The polish Cup quarterfinals started in Kędzierzyn-Koźle. Skra had to play without Mariusz Wlazły, but Artur Szalpuk was finally available after his injury. The most interesting game, at least on paper, took place there, but this match didn’t deliver. Zaksa dominated the first and second set very easily, even Deroo’s injury during the 2nd set didn’t stop them. Artur Szalpuk was back in starting lineup for the 3rd set, while Andrea Gardini kept Rafał Szymura, who replaced Deroo. That’s when something clicked for the team from Bełchatów, while Kaczmarek’s hitting dropped from 75% to 22% and we finally saw some fighting. Skra even led 24:22, but Zaksa scored their 23rd point and followed it up with a block on Kochanowski (who was spiking from 1st zone) after a time-out called by Piazza. A few moments later Śliwka finished his 2 spikes and Zaksa won 3rd set 28:26. Kaczmarek was fantastic for 2 sets but struggled in the 3rd one, so he finished with decent stats (13 points, 1 ace, 1 block, 52% kills).
Szymura filled in for Deroo really well (11 points, 3 blocks, 67% kills), but if I had to choose MVP, it would be (once again) Paweł Zatorski, who defended a lot of spikes and averaged 77% positive and 62% perfect reception. Meanwhile, Skra still has a lot of problems. Karol Kłos is slowly improving (9 points, 3 blocks, 1 ace, 56% kills today), but Teppan was back to his usual (this season), horrendous level (6 points, 30% kills, 5% efficiency, -2 ratio) and Piazza was desperate with his attempts to hide their weak right wing, but neither Szalpuk, nor Kochanowski (yes, libero was replacing Teppan instead of Kochanowski) was able to do the job.
The second game was the shortest. Jastrzębski Węgiel quickly smashed BBTS in 3 sets. The home team didn’t rise to the challenge, but it’s not surprising, they are playing in the 2nd division after getting relegated in the previous season. Really solid from Fromm (12 points, 1 block, 50% kills, but let’s not talk about his reception) and Konarski (14 points, 3 blocks, 1 ace, 50% kills), but Julien Lyneel was
The third quarterfinal was the second one between 2 Plusliga teams. 4th in league table Cerrad Czarni Radom were visited by 6th Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie. The guests started with a lineup that won their previous match, so starting OHs were Ferreira and Waliński, while Robert Prygiel also didn’t make any changes, so Michał Filip was starting (not a surprise after 2 MVPs in a row) and Maxim Zhigalov had to sit on the bench. The first set was interesting and almost equal for the most part. Both teams were unable to get ahead of their opponents by more than 1 point. It all changed, when the score was 18:17 for guests. Norbert Huber made a spiking error, Ferreira followed with 2 aces and Zawiercie was leading 21:17. From that point, Czarni completely stopped playing and lost this set 25:18.
Next set started well for Aluron, they went up 3:0 after 3 mistakes made by Cerrad, but Waliński’s error and 2 hits from Żaliński and the scoreboard
Robert Prygiel decided to replace Wojciech Żaliński with Kamil Kwasowski. It helped his team because the home team was leading for almost the whole set, even though Ferreira’s ace made the score 13:12 in
Czarni Radom lost, but Michał Filip can be satisfied with his performance. 19 points, 2 blocks, 1 ace, and 64% kills are the best numbers in his team. Kamil Kwasowski (10 points, 1 block, 75% kills) and Tomasz Fornal (15 points, 4 blocks, 48% kills), but disappointing performances from the middles (10 points, 29% kills, 2 aces and 3 blocks combined) and a disappointing Żaliński (7 points, 1 block, 46% kills, but only 24% positive reception) cost them massively. Marcin Waliński was definitely the best player of this match. He scored 22 points (top scorer), added 3 aces, 2 blocks
Last game took place in Nysa, where local Stal was facing Onico. It was definitely an emotional match for Bartosz
The home team was still going strong in next set. After double aces by
Good game played by middles, Mateusz Nożewski (7 points, 1 block, 75% kills) and Moustapha M’Baye (10 points, 3 blocks, 88% kills). Bartosz Bućko (16 points, 1 ace, 1 block, 50% kills) was their best wing. Onico fans should be happy for Niko Penchev (6 points, 1 block, 1 ace, 40% positive and 30% perfect reception), who played alright this time around. Very good performances by Antoine Brizard (24 services, 7 more than anyone else, 2 aces + solid setting), Bartosz Kwolek (15 points, 1 block, 2 aces, 62% kills) and Bartosz Kurek (19 points, 2 blocks, 50% kills), but personally I would call Canadian Graham Vigrass (12 points, 7 Breakpoints, 4 blocks, 1 ace, 70% kills) the best player of this match.
Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle 3:0 PGE Skra Bełchatów
25:16, 25:19, 28:26
ZAKSA: Kaczmarek (13), Toniutti, Wiśniewski (6), Bieniek (8), Śliwka (10), Deroo (8), Zatorski (libero) and Stępień, Koppers (3), Szymura (11)
Skra: Teppan (6), Kłos (9), Kochanowski (3), Ebadipour (14), Łomacz, Orczyk (6), Piechocki (libero) and Szalpuk (6)
BBTS Bielsko-Biała 0:3 Jastrzębski Węgiel
19:25, 20:25, 14:25
BBTS: Macionczyk, Buniak (4), Piotrowski (2), Sukhatskiy (8), Cedzyński (5), Krikun (10), Koziura (libero) and Nowak (2), Sawicki, Adamczyk (2), Łysiowski, Marek (libero)
Jastrzębski: Fromm (12), Kosok (7), Konarski (14), Lyneel (13), Kampa (4), Hain (6), Popiwczak (libero) and Bucki (4), Wolański, Ferens (1), Janicki (libero)
Cerrad Czarni Radom 1:3 Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie
18:25, 19:25, 25:23, 21:25
Czarni: Pajenk (6), Żaliński (7), Vincic (2), Filip (19), Huber (2), Fornal (15), Ruciak (libero) and Ostrowski (2), Giger, Zhigalov, Kwasowski (10)
Warta: Waliński (22), Rejno (2), Ferreira (11), Gawryszewski (7), Bociek (18), Masny, Koga (libero) and Dosanjh, Malinowski, Semeniuk
Stal Nysa 1:3 Onico Warszawa
18:25, 25:21, 21:25, 18:25
Stal: Zajder, Kaczorowski (12), Bućko (16), M’Baye (10), Szczurek (3), Makowski (10), Czunkiewicz (libero) and Ochrymczuk (libero), Mucha, Bułkowski, Nożewski (7), Owczarz
Onico: Kwolek (15), Brizard (4), Łukasik (1), Wrona (5), Vigrass (12), Kurek (19), Wojtaszek (libero) and Kowalczyk, Nowakowski (1), Araujo, Penchev (6)
Final Four preview
Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle vs Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie
The best team of this season against the biggest surprise of this season. Sam Deroo is injured and will probably miss the finals, so Zaksa will be severely weakened. Meanwhile, Aluron finally found their optimal lineup (at the moment) and a lot of their players would like to show their old club (Bociek, Rejno, Semeniuk, and
Jastrzębski Węgiel vs Onico Warszawa
Both teams went through massive changes during this season. Onico signed Kurek and Penchev, Jastrzębski lost De Giorgi and hired Roberto