The all-Polish clash in the 2023 CEV Men’s Volleyball Champions League Playoffs settled with unplanned five sets.
By defeating fellow countrymen from Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie in the second leg of the CEV Champions League Volley 2023 | Men Playoffs, Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle will continue their title defense campaign in the competition. ZAKSA were better than Aluron 3-0 in the first match on the road but in the rematch, five sets were needed to decide the winners, although the excitement ended after three sets.
Even though they triumphed in the last two editions of the Champions League, this season, PlusLiga titleholders were forced to fight for their place in the quarterfinals through Playoffs. After getting 2-1 in sets, rejecting Aluron’s three set points in the first set, and overcoming 1-1 in sets, the team commanded by Tuomas Sammelvuo could afford to relax. The Finn sent backups to the court after that, which Aluron took advantage of and won. Interestingly, ZAKSA will face Italy’s Trentino Itas in the quarterfinals, the team they played against in the competition’s final in the last two years.
VfB Friedrichshafen are in the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 2018. But for a long time during the rematch of the Playoffs against France’s Tours VB it looked like a missed opportunity for the Germans. After winning 3-0 in the first leg on the road, the volleyball team from Lake Constance narrowly won the second leg 3-2. It took the Bundesliga side a while to get into the game and initially let the French come close to pulling away Golden Set. Coach Mark Lebedew’s players overcame 0-2 in sets.
The only Playoff match-up that had one instead of two games on the schedule was between Berlin Recycling Volleys and Ziraat Bank Ankara. The first leg in Turkey was canceled last week due to the earthquake. The CEV and both clubs agreed not to make up for the game and instead only play a decider in the German capital. In it, Berlin defeated Ziraat in a tie-break and advanced to the quarterfinals.
CEV Champions League Volley 2023 | Men, Playoffs:
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