Following the opening two matches of the 2023 CEV Men’s Volleyball Champions League played yesterday, four more matches of the group stage were played today, on Wednesday.
In the Pool C match against one of the favorites to take the trophy in the competition, italian powerhouse Cucine Lube Civitanova, Portugal’s Sport Lisboa e Benfica was so close to causing a big upset, as they led 2-0 in sets! However, they missed the opportunity to down Italian titleholders. The hosts made the difference in the tie-break, ended 15-13. In the absence of Ivan Zaytsev, the Puerto Rican-American international Gabi García scored 22 points including 4 aces for the SuperLega club. Partially it was 23:25, 21:25, 25:19, 25:22 and 15:13.
“Easy games do not exist in the Champions League, so we expected a match as tough as it was tonight. Congratulations to Benfica as they played some great volleyball. We have a young roster this season, totally renewed compared to previous years. Of course, we have to improve our volleyball, but I’m very confident that we can do good things in this important competition, as usual for a great club like Cucine Lube Civitanova” said opposite Gabriel Garcia, top scorer and MVP of the match
“We were very close to writing history for our volleyball club, but at the end we must be satisfied as we performed well against a very experienced team like Cucine Lube Civitanova. Now we’ll keep going game by game. I’m sure we are also able to do good things in this competition,” said Peter Wohlfahrtstatter, Middle blocker of Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, better know in world of volleyball as ZAKSA, didn’t start their title defense campaign confidently, but earned three points.
The PlusLiga titleholders barely broke the resistance of Czech ČEZ Karlovarsko in the first match of Pool D.
Eventually the game ended 3-1 (25:22, 25:21, 24:26, 26:24), with the guests threatened in the fourth set, when they took a 20-17 lead, but failed to tie the match at 2-2. Łukasz Kaczmarek scored 27 points for ZAKSA, while Ukrainian Dmitrii Pashitskii made 6 of the team’s 18 blocks. Polish Kewin Sasak was Karlovarsko’s most prolific player with 20 points.
“I entered in a difficult moment and I am glad that I did not disappoint. Although I admit that the Czechs surprised us, especially with their determination in defense and effective counterattacks, but we showed our heart and we are very happy with this victory,” said Adrian Staszewski, Outside hitter of Cucine Grupa Azoty Kedzierzyn-Kozle and MVP of the match.
Kewin Sasak, Opposite of CEZ Karlovarsko: “Despite the defeat we can be satisfied, although we also feel unsatisfied because we were very close to defeating the opponents in each of the sets.”
The biggest surprise was made by Germany’s SWD powervolleys Düren, who defeated Turkey’s Ziraat Bank Ankara in Pool E. German side, which entered the Champions League as the third-placed team in the last Bundesliga, defeated a two-time Efeler Ligi defending champs in four sets, partially 25:23, 25:18, 21:25, and 25:16. With a super and brave game at their Arena Kreis, they registered a great triumph after 119 minutes of play by dominating above all from the service line, with 12 aces. Experienced Chilean opposite Sebastián Gevert scored 21 points (including 4 aces) for the winning side.
On the same Pool, Italy’s Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia routinely defeat Slovenia’s ACH Volley Ljubljana. After only 73 minutes of play in their PalaBarton, Andrea Anastasi’s guys triumphed 3-0, partially 25:19, 25:16, and 25:19. Ukrainian Oleh Plotnytskyi scored 16 points.
🏐| 2022/23 CEV Champions League | Pool Stage | Matches of the week
November 8, 2022
POOL A | 18.00 (Local Time) | Jastrzebski Węgiel (POL) – Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad (SRB) 3-0 (25:23, 25:19, 25:20)
POOL B | 19.30 (Local Time) | Berlin Recycling Volleys (GER) | Hebar Pazardzhik (BUL) 3-2 (23:25, 23:25, 25:17, 28:26, 15:12)
👉🏼 November 9, 2022
• POOL C | 19.00 (Local Time) | Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) – Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) 3-2 (23:25, 21:25, 25:19, 25:22, 15:13)
STANDINGS POOL C (updated on this day)
1. Cucine Lube Civitanova 2
2. Sport Lisboa e Benfica 1
3. Tours Volley Ball 0
4. Knack Roeselare 0
• POOL D | 20.30 (Local Time) | Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle (POL) – ČEZ Karlovarsko (CZE) 3-1 (25:22, 25:21, 24:26, 26:24)
STANDINGS POOL D (updated on this day)
1. Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle 3
2. Trentino Itas 0
3. Decospan VT Menen 0
4. ČEZ Karlovarsko 0
• POOL E | 20.00 (Local Time) | Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) – ACH Volley Ljubljana (SLO) 3-0 (25:19, 25:16, 25:19)
• POOL E | 20.00 (Local Time) | SWS Powervolleys Düren (GER) – Ziraat Bank Ankara (TUR) 3-1 (25:23, 25:18, 21:25, 25:16)
STANDINGS POOL E (updated on this day)
1. Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia 3
2. SWS Powervolleys Düren 3
3. Ziraat Bank Ankara 0
4. ACH Volley Ljubljana 0
November 10, 2022
• POOL A | 20.00 (Local Time) | VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) – Montpellier HSC VB (FRA) 3-2 (20:25, 20:25, 25:22, 25:23, 15:11)
• POOL B | 18.00 (Local Time) | Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie (POL) – Halkbank Ankara (TUR) 3-1 (23:25, 26:24, 25:21, 25:15)
• POOL C | 20.30 (Local Time) | Knack Roeselare (BEL) – Tours VB (FRA) 0-3 (22:25, 19:25, 20:25)
• POOL D | 20.30 (Local Time) | Trentino Itas (ITA) – Decospan VT Menen (BEL) 3-0 (25:16, 25:17, 25:12)