-14). A videocheck confirmed ZAKSA’s supremacy in this set, and also the counterattack by Fornal (21-17) and the winning block by Smith (22-17). Boyer to the field, but it is an error from the service line of the Frenchman to close the set 25-20.

In third set Boyer remains on the field but he attacks out (1-0) and then don’t close, and Huber takes advantange (3-1). Other break point for ZAKSA with a counterattack by Sliwka after a great defense of Shoji on Fornal: 8-5. Boyer scores
the counterattack of 8-7, but then sends out the ball of 10-7.
Jastrzebski recover with an ace by Wisniewski (12-11) and the winning block by Gladyr on Semeniuk (13-13). Sliwka blocks Boyer (15-13), but Kaczmarek returns the break with an attack out (16-16). ZAKSA suffered Szymura’s seves: Kaczmarek attacks out (18-19), then he was defended and Clevenot don’t miss the ball of 18-20. Clevenot chide il set con un ace: 23-25.

Fourth set, and Boyer and Szymura are confirmed. ZAKSA don’t give up and starts with Semeniuk by (4-2) and a half point closed by Sliwka (5-2). Kaczmarek is protagonist of 3 next breaks: 6-5 then 9-6 and then he is blocked for the 9-8. Boyer
put down the ball 14-14, but ZAKSA back to +2 with Semeniuk, 16-14. An invasion in blocking revealed by videocheck levels the score: 17-17. Injury for Huber, replaced by Rejno, while Kaczmarek attacks out, but point for ZAKSA, 20-19. Decisive break come with the attack out by Kaczmarek: 20-21, and Sliwka waste the ball of surpass (21-22). ZAKSA lose also the next action close by Szymura (22-23), and Hadrava in serving close the match: first the ace of 22-24, then reception on the nine meters, and winning slash: 22-25.

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🏐| PLUSLIGA 2021/22 | Playoffs Finals

| Game 1 | May 4, 2022
Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle (1) – Jastrzebski Węgiel (2) 3-0 (25:21, 27:25, 25:23) Serie: 1-0

| Game 2 | May 7, 2022
Jastrzebski Węgiel (2) – Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle (1) 2-3 (25:20, 16:25, 25:22, 12:25, 16:18) Serie: 0-2

👉🏼 Game 3 | May 11, 2022
• Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle (1) – Jastrzebski Węgiel (2) 1-3 (24:26, 25:20, 23:25, 22:25) Serie: 2-1
ZAKSA: Janusz 3, Sliwka 9, Smith 5, Kaczmarek 16, Semeniuk 19, Huber 12, Shoji (L); Rejno, Kluth, Zalinski. Not entered: Staszewski, Kalembka, Kozlowski, Banach (L). Coach: Cretu.
Jastrzebski: Toniutti 1, Fornal 7, Wisniewski 9, Hadrava 8, Clevenot 14, Gladyr 10, Popiwczak (L); Boyer 8, Szymura 9, Tervaportti, Macyra. Not entered: Cedzynski, Granieczny (L), Biniek. Coach: Giolito.
MVP: Szymura.

| Game 4 | May 14, 2022
Jastrzebski Węgiel (2) – Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle (1) 0-3 (23:25, 17:25, 21:25) Serie: 1-3

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🏐| Final 3/4 Place

| Game 1 | May 4, 2022
PGE Skra Belchatów (3) – Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (4) 2-3 (23:25, 25:21, 25:19, 23:25, 15:17) Serie: 0-1

| Game 2 | May 7, 2022
Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (4) – PGE Skra Belchatów (3) 2-3 (22:25, 25:16, 23:25, 27:25, 13:15) Serie: 1-1

| Game 3 | May 10, 2022
PGE Skra Belchatów (3) – Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (4) 0-3 (22:25, 23:25, 21:25) Serie: 1-2

| Game 4 | May 13, 2022
Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (4) – PGE Skra Belchatów (3) 3-2 (25:21, 21:25, 25:16, 20:25, 15:11) Serie: 3-1

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