Jastrzebski Wegiel wrote a new page in club’s history, and also in the history of European Volleyball, reaching for a first time ever the CEV Champions League Volleyball Final!
The Polish side, who started this year’s edition of the competition in Pool A, lost 2-3 (25:17, 18:25, 22:25, 25:16, 12:15) at home in the second leg match against Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara, but thanks to a super performance in first leg (3-1), winning two sets was enough.
The hosts started the game in a better way taking the first set, but the rivals reacted, and claimed the next two sets, so the fourth set turned out to be one worth qualifying for the Super Finals in Turin, Italy, on May 20.
And they did it, booking their tickets to the title deciding match in front of more than 3000 fans in the Sports and Entertainment Hall in Jastrzębie-Zdrój.
Halkbank, on the other hand, recorded a bitter-sweet victory, that marked the end of their journey in Champions League this year, although a superb performance in the previous stage, in which they eliminated Italian powerhouse Cucine Lube Civitanova.
The winners today finished better in attack (57 to 48 winning spikes) and in blocking (11 to 7), but they made more errors, 34 to 21.
Halkbank’s Thomas Jaeschke ended the game as top scorer with 22 points including 3 blocks, 3 aces and 64% in attack, while MVP Tomasz Fornal, finished with 18 including 4 winning blocks and the same percentage in attack.
Now, Jastrzebski are waiting to know the name of their opponents for the trophy, as on Thursday the titleholders Grupa Azoty Kedzierzyn-Kozle will face Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia in a rematch. In case that Grupa Azoty win two sets as well, the Grand Finale will be derby between two Polish teams!
Interestingly, this will be the third final in international Volleyball competitions for Jastrzębski Węgiel: in the 2008/2009 season, the team led at the time by italian expert Roberto Santilli played in the final of the Challenge Cup held in Izmir, Turkey, but they lose to the hosts of Arkas Izmir. Two years later, they played in the Club World Championship in Doha, Qatar but, after defeating the Brazilian champions SESI Sao Paulo 3-2 in the semi-finals, the players around another italian coach, Lorenzo Bernardi, suffered a defeat against the Italian club Trentino BetClic 1-3 in the final.
🏐| 2022/23 CEV Champions League | Semifinals
FIRST LEG | Wednesday | March 29, 2023
• 19.00 (Local Time) | Halkbank Ankara (TUR) – Jastrzebski Wegiel (POL) 1-3 (22:25, 23:25, 25:16, 22:25)
• 20.30 (Local Time) | Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle (POL) – Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) 3-1 (25:18, 24:26, 25:19, 25:22)
👉🏼 SECOND LEG | Wednesday | April 5, 2023
• 20.30 (Local Time) | Jastrzebski Wegiel (POL) – Halkbank Ankara (TUR) 2-3 (25:17, 18:25, 22:25, 25:16, 12:15)
SECOND LEG | Thursday | April 6, 2023
• 20.30 (Local Time) | Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) – Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle (POL) 1-3 (23:25, 18:25, 25:19, 25:27)