The girls from Rzeszow are great anyway. It was not a miracle, but it is a history of heroism

Developers Bella Dolina Rzeszów, but did not create a miracle of volleyball. A 1: 3 defeat to Vakifbank Istanbul in the return match of the 1/4 finals of the Champions League (15:25, 19:25, 25:23, 23:25) means that Stefan Antigan’s team will be left out of the competition. But it is not a shame to fall like that. He was close to fighting to reach the semifinals in the tie-break or gold set. It ended with a spectacular, emotional match that was hard to accept, even though it was completely understandable to the opponent’s class.

Watch the video
“I hope Grbich boys will fight for the highest goals”

The whole of Poland can be proud of even Rzeszow players, because it turned out that our women’s volleyball should not be inferior to European leaders. Even so far, in only one match – a week ago, Podprom won 3-2.

A Swedish woman earning a million euros did not vote for Developres

On Wednesday, the developers had a great chance to expel the finalists of last year’s edition of the Champions League and the inter-club world champions, Vakifbank Istanbul players. – The opening set in the first game was temporary. This is normal when playing against such a team. In the Polish league, no one attacks so high, no one plays at such a level. Before the match in Istanbul, head coach Stefan Antiga said that we want to present ourselves at the highest level in Istanbul as soon as possible. And the French were right.

Fantastic fight against the best team in the world! The Polish club was very close

Vakifbank’s 3: 2 to 13: 5 advantage gave Giovanni Guidetti’s players an unbeaten set for the Rzeszow players. At the end of the set, at 21:11, Antiga was already leaving the field and was ready to fight in the second game, and Vakifbank showed only its strength. First of all, Isabelle Haak played badly in Rzeszow.

The Swedish woman, whose annual contract is worth even one million euros, hit hard, played ace and allowed Polish women to understand: I am the most important today. He did not vote for his opponents. The developer did not have a ready answer, and they had to look for him at a later meeting. For example, the effectiveness of attacking and mastering the main character of the Antiga team, Kara Bajemi. The latest statistic was particularly devastating for the American – Bajema received only twelve percent of the balls. Vakifbank, which won the game with a score of 25:15, kept the good rhythm that it missed in Poland.

The constellation of stars was thrown. Polish women could not reach his level

The Rzeszow team collided with the atmosphere of the Vakifbank hall, where they were warned before leaving for Istanbul. Although the fans didn’t need help in the first game, you could already hear how their teams hoped to avoid being eliminated from the tournament. Residents of Rzeszow had to get used to it, counting the successive strokes, whistling during the developers’ licking and movements, and chanting the names of Vakifbank’s biggest faces.

It was hoped that they would be ready for the second set. The Polish women started well – with a balanced game and control over Vakifbank’s escape. What was missing was a more active defensive game and a more aggressive service that would make a difference. Turkish women looked angry and used every opportunity to dominate the residents of Rzeszow. If we attribute the first set to Haak’s great game, it is difficult not to appreciate the performance of the Brazilian Olympic champion Gabi, Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Michel Bartsch-Hakli and the European champion in the second set. second Poison Sun. The stars were cast on the side of the Turkish women, everything fell. The biggest symbol of Vakifbank’s efficiency was the action that took place at 13: 9. Isabelle Haak didn’t expect a proper attack, she was already running towards the center of the net, but halfway through the ball she saw where the ball was going, put her hand behind her back and reached it with her fingers. , hits him behind the net. Rzeszow players did not have a chance to conquer this attack.

Tight block, strong games, better and better reception – all this we would like to see in the game Developres, but it appeared on the side of the home team. Vakifbank has a five-point advantage over 8: 8 (18:13). Then came the best moment of the Polish game – when Giovanni Guidetti had to take a break for his team at 20:16, the fans in Istanbul were whistling more and more, and the team of Antiga reduced the advantage of their rivals to three points. (20:17). But it was Turkish women who did their job, and Developres could not reach their level. It ended with the loss of 19 Polish women.

The Turks were silent for the first time. They did not believe that the developer had taken over

If the developers had hoped to stop Vakifbank under the pressure of the result of the first match, after two sets they realized that it did not work. Club world champions are not as weak as in Rzeszow, they play incomparably well. They were still superior to any Polish team. You wanted to believe that the Polish club’s contact with the best volleyball players in Europe will not be an empty chance. What was strange was the calmness of Vakifbank’s every move. This team was very unstable in the first game – it made very bad, nervous decisions. On Wednesday, Giovanni Guidetti replaced his players with a better model. In fact, there was nothing wrong with them. It is difficult to say whether any rival can win this match with Vakifbank.

Hubert Wagner, Belgrade 1976 (Photo from Grzegorz Wagner's personal archive)The Mexicans took them and tried to kill Wagner. The Poles did what they announced to the world

The Antique team had nothing to lose, so they took a risk. Play in a way that will surprise Turkish women. And the result began to go according to the plans of the residents of Rzeszow. Initially, the game was played for points with the Board of Developers, but then the advantage rose to three points. Giovanni Guidetti asked for time and angrily commented on his players. Pure joy appeared on the Polish side for the first time in this match – Stefan Antiga and his assistant Bartlomiej Dąbrowski jumped. But happiness did not last long.

Vakifbank was still itself, and although the Polish women played the game, she was able to return to Developres at any time. After two incredible attacks by Gabi, the Turks were able to equalize at 23:23, which confirmed the class of Giovanni Guidetti’s team, but what if the two moves were after the set? The volleyball players from Istanbul made a mistake and quickly took advantage of it. Rzeshov’s set ended with a score of 25:23 and the score was only 1-2. Guidetti shouted at his players, took control of Antiga Developres as they had to prepare for the next part of the match and the Turkish fans fell silent for the first time. It was as if they didn’t believe it was possible to reunite after such a show of strength that their favorites had presented to Developers in the previous two games.

Guidetti had more amulets. The magic of antiquity is broken

Why did Vakifbank slow down? Turkish women, who made more and more mistakes in the attack, began to lose effective blocks, as at the beginning of the match. The giant began to move, Haaka, Gabi smiled, and the Sun disappeared forever. Instead, they were replaced by focusing on faces and thoughts: how not to miss the chance to advance directly to the semifinals? After all, this is the purpose of “Vakifbank”, they were not interested in the gold set, and, of course, the defeat.

Developers started at the same time – he did not leave Vakifbank, but played his part the most. He didn’t break the rhythm, but he did what said before Stefan Antiga’s meeting: he didn’t look at the result. After shopping, he played shopping, watching how the opponent behaved. And two starting points at once became a one-point advantage. And Giovanni Guidetti was ready behind the line. He was angry again, as in Poland. He saw several balls in a row aimed at Jelena Blagojević, was hit by Serbka on the field and immediately turned red. At 22:21, after Kara Bajemi’s attack, he only opened his hands.

Jelena Blagojević and Kara Bajema became Antique amulets in the fourth set. They could not stand for the ball for Vakifbank at 24:23. Serbka gave technical instructions and was blocked. The spell of the Polish side was broken and the Turkish women won a match and, unfortunately, took advantage of it. Because Giovanni Guidetti had several amulets, including Brazilian Gabi, who ended the match with a powerful shot at 25:23 and 3: 1. Isabelle Haak, presented by CEV, handed over her MVP statuette for this meeting.

Battle like Rzeszow

The hall in Istanbul stood up with joy. It showed how much fear and nervousness Turkish fans and footballers ate. Although the Rzeszow women fought incredibly, they kept their heads down. They were so close to dragging the game, at least to the golden set, and perhaps to the semifinals. They did not succeed, but they did more than everyone expected.

Didn’t Vakifbank play this match in Rzeshov and prove that this match will win in hundreds of other scenarios in Turkey? Maybe. But that doesn’t take away from Developers. It didn’t work in Istanbul, but it wouldn’t work for much better groups. Such Vakifbank will be the favorite to win the Champions League.

Volleyball World Cup 2022. Women's and men's national teams met their opponentsOfficially: Poland has not submitted a letter to the FIVB. What about the World Cup?

And this Developres, who won the first meeting of this quarterfinal, should be an example of how this is possible. In the club’s publication, although Polish women’s volleyball is one class or several classes lower than the best teams in Turkey, it is possible to fight them and get amazing results. Stefan Antiga has already achieved great success at this club, but this defeat will teach him and this team a lot. The French still have to wait for progress to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

However, this is probably such a high result from the state of Polish women’s volleyball that it is not yet time for her arrival. Competition with Vakifbank has shown that if you can build a harmonious, self-sacrificing and fighting team, a lot is possible. We need to remember the victory over Rzeszow and support it with further results. If there is one statement that the Polish team has to reckon with in Europe, no one will forgive itself. Now it’s time for everyone in the discipline to set an example before the next season. They fought like Rzeshov.

Leave a Comment