Champions League M: Legendary ZAKSA! In Turin, 3rd title in a row!2 min read
In an epic battle for the crown of European volleyball, Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle, better known in world of volleyball as ZAKSA, emerged victorious for the third year in a row, claiming the CEV Champions League Trophy after an exciting five-set battle (26:28, 25:22, 25:14, 28:30, 15:12) against Polish compatriots, Jastrzębski Węgiel.
At the very start of the clash, fresh Plusliga champions Jastrzębski Węgiel taking the initiative.
Led by excellents Tomasz Fornal and Stephen Boyer, they control the first set, forcing the two-time defending champions to chase them.
However, true to their reputation, ZAKSA reacted with Bednorz, Kaczmarek, and captain Sliwka. Able to re-open the first set, they shifted the momentum in their favor, securing the second set before asserting their absolute dominance in the third, closed with a clear 25-14.
In the fourth set, fans were treated to an incredible volleyball show, in which both teams fought for the lead. Jastrzębski finally closed the set, extending the final into a decisive fifth set amid the support of their amazed supporters.
However, the gran finale belonged to ZAKSA: able to put pressure to the rivals and losing their lead twice, they displayed remarkable resilience and determination, qualities that were enough to seal their third consecutive Champions League title, keeping the trophy (at least) for another year.
Four players on the winning side ended the game in double-digit: Bartosz Bednorz emerged as the top scorer with 23 points with 49% in attack, 3 blocks and 1 ace, closely followed by Aleksander Sliwka with 19 (52% in attack, 3 aces and 2 blocks, as well as the decisive points in fifth set), Kaczmarek with 15 (decisive above all from the service line, despite his 31% in attack), and MVP Smith with 13 including the one that close the game, with an excellent 74% in attack and 4 of his team’s 17 winning blocks (again 10 of the rivals), an element that made the difference.
In a remarkable effort for Jastrzębski Węgiel, Boyer scored 20 points, Clevenot 18, and Fornal 16 points.
The team of head coach Mendez wasted the great application in block and defense with a long series of mistakes (38 in total and 13 in attack).
🏆| 2022/23 CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE | SUPERFINALS @ Torino (ITA)
| Saturday | May 20, 2023
👉🏼 17.30 (Local Time) | VakifBank Istanbul (TUR) – Eczacıbaşı Dynavit (TUR) 3-1 (27:25, 25:17, 23:25, 25:17)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
• 20.30 (Local Time) | Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Kozle (POL) – Jastrzebski Wegiel (POL) 3-2 (26:28, 25:22, 25:14, 28:30, 15:12)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
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