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14/02/2017 20:18
Zaksa continue triumphal march with fifth straight win in Pool A
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, February 14, 2017. Poland’s Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE made it five wins in a row in Pool A of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men after on Tuesday night they rallied to a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-19, 25-21) over Noliko MAASEIK of Belgium. Zaksa cemented their leadership in the group with an immaculate record of five victories in as many matches.

Noliko MAASEIK had travelled to Poland without their team captain Jelte Maan, whose first child – a daughter – was born on Monday in Belgium. Nevertheless, the visitors were able to keep the pace of the home team before Zaksa broke away with an outstanding performance delivered by Sam Deroo and Dawid Konarski, well supported by middle blocker Mateusz Bieniek. Zaksa rallied to a compelling 11-5 lead and their head coach Ferdinando De Giorgi could even afford some substitutions – and though the Polish lead was reduced, Zaksa still set the pace of the game (19-16, 21-18). After a mistake by Deroo, Noliko closed in at 23-22 but Zaksa eventually took the first set 25-23 on a service error by Nicolas Bruno.

Zaksa cruised to an early 10-5 lead in the second set and after a time-out asked by their coach Daniel Castellani, Noliko blocked Deroo and were able to cut their deficit down to 11-7. De Giorgi this time around did not make any changes to his starting six (14-9) and the only 21-year-old Kamil Semeniuk propelled Zaksa to a 19-12 lead with a spectacular pipe attack. The Belgians seemed to run out of energy and Zaksa provided their many fans with something to cheer about as they comfortably won the second set 25-19.

After taking the second set, Zaksa secured they would finish first in Pool A – even with one round still to play. As a result, De Giorgi decided to use his ‘second lines’ and to provide the starting players with some well-deserved rest. Alejandro Vigil helped Noliko close in from 5-2 to 5-4 but Zaksa were still able to control the game, leading 16-12 at the second technical time-out. Semeniuk and Dominik Witczak made it 19-13 for Zaksa before Rafal Buszek eventually sealed a 3-0 victory (25-21) for the Polish champions, their fifth consecutive win in Pool A.

“We played as good as we could but I was not able to use all of my players,” said Noliko coach Daniel Castellani. “Zaksa looked very determined and their victory is absolutely well-deserved.”

“Matches with teams from my home country are always special and meaningful to me, so I just tried to play as good as I can,” said the Belgian-born star player of Zaksa, Sam Deroo. “We are showing a very good level at the moment and I hope we can continue the same way up until the Final Four in Rome.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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