Resovia demolishes ACH Volley in first semifinal round
2012 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men
Rzeszow, Poland, March 14, 2012. In the first leg of the semifinals for the 2012 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men Poland’s Asseco Resovia RZESZOW defeated Slovenia’s ACH Volley LJUBLJANA in straight sets (28-26, 25-8, 25-17) clearly showing its supremacy especially in the second and third section of the game. Thanks to such a confident win the Poles have made a first step towards the finals. However, the interesting Polish-Slovenian duel is not finished yet as the return game scheduled for Saturday in Slovenia will be decisive.
More than 4’000 supporters at “Podpromie” sports hall spent a dazzling evening while their team almost demolished the visitors in a game which lasted for only 1 hour and a quarter. The biggest difference was registered in blocks (15-4 for Resovia) and aces (9-0).
The hero of the game was Gyorgy Grozer of Asseco Resovia who scored 21 points (13 in attack, plus 5 aces and 3 blocks). On the other side of the net, the young opposite of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA – Klemen Cebulj – contributed 13 points for his team.
The beginning of the game was very balanced as ACH Volley LJUBLJANA played bravely and wasn’t too intimidated by the Polish crowd. Both teams had problems with the execution of the first attack after the reception thus the supporters at “Podpromie” sports hall could see long rallies and more soft technical attacks than mighty, powerful shots. The hosts managed to stop the young opposite Klemen Cebulj and gained a 4-point lead (17:13); however, the Slovenians responded very quickly (17:16) after an impressive block on Marko Bojic. A powerful ace by Gyorgy Grozer gave the hosts another 3-point lead (21:18) but LJUBLJANA once again showed its ambition playing excellent in defense and leveled the score (23:23). The end of this section was a real hard-fought battle. The Slovenians defended three set balls but Asseco Resovia silvered the last ball as Andrej Flajs sent it too wide.
The victory of the very competitive first set gave the hosts more confidence and energy as they quickly went up 8:2 in the second section. From that moment Asseco Resovia opposite – Gyorgy Grozer – showed a wonderful series of massive services. Thanks to his fantastic performance the Polish team sped up to 15:2 (!) and completely dominated the game playing very efficient in attack whereas the Slovenian team seemed to be demolished and committed a lot of unforced errors. An impressive single block of Wojciech Grzyb on Matej Vidic in the middle of the net terminated this one-sided section (25-8).
In the third set LJUBLJANA was trying to bounce back (8:6) but the Poles were very determined, played with glowing hearts and after another ace (this time by Wojciech Grzyb) extended the lead up to 6 points (14:8). When the scoreboard showed a 16:10 for the local team Igor Kolakovic, ACH Volley LJUBLJANA head coach, questioned a decision of the referee and was given a yellow card (17:10). Afterwards it was clear that the Slovenians couldn’t do much to stop the local team that played consistently in service and block. Young Mateusz Mika who replaced Aleh Akhrem at the end of this section silvered the last point for the local team at 25-17.
“I’d like to congratulate Resovia on their good performance. The first set was very open, we had to take risks but unfortunately I committed a mistake in the last action. The other two sets were very clear and easy for the hosts. Of course we are disappointed with this defeat but we are aware of the fact that we didn’t show our best Volleyball. Nevertheless, on Saturday there will be a new game and another chance for us. I hope that in front of our public we will show a much better play and maybe even surprise our opponents” said Andrej Flajs, captain of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA.
“It’s great that we won. The first set was a bit nervous for us and to be honest, our opponents didn’t take their chance to win it as they didn’t execute a lot of counter-attacks. We were lucky at the end and then, in the second and third set, Gyorgy Grozer gave us more confidence with his magnificent performance especially in service. I am satisfied that we managed to stay focused also in the last set. We made a first, little step towards the finals. However, on Saturday there will be a totally different game. We know that our opponents didn’t show in Rzeszow their best play so we expect a difficult game in Ljubljana” added Aleh Akhrem, the captain of Asseco Resovia.
“The first set was very competitive but at the end the experience of the Polish players was crucial. Afterwards, we stopped playing our game. The mighty services of Marko Bojic and Gyorgy Grozer made the difference. We lost our confidence and did not play a good, patient Volleyball as we had planned before the game. Anyway, Saturday is a new day and we will definitely try to do our best and win in front of our supporters” commented Igor Kolakovic, the head coach of the visiting team.
“We are happy with the victory but we also know that it was only the first leg and the return game in Ljubljana will be decisive. Obviously ACH Volley didn’t play at their highest level but they can be very dangerous at home. We have to forget this victory very quickly and be focused on the second game in Slovenia. Tonight we made the difference in block and defense and proved that when we take a lot of risks in service, this is very profitable for our team, despite the mistakes” concluded Andrzej Kowal, head coach of the Polish team.