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01/05/2015 10:28
Atomic Girls take on reigning champions POLICE in Polish league final series
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Sopot, Poland, May 1, 2015. The Championship series that is just about to start promises to be one of the most exciting in Poland’s national league since years. The host and fourth-placed team of this year’s CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, Chemik POLICE, who are also the reigning champions, are playing the silver medallists from the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup, PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT, in the last stage of the national league sponsored by Orlen.  

Chemik POLICE lost only one match during the regular season and another one in the semis with Impel WROCLAW. However, the team around Italian coach Giuseppe Cuccarini will have to stand the opposition brought by the Atomic Girls who during the regular season lost only at the tie-break their away match and then in March surprised POLICE by taking a dramatic final of the national cup.

“This victory means that we are able to beat them but it does not imply that we are calm and too self-confident, definitely not,” says SOPOT captain Izabela Belcik. “We have to play our best in order to get a positive result. The Azoty Arena in Szczecin is a difficult place because of the many fans they have there. We beat them on neutral soil in Kedzierzyn-Kozle and so the upcoming matches will be a totally different story. Despite all this, we are looking forward to the start of the finals and we are determined to show our best skills. Whether this is enough to celebrate a triumph in the end, we will see.”

PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT have won Poland’s national league twice – in 2011/2012 and then in 2012/2013. In 2010/2011 they lost the finals to Muszynianka MUSZYNA as the team around Bogdan Serwinski scored three straight wins over the group that back then was mentored by Alessandro Chiappini. At that time Belcik explained that SOPOT could not play their best because they were already happy with making their first finals and being guaranteed a spot to compete in the CEV Volleyball Champions League. About a year ago, SOPOT had to be content with bronze.

“There is no chance that this time we feel satisfied with making the finals,” Belcik continues. “This is the final, so everyone is determined to fight through to the end. The final takes the most important matches of the season and it is a priceless experience. We do not think about the past and even about our qualification to the Champions League, which is already secured. That’s a nice feeling, of course. However, as far as the finals are concerned, this is a totally different story and this is the goal we have set our sight on for the time being.”

The Atomic Girls hope to repeat their success from the national cup finals. “The team work and collective performance are the most important thing and if everyone plays her best, then we will win,” says opposite Katarzyna Zaroslinska. “We are not going to Szczecin to lose. We are going there to win even though this couple of away matches seem to be quite challenging. Hopefully we will come back home with at least one victory following the first two rounds of the finals. Then we will have two home matches and so this scenario seems to be quite a good one for us.”

Looking at the stats from this year’s national league, the performance of these teams has been quite similar. Chemik POLICE have an edge in blocks with 342 vs. 314 for SOPOT, whilst the Atomic Girls hold the advantage in the number of aces, having scored 217 versus ‘only’ 157 for POLICE. In all other fundamentals – attack and reception – the two teams have registered similar figures. The team leader of SOPOT is undoubtedly Katarzyna Zaroslinska who has scored as many as 448 points this season so far. She is followed by Brittnee Cooper (280), Klaudia Kaczorowska (214) and Charlotte Leys (209). As for Chemik, Ana Bjelica tops the charts on 257 followed by Anna Werblinska (243) and Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale (231).

News nr. 1 of 79
24/04/2015 10:34:00
Atomic Girls make national league finals, secure spot in next Champions League

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