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17/11/2013 23:11
Belcik anchors SOPOT to away victory in Lodz
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Sopot, Poland, November 17, 2013. Atom Trefl SOPOT travelled back home on Sunday evening with three points from their away game with Beef Master Budowlani LODZ. The two-time national champions currently top the standing but have to wait for the match coming up on Monday starring Impel WROCLAW and Polski Cukier Muszynianka Fakro MUSZYNA to see if they keep that leadership going into the next round.
“We are happy with this victory especially as we realized that this was not an easy game for us” comments opposite Anna Podolec.

Actually Atom Trefl caught a flying start as they dominated the opening set with a terrific 25-10. However, this score was not really much to Atom’s credit but rather due to the very poor performance displayed by their opponents, who struggled in reception while SOPOT kept cool to wrap it up that quickly. Atom Trefl was led right from the start by Brizitka Molnar who was included on the starting six to replace US American Kimberly Hill, still busy with her national team with whom she won silver at the World Grand Champions Cup in Japan on Sunday.

Molnar performed well also in the second set where the block of Poland’s champions also worked just fine. However, it was their setter and team captain Izabela Belcik who really impressed as she cleverly distributed the balls to the spikers and middle-blockers thereby avoiding the block of Budowlani. LODZ nevertheless performed much better than in the first set with good serving by Sylwia Pycia and especially with the addition of Canadian Tabitha Love. She helped LODZ level the score at 16 all but playing smartly SOPOT could finish the second set at 25-21.
“Our opponents had a very low rate of efficiency in attack in the first set and couldn’t do anything to stop us” Podolec says. “However, they gradually improved their game in reception and also in defence so that the game got tighter in the second and third set.”  

After a 10-minute break between the second and third set, the game got started again with Molnar replaced by Klaudia Kaczorowska who blocked twice her opponents for a good start of Poland’s champions. However, Budowlani showed their best Volleyball to the delight of 4,000 fans in attendance at the Atlas Arena and the game was very close at this point. After a time-out asked by SOPOT head coach Teun Buijs, Trefl started playing better and better and finally sealed the game with a 25-23 for a well-deserved straight-set victory.  

“I am happy that we were able to exploit their poor performance in the opening set because the remainder of the game was much tougher” Belcik commented after the game. “The worst moment for us came halfway through the third set where we lost our focus for a while. Budowlani improved on their performance and we had to step up as well to finish the game in three sets” revealed the MVP of this fixture.

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