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24/04/2015 10:34
Atomic Girls make national league finals, secure spot in next Champions League
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Sopot, Poland, April 24, 2015. After missing out on it last season, PGE Atom Trefl SOPOT have qualified for the fourth time in the last five years for the final of the Polish women’s national league. The silver medallists from this year’s CEV Volleyball Cup swept aside Polski Cukier Muszynianka MUSZYNA in the semis and will now play reigning champions Chemik POLICE in the final series vying for their third gold medal in history.

The Italian mentor of the Atomic Girls, Lorenzo Micelli, has done an excellent job with the team that suffered only three losses in the 22 matches they contested in the regular season. SOPOT have also won their first title in Poland’s national cup and even though the schedule was hectic and very demanding, the Atomic Girls also made the final of the CEV Volleyball Cup – Women losing only at the golden set to Russia’s Dinamo KRASNODAR.

Only five days later SOPOT jumped back into the national league and surprisingly lost in three sets their first match up with MUSZYNA. However, the Atomic Girls got back on track cruising to 3:0 and 3:1 wins to make it to the final stage of the national league.

“These matches were not as easy as the final score may suggest,” says libero Agata Durajczyk. “MUSZYNA played with a lot of courage and so we always had problems with them this year, as we lost our home match with this team also in the regular season. We lost here in Sopot and then edged past by 3:1 in the away match. Something similar happened now also in the semis where we had to fight for every single ball otherwise MUSZYNA would have taken one set or even more. That is why we are really happy with this victory.”

Izabela Belcik and Katarzyna Zaroslinska were the players who once again made the difference for the Atomic Girls. On Thursday night Zaroslinska played just brilliant scoring 32 points and recording a 70% success rate in attack. Even though she is at the core of Atom’s success, it was also pretty much of a team effort. “We have achieved our minimum goal and now everything is in our hands,” Durajczyk says. “The final result will also depend on the current form of Chemik. However, I hope that we will be able to win at least one match and who knows, maybe also the gold medal in the end can be ours? We will see.” Durajczyk is one of seven players from SOPOT – the others being Belcik, Zaroslinska, Anna Miros, Maja Tokarska, Zuzanna Efimienko and Klaudia Kaczorowska – who have been called up to join the Polish national team for the 2015 season.

Atom Trefl and Chemik POLICE will be crossing their ways once more this season after SOPOT claimed at the tie-break a dramatic final of the Polish national cup. In the regular season of the Orlen Liga, POLICE scored a 3:2 away win in Sopot and then at home swept aside the Atomic Girls in three sets.

Can SOPOT repeat their performance from the cup final? “Well, it is difficult to say because at that time they were not in their best shape whilst our form was pretty good,” Durajczyk says. “Now we have played many important matches within a short period of time, so for sure we need a break and have to charge the batteries. The court will show which team deserved to be Poland’s champion this year.”

By making the national league finals, the Atomic Girls also made sure they will compete in the next edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, this way coming back after missing Europe’s elite competition in the 2014-2015 season. 


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