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22/01/2014 22:56
Resovia ends Knack dreams of glory to go for Polish derby in the Playoffs 6
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Roeselare, Belgium, January 22, 2014. There will be a Polish derby in the Playoffs 6 of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men after Asseco Resovia RZESZOW edged Belgium’s Knack ROESELARE also in the second round of the Playoffs 12 to take on JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel in what will be the very last step before the Final Four tournament scheduled for March 22-23 in Ankara, Turkey. As they had done last week at home, Poland’s champions could see off their Belgian opponents in four sets (25-18, 26-28, 25-16, and 25-18) paced by their captain Aleh Akhrem with 15 points. Home hero Hendrik Tuerlinckx top scored for Knack with 17 but still this was not enough for the Belgians to make the Playoffs 6.
After a close start, Akhrem scored two aces for Resovia so that the guests from Poland got control of the operations for the first time; Akhrem was the one who set the tempo of the game and well supported by Peter Veres and Dawid Konarski, he could eventually anchor his side to the 25-18 that closed the opening set.
Knack started the second set much better and by blocking Konarski the hosts made it 8:6 at the first technical time-out. Once more the Belgian champions were cheered on by a sold-out house – 2,000 fans were in attendance – at the Schiervelde sports hall and they continued to keep control of the game (16:12). After the second technical time-out, Resovia head coach Andrzej Kowal opted for Jochen Schöps to replace Konarski and this was a good move since the German opposite helped RZESZOW fight their way back (22:22). Resovia could not capitalize on two opportunities for the 2:0 in sets and in the end Matthijs Verhanneman brought it home for Knack with a block on Schöps (28-26).    
Resovia did not seem too bothered after missing that chance to claim their ticket to the Playoffs 6 after only two sets and imposed their pace right from the go of the third (8:3). They pressured Knack defense line with their serves and as Piotr Nowakowski said the final word (25-16), Poland’s champions could start their celebrations for making the next round of the competition.
As the fate of this double clash was already determined, both coaches made some changes in their starting six for the fourth set. In spite of this, Resovia continued to set the tempo of the game (8:4) as Knack could not find a way to tackle the powerful serves killed by their opponents. Paul Lotman and Bulgaria’s youngster Nikolay Penchev showed their skills as they got some playing time and even though Knack continued to fight bravely, Resovia cruised to a well-deserved 3:1 victory (25-18).

“Asseco Resovia was too strong for my team this evening” said Knack ROESELARE head coach Emile Rousseaux after the match. “We lost and we are out but I want to congratulate my players on their performance in this edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League. With their six straight victories in the prelims they made excellent advertising for Volleyball here in our country. We shall also not forget that Knack is made up of 10 Belgian players plus only two guys from abroad, Eemi Tervaportti of Finland and our Dutch middle blocker Joppe Paulides. Our dream has come to an end tonight.”

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