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Historic feat of Polish volleyball players.  It’s never been so good

Historic feat of Polish volleyball players. It’s never been so good

Developres Rzeszów is the second team in group A, ŁKS Commercecon is the runner-up in group D, and Chemik Police is second in group E of the Champions League. One more round to the end of the group stage of the competition, but all three Polish clubs have already secured their promotion to the play-offs.

Polish volleyball players are the best in the history of performances in the Champions League. As many as three clubs in the play-offs

This is the best result in history – in the six previous seasons, when three Polish teams appeared in the stake, no more than two of these teams managed to get out of the group. Last time? In the 2015/2016 season, i.e. seven years ago, when Chemik and Atom Trefl Sopot entered the 1/12 finals. However, none of them managed to go further – to the 1/6 finals.

Now three Polish teams will play at least in the play-offs to the quarter-finals. Chemik and Developres are sure of that, as they will keep the second place in their groups after the last round of this phase of the competition. ŁKS may still hope to even directly enter the quarter-finals, although their situation is not easy.

The best scenario of ŁKS is difficult to implement. Chemist’s return and Antiga’s great success

At the moment, the Łódź players are in third place, behind Allianz MTV Stuttgart, who won with them on Wednesday 3:2 (32:30, 18:25, 25:15, 19:25, 17:15) after a great, fierce fight and Fenerbahce. The defeat against Stuttgart is a key result for the group settlement, although the players from Germany may still lose the last match against La Laguna (the last place, so far without winning a set), and ŁKS may beat the favored Fenerbahce away. So there is a scenario where he would return to the first place he held after four games. However, this plan is very difficult to implement – it seems that ŁKS will finish the group stage with second or even third place. Only the best of the teams ranked third in their groups will ensure the exit from the group, but after Eczacibasi Istanbul won 3:0 over Targoviste in group E, it became certain that it would be the team from group D with ŁKS.

Champions League Group D table after four matches:

  1. Allianz MTV Stuttgart – 4 wins – 10 points – 13:7 sets
  2. Fenerbahce – 3 wins – 10 points – 12:7
  3. ŁKS Commercecon – 3 wins – 10 points – 11:7
  4. La Laguna – 0 wins – 0 points – 0:15

Table of teams from the third places of the Champions League groups after four matches:

  1. ŁKS Commercecon – 3 wins – 10 points – 11:7 sets
  2. SC Potsdam – 2 wins – 4 points – 9:13
  3. CSM Targoviste – 1 win – 5 points – 7:12
  4. CS Volei Alba-Blaj – 1 win – 4 points – 7:12
  5. ASPTT Mulhouse – 1 win – 3 points – 3:13

For Developres Rzeszów, this year’s result is a chance to repeat the success of last season. Then he was eliminated after a fantastic, although lost two-legged match with the Turkish powerhouse – Vakifbank. Now in the group, he hasn’t made stupid mistakes and has won four out of five matches so far. He also started fighting and stood up to probably the best team in the world Imoco Volley Conegliano, with whom he lost the first match in four sets, and now without the pressure of promotion and the result, he will be able to fight for an even better result at the end of the group stage. Coach Stephane Antiga was also very successful – he became the first coach of a Polish club who managed to get out of the Champions League group twice in seven years, while Giuseppe Cuccarini with Chemik Police also managed to do it twice.

Champions League Group A table after four matches:

  1. Imoco Volley Conegliano – 5 wins – 15 points – 14:5 sets
  2. Developres Rzeszow – 4 wins – 11 points – 13:6
  3. ASPTT Mulhouse – 1 win – 3 points – 3:13
  4. Vasas Budapest – 0 wins – 1 point – 5:15

However, for Chemik, advancing to the play-offs for the quarter-finals means returning to the play-offs. In 2021, he clearly lost in the quarterfinals to Vakifbank, but now the Polish champions are probably just hoping to reach this stage of the fight in the Champions League. Only Eczacibasi Istanbul was clearly behind them (although Chemik was the only one to break his set) – the undefeated leader of their group, who is already sure of the semi-finals. Despite the change of the coach after the dismissal of Marek Mierzwiński and the takeover of the team by Radosław Wodziński, the volleyball players from Police are doing quite well now, and their form in the last match against Marica Płowdiw, in which they won one of the sets as much as 25:9, could have been impressive.

Champions League Group E table after four matches:

  1. Eczacibasi Istanbul – 5 wins – 15 points – 15-1 sets
  2. Chemik Police – 4 wins – 10 points – 13:7
  3. CSM Targoviste – 1 win – 5 points – 7:12
  4. Marica Plovdiv – 0 wins – 0 points – 0:15

The new system of competitions helped Polish teams. But there’s no denying the success

Of course, this result would not have been possible if it had not been for the change in the Champions League system – last season only eight teams participated in the play-offs, and now as many as sixteen – the best teams from five groups will directly advance to the quarter-finals, and their second teams will take part in the play-offs for the quarter-finals as well as the best third-placed club.

If not for this change, in the last year’s system, probably only one Polish team would leave the group again. And it is quite possible that this will be the case, and only one Polish club will advance from the play-offs to the quarter-finals, although it depends on their game and the layout of the ladder.

But let’s not belittle the fact that in the end Polish clubs made good use of their chances in Europe. Perhaps not perfect, because it could have been even better if ŁKS won and was one step away from entering the quarter-finals directly, but it is still a positive change compared to previous years. There were seasons in which there was no Polish team among the twelve teams advancing to the second phase of the Champions League.

Is there a clear improvement in the level? To some extent, the fact that Chemik, Developres and ŁKS will stay in the game in the Champions League much longer than usual is a continuation of the positive trend after last year’s result of the Rzeszów team with Vakifbank. It was a flash, and now we need to confirm this result in this year’s results, also with other teams. It’s good that they opened the door to it. The final arrangement of the first phase table and the Champions League play-offs bracket will be known after the last matches of the group stage, which are scheduled for Wednesday, February 8.

Source: Sport.PL

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