James Shaw joins Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle. But he will not play as a setter, he will play as an opposite. He will replace Sławomir Jungiewicz, who is injured and season might be over for him.

This week in Plusliga started with a game between Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie and Chemik Bydgoszcz. It was a good chance for Warta to get back to 5th place(for now) and build an advantage over 7th place GKS Katowice in the standings. Chemik started their standard lineup, while Mark Lebedev surprised a bit, benched Bartosz Gawryszewski for the first time this season (replaced by Łukasz Swodczyk) and decided to start with Ferreira and Semeniuk, keeping Marcin Waliński as a sub. First set was going fairly well for Aluron, but they couldn’t increase their lead above 3 points. Finally, Chemik managed to equalize after Lipiński’s ace and the score was 20:20. Bociek answered with a good hit, followed it up with great service, which gave his team a successful counter, finished by Ferreira. Then Grzegorz added an ace and Zawiercie went up 23:20. But instead of easy win for home team, we saw quick comeback. One rally finished by Kovacevic, a block by Morozau and there was yet another draw. Bartosz Filipiak gave his team first set ball (25:24) with another ace, but followed it up with an error. Chemik didn’t waste their next chance, a block on Bociek finished the first set.

The second set was even closer than the previous one. Both teams had some leads, but neither of them could get ahead by more than 2 points. Once again, everyone watching knew the finish of this set had to be exciting when the score was 21:21. A missed spike by Kovacevic and Waliński’s (he replaced Ferreira) ace gave the home team 23:21 lead, but just like in the previous set, the score went back to even just a moment later, after Rejno’s spiking error. This time Aluron was the team with the first setball, Chemik was not giving up, but third time’s a charm and Kamil Semeniuk ended this set with a service ace.

Not a lot changed in the 3rd set. Once again both teams were fighting and not letting their opponents get ahead. This time the competition got more interesting earlier. Chemik was leading 12:10, but Waliński’s hit gave Zawiercie their 11th point, Bociek added 2 more aces to his name and continued to cause havoc with his service. Marcin Waliński scored with a spike and a block to give the home team a 15:12 lead. Lipiński answered with an ace of his own, but Semeniuk’s 2 blocks on Filipiak gave Aluron’s 3 point advantage back. After Bociek’s missed spike, Lipiński equalized with a back row hit and a few minutes later the scoreboard was showing 21:21 for the 3rd time. When Michał Masny decided to hit the ball after great defense his team went up 23:21. Then a challenge saved Chemik and instead of 24:21, the score was 23:22, Lipiński followed it up with an effective spike and the set had to end with the smallest possible difference once again. But this set didn’t last as long as the previous two. 2 good spikes by Semeniuk and set was over.

The fourth set was very competitive until the score was 14:14. Three successful hits by Semeniuk (in a row) and Warta was leading 17:14. A few minutes later Grzegorz Bociek won long a rally for his team and the gap increased to 4 points (21:17), Zawiercie kept their lead and won the match 3:1. A solid game by Morozau (14 points, 4 blocks, 1 ace, 56% kills) and Lipiński (17 points, 1 block, 2 aces, 54% kills) was not enough to make up for average performances by Filipiak (15 points, 1 ace, 42% kills), Kovacevic (14 points, 1 block, 1 ace, 44% kills) and Szalacha (7 points, 4 blocks, 43% kills) and a tough game for their libero, Adam Kowalski (16 receptions, 19% positive, 0% perfect, 2 errors). Aluron was led by MVP Kamil Semeniuk (21 points, 3 blocks, 3 aces, 56% kills) and Grzegorz Bociek (21 points, 2 blocks, 4 aces, 54% kills), but Masny and Koga played very well too. Overall it was very good game between two good (midtable and a bit above midtable) teams with a lot of rallies and fighting.

Two days later Cuprum Lubin was playing against GKS Katowice. No one expected an upset, especially after the first set was won by GKS without many problems. But in the following sets, Cuprum recovered well and improved, while the guests were struggling to pick up their pace mostly due to disappointing performances by their usual leaders, Karol Butryn and Tomas Rousseaux. All of that caused yet another surprise in Plusliga this season and Cuprum Lubin could celebrate their 5th victory and a chance to finally get away from the 12th position if other matches end well for them. Very solid Smith (16 points, 3 blocks, 45% kills, 69% positive reception) and Gruszczyński (21 receptions, 57% positive, 24% perfect, 1 error) gave a great base for success. One of the heroes was Jakub Ziobrowski (23 points, 5 blocks, 56% kills), who played a very good match and was close to getting MVP, which went to Masahiro Yanagida, who was more than solid in offense (55% kills), was okay in defense (40% positive and 25% perfect reception), but completely demolished his opponents with service (26 services, 3 aces, 5 errors) and it probably guaranteed him MVP award. GKS Katowice usually rely on Butryn and Rousseaux whenever they win. This time they both failed to impress. The polish opposite scored only 13 points (1 ace, 1 block, 11 spikes) with painfully average 39% kills (and only 11% efficiency), while the Belgian player scored 13 points too (3 blocks, 10 spikes), but ended the match with only 33% kills (10% efficiency) and terrible reception (39% positive, 6% perfect). Neither Depowski, nor Sobański could replace them, so GKS went back to Katowice without a point and slightly complicated their way to play-offs.

Later the same day TV crews were in Rzeszów, where Resovia was visited by Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie. This time Cretu decided to start with Kozub, Rossard, Schulz, Mika, Możdżonek, Smith and Masłowski, while Mark Lebedev started with Masny, Rejno, Gawryszewski, Malinowski, Semeniuk, Waliński, and Koga. So, both teams made some changes once again. The first set was fairly even during the first part, but the score went from 13:12 to 18:13 and 5 points was more than enough for Aluron to keep a safe lead and win the first set. The second began similarly. The first half was very even (13:13), then Zawiercie increased the pace and went up 18:14. But this time Resovia kept fighting, they won a few rallies, Damian Schulz added an ace and score was 22:21 in favor of Warta. A timeout called by Mark Lebedev helped and Aluron was still leading by 2 points, but Resovia answered with a successful spike and Mika followed it up with an ace that gave the home team the draw they were chasing for some time. Mateusz Malinowski gave his team the first setball and Marcin Waliński served all fans an anticlimactic end of the 2nd set with a service ace.

In the 3rd set and Aluron was leading 18:14 once again, even though moments earlier the score was 13:13. After Malinowski’s ace Aluron went up 22:17 and the first fans started to leave Podpromie. Damian Schulz gave his team an impulse to fight with his services and attacks and Resovia led by him almost equalized, but his charge was stopped in time (23:21) and Warta Zawiercie beat Asseco Resovia Rzeszów for the 2nd time this season. MVP went to Michał Masny, who played well, but it definitely should have gone to Mateusz Malinowski (23 points, 1 ace, 55% kills), who was absolute leader of his team in that match. Waliński (11 points, 1 block, 1 ace, 32% kills) didn’t impress this time, Semeniuk (13 points, 3 aces, 43% kills) was okay besides impressive service. It’s difficult to find any positives for Resovia after this match. Mateusz Mika looked okay in offense (17 points, 2 blocks, 1 ace, 54% kills), but he was bad in defense (26 receptions, 31% positive, 8% perfect and 6 errors). David Smith (10 points, 4 blocks, 67% kills) was allright, but his service disappointed (only 11 services, 0 aces, 2 errors) again. Damian Schulz (15 points, 1 block, 2 aces, 48% kills) also tried his best, but it wasn’t enough. Możdżonek (6 points, 3 blocks, 60% kills) and Kozub did their job, they definitely can play better though. Masłowski disappointed (15 receptions, 33% positive, 13% perfect, 3 errors) massively, but Thibault Rossard was even worse this time. Only 2 points scored (in 2 sets), just one successful spike (7% kills, -21% efficiency) and -3 ratio, it was probably his worst game for Resovia.

Next match? Indykpol AZS Olsztyn vs PGE Skra Bełchatów. This time the team with massive health problems was not AZS, but Skra. Not only were Mariusz Wlazły and Artur Szalpuk still recovering from their arm injuries, but this time they were joined by Milad Ebadipour, so Skra was playing without all of their starting wings. But it looked as if it was helping them to get back to a normal level during the first set because the reigning champions finished set with 74% kills (100% by Orczyk and 78% by Teppan) and gave Indykpol no chance. Everything was the same in 2nd set, Skra quickly got ahead and build solid lead. It all changed after Marcel Lux replaced Serhiy Kapelus, when score was 18:13. That’s when players from Bełchatów started to calm down and go back to their usual level and AZS finally started to defend against guests’ spikes, won a few long rallies and first decreased the gap to just one point (20:19) and moments later equalized (21:21). After an intense battle (both teams had 6 setballs) for the 2nd set Indykpol won 36:34 after Kochanowski’s missed spike, even though Rene Teppan and Piotr Orczyk had opportunities to give Skra 2:0 lead. Jan Hadrava was the hero of this set, he attempted 23 attacks (52% kills) during this set.

Skra collapsed completely after losing this set and scored just 6 breakpoints (4 in 3rd, 2 in 4th) and had -2 point ratio (-1 in both) in following 2 sets, while Indykpol kept their high level and beat Skra second time this season. Very solid Lux (11 points, 1 block, 2 aces, 44% kills), Zniszczoł (11 points, 3 blocks, 2 aces, 50% kills) and Pietraszko (11 points, 3 blocks, 1 ace, 50% kills), very good Andringa (12 points, 1 block, 52% kills) and Hadrava (24 points, 3 blocks, 47% kills) were well organised by Paweł Woicki, who distributed the ball really well and was awarded with MVP award. Personally, I would give it to libero, Michał Żurek, who not only handled opponents services well (29 receptions, 52% positive, 28% perfect, 0 errors), but also had a lot of digs and played a huge part in the successful comeback in the 2nd set. PGE Skra Bełchatów is also in crisis, not as deep as Resovia, but it is a fact. They are probably regretting changing their trainer, because many injuries (and terrible form) are never a good sign. Individually, their middles did what they could. Kochanowski (14 points, 2 blocks, 63% kills) and Kłos (14 points, 4 blocks, 71% kills) were great. Grzegorz Łomacz was trying to hide their weaknesses by playing with them. Milan Katic (8 points, 50% kills) was below average, mostly due to poor reception (4 errors) and service (5 errors, 0 aces) and finished with -3 point ratio. Renee Teppan (20 points, 1 ace, 49% kills) was surprisingly okay for 3 sets (78% kills in 1st set, 50% in 2nd, 45% in 3rd), but lost all of his effectiveness in 4th set (0% kills). Piotr Orczyk disappointed (12 points, 34% kills, only 9% efficiency) too.

The next game, between Onico Warszawa and Cerrad Czarni Radom, looked like the most exciting one, at least on paper. But Onico didn’t look good in Wrocław at the Polish Cup, while Czarni Radom failed to even compete with any of top teams whole season. Sadly, the match didn’t deliver and the home team easily won in 3 sets, outclassing Cerrad in every element. 54% positive reception, 11 blocks, 5 aces, and 54% kills by Onico, compared to 33% positive reception, 7 blocks, 1 ace, and 41% kills by Czarni says the story of this match. Once again Tomasz Fornal disappointed (6 points, 2 blocks, 25% kills), and Alen Pajenk was terrible (3 points, 1 ace, 25% kills, -3 ratio). Only Norbert Huber played well (7 points, 1 block, 86% kills) for Radom. Michał Filip kept his spot as a starting opposite and did okay (11 points, 1 block, 45% kills) considering how bad his teammates were in this game. Looking at Onico, Bartosz Kurek was good (13 points, 1 ace, 1 block, 52% kills), just like Bartosz Kwolek (13 points, 1 ace, 60% kills), while Piotr Łukasik didn’t impress in offense (7 points, 1 ace, 43% kills), but positively surprised in defense (60% positive and 33% perfect reception), Vigrass and Nowakowski (who replaced Wrona) did their job, but nothing more than that. Antoine Brizard added 6 points with his block, but the MVP went to Damian Wojtaszek, who defended a lot of spikes and added very good reception (83% positive and 33% perfect).

The last day had 2 more matches. First came Chemik Bydgoszcz vs Trefl Gdańsk. Both teams were back to full fitness. But it was another one-sided game, won by Trefl. Chemik played really well in Zawiercie, but looked like a completely different, worse team in this match. If they played at the level they showed a few days earlier, the score would be different. Neither Bartłomiej Lipiński (5 points, 1 ace, 31% kills), nor Jan Lesiuk (5 spikes, 0 points, okay reception) could be useful for their team, so good Kovacevic (9 points, 1 block, 53% kills), great Szalacha (11 points, 6 blocks, 56% kills) and solid Filipiak (13 points, 1 block, 1 ace, 44% kills) could get Chemik even 1 point in this match. MVP went to Maciej Muzaj, who made the difference, and was definitely key player of his team and the best player of this game. 23 points (top scorer, 10 more than 2nd Filipiak), 2 aces and 58% kills (44% efficiency), over two times more spikes (36) than second in Trefl Mijailovic (15). Ruben Schott (11 points, 2 blocks, 2 aces, 54% kills, 69% positive and 38% perfect reception) and Piotr Nowakowski (8 points, 1 block, 70% kills) were really good too. Not even below average performances by Niemiec (4 points, 1 block, 33% kills) and Mijailovic (6 points, 40% kills, -1 ratio) stopped Trefl from winning this game.

The final match was between Jastrzębski Węgiel and MKS Będzin. It went just like expected, Jastrzębski won easily 3:0. Even without their best player this season, Julien Lyneel, they had no problems beating the worst team in the league. Fromm was finally good (11 points, 3 aces, 57% kills) and Konarski (15 points, 2 blocks, 62% kills), supported nicely by Ferens (7 points, 47% kills), Gunia (7 points, 2 blocks, 83% kills), Kosok (8 points, 3 blocks, 1 ace, 57% kills) and Popiwczak (13 receptions, 46% positive, 23% perfect, 0 errors). MVP went to Lukas Kampa, who used good reception and distributed the ball really well. This time Lincoln Williams (8 points, 2 aces, 30% kills) failed to perform at his normal level, another bad game by middles (14 points, 4 blocks, 1 ace, 43% kills and only 19% spiking efficiency). Pretty good Tichacek, Buchowski (7 points, 1 block, 86% kills, but just 31% positive, 13% perfect reception with 3 errors) and Fornal (8 points, 47% kills and good reception) was not enough to challange Jastrzębski Węgiel.

Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie 3:1 Chemik Bydgoscz

25:27, 27:25, 26:24, 25:21

Warta: Swodczyk (4), Rejno (9), Ferreira (4), Bociek (17), Semeniuk (16), Masny (2), Taichiro (libero) and Waliński (9), Dosanjh, Andrzejewski (libero)

Chemik: Lipiński (14), Margarido (2), Kovacević (10), Szalacha (5), Filipiak (11), Morozau (11), Kowalski (libero) and Gryc, Lesiuk

MVP: Kamil Semeniuk

Cuprum Lubin 3:1 GKS Katowice

23:25, 25:18, 25:19, 25:19

Cuprum: Marcyniak, Boruch (7), Gorzkiewicz (3), L. Smith (16), Yanagida (15), Ziobrowki (24), Gruszczyński (libero) and Grobelny, Wachnik, Smoliński (7)

GKS: Krulicki (9), Butryn (13), Komenda, Rousseaux (13), Quiroga (4), Sobala (4), Mariański (libero) and Depowski (6), Kohut, Fijałek, Sobański (4)

MVP: Masahiro Yanagida

Asseco Resovia Rzeszów 0:3 Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie

21:25, 23:25, 22:25

Resovia: Kozub (1), Schulz (15), Rossard (2), Mika (17), Możdżonek (6), Smith (10), Masłowski (libero) and Szerszeń (2)

Warta: Waliński (11), Rejno (6), Malinowski (23), Gawryszewski (4), Semeniuk (13), Masny (2), Koga (libero)

MVP: Michał Masny

Indykpol AZS Olsztyn 3:1 PGE Skra Bełchatów

20:25, 36:34, 25:21, 25:15

AZS: Hadrava (24) , Andringa (12), Zniszczoł (11), Pietraszko (11), Kapelus (5), Woicki (3), Żurek (libero) and Lux (11), Kańczok, Warda

Skra: Teppan (20), Kochanowski (14), Orczyk (12), Kłos (14), Katić (8), Łomacz (2), Piechocki (libero) and Wlazły, Droszyński, Milczarek (libero)

MVP: Paweł Woicki

Onico Warszawa 3:0 Cerrad Czarni Radom

25:21, 25:19, 25:16

Onico: Kwolek (13), Brizard (6), Vigrass (7), Łukasik (7), Kurek (13), Nowakowski (5), Wojtaszek (libero) and Janikowski, Araujo (3)

Czarni: Pajenk (3), Żaliński (6), Vincić (1), Filip (11), Huber (7), Fornal (6), Ruciak (libero) and Kwasowski (1), Giger, Wasilewski (libero), Rybicki, Ostrowski (1)

MVP: Damian Wojtaszek

Chemik Bydgoszcz 0:3 Trefl Gdańsk

17:25, 24:26, 21:25

Chemik: Lipiński (5), Margarido, Kovacević (9), Szalacha (11), Filipiak (13), Morozau (4), Kowalski (libero) and Gryc, Lesiuk

Trefl: Nowakowski (8), Janusz (2), Niemiec (4), Mijailović (7), Muzaj (23), Schott (11), Olenderek (libero) and Jakubiszak, Hebda (1), Kozłowski

MVP: Maciej Muzaj

Jastrzębski Węgiel 3:0 MKS Będzin

25:17, 25:20, 25:21

JW: Fromm (11), Kosok (8), Konarski (15), Gunia (7), Kampa (1), Ferens (7), Popiwczak (libero) and Bucki (1), Wolański, Szewd (1)

MKS: Ratajczak (7), Grzechnik (7), Langlois, Williams (8), Buchowski (7), Tichacek (2) Potera (libero) and Fornal (8), Peszko (1), Faryna (3), Gregorowicz

MVP: Lukas Kampa


  1. Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle 14 Games, 14 wins – 0 loses, 41 points
  2. Onico Warszawa 16G, 12W-4L, 35p
  3. Jastrzębski Węgiel 15G, 11W-4L, 34p
  4. Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie 17G, 11W-6L, 30p
  5. Cerrad Czarni Radom 16G, 10W-6L, 29p
  6. PGE Skra Bełchatów 15G, 8W-7L, 24p
  7. GKS Katowice 17G, 8W-9L, 24p
  8. Indykpol AZS Olsztyn 16G, 6W-10L, 21p
  9. Trefl Gdańsk 14G, 6W-8L, 18p
  10. Chemik Bydgoszcz 17G, 5W-12L, 16p
  11. Cuprum Lubin 16G, 5W-11L, 14p
  12. Asseco Resovia Rzeszów 15G, 4W-11L, 14p
  13. MKS Będzin 16G, 1W-15L, 6p

Top scorer:

  1. Karol Butryn -312
  2. Maciej Muzaj – 305
  3. Jan Hadrava – 301

Most aces:

  1. Bartosz Kwolek – 34
  2. Jan Hadrava – 34
  3. Karol Butryn – 33

Most blocks:

  1. Maxim Morozau – 44
  2. Grzegorz Kosok – 42
  3. Andrzej Wrona, Michał Szalacha – 40

Most positive reception:

  1. Paweł Zatorski – 57%
  2. Rafał Szymura – 56%
  3. Sam Deroo – 53%

Next matches (starting this tuesday):

05.02 – MKS Będzin vs Asseco Resovia Rzeszów

06.02 – GKS Katowice vs Onico Warszawa

06.02 – Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle vs Indykpol AZS Olsztyn

06.02 – PGE Skra Bełchatów vs Jastrzębski Węgiel

07.02 – Cerrad Czarni Radom vs Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie

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