Despite losing 0: 2 in the first semifinal match and 13:11 in the tie-break, Rzeszow finally defeated ŁKS and is one leg up in the final. – We all work with the girls in the coaching staff in such a way that they can play the best volleyball in the decisive moments and sets and maintain a high mood until the end of the tournament, which is not easy, – said Bella Dolina development coach Stefan Antiga.
When you were 2-0 ahead of ŁKS Commercecon Łódź in the sets, you probably felt very nervous, because despite being 15: 6 ahead in the first set, this match suddenly got out of control for your team …
Stefan Antiqa: What happened was very strange. Usually, when we have a big advantage, as in the first game, we do not lose two sets in a row, but this time it happened. There is no explanation for this. Fortunately, the changes have yielded very positive results. Julka Bińczycka, Bruna Honorio and Dominika Witowska played very well after entering the field. They helped the team get back on track, bring it to the tie-break and then win. Being able to change is a great comfort for me and I have valuable players in every position. Thanks to this, our training is very balanced and valuable, because all the girls are able to play at a high level. This shows the quality and strength of our team. These are our features and we have proved it again this season.
For Bruna Honorio, such a good entrance to the field and the MVP statue should be of special importance, given that at the beginning of the match it was only the third option for the strikers.
– This is not just Bruna’s third attack. Playing the aggressor’s main position and going into a task-based double turn are completely different things. After joining Malvina Smarzek, Bruna competes with him for sixth place and is his replacement, but when it comes to double tactical changes, Iza Rapac is very good in this role. But this is something else entirely – a competition for a place in the starting lineup and a tactical introduction only for a double change. We are also talking about some tactical nuances. Of course, it cannot be said that Bruno is the third tactical option in our team, because it is not.
However, you believed that Bruna was able to present himself so well after replacing Malvina Smarzek and played an important role in his victory.
– Of course. Bruna has shown that he can play at a high level many times in especially important matches this season and can help us a lot in attack. After Malvina joined the team, it was such an additional advantage for us and played a big role in the team’s victory in the Polish Cup. However, it is not said that if we had played in attack with Bruna, not with Malvina in Nisa, we would not have won the trophy. I am sure we will play very well. I know that Bruna works very well in training and this situation is difficult for her due to the fight for a place in the squad with Malvina. However, he is ready to play and knows that in case of Malvina’s health or illness, we will need her to play well, as in the quarter-final match in Bielsko-Biała. It is not easy for him, but he accepts this situation and, above all, he is an excellent athlete, a professional who does his best in training and is always ready to play. We saw a perfect example of this in the match with KS.
The peculiarity of tie-breaks is that Developers BELLA DOLINA plays most and almost all of them this season, as they have won thirteen of the fourteen games played so far, and even lost to KS Commercecon with a score of 11:13 this time …
– The victories in the fifth set show the mental strength of the team, as well as excellent physical training, so I am grateful to our physical training coach – Arthur Plonkaya, who did an excellent job. We work with the girls in the coaching staff in such a way that they can play the best volleyball in the crucial moments and sets and maintain a high mood until the end of the tournament, which is not easy. The mental side is also very important, because when you play a tie-break you have to be very resistant to stress and pressure, and we fight it well, even during the match or during the fifth set we have a lot of ups and downs, and it is already difficult to follow the result. we show that we are in the game. I am very proud of the team for showing such maturity and mental strength. This season is wonderful and amazing for us not only because of the results, but also because we played and trained well. The great thing is that I have valuable substitutes at my disposal and I can make changes during matches, and there is a lot of internal competition and a high level of training. This is a great season for all of us, but also for me as a coach, because I work with the best team I can imagine.
Do you expect a tougher meeting and greater resistance from SKS Commercecon in Lodz on Sunday?
– First of all, ŁKS is a very strong opponent, even stronger after the arrival of the attacking Valentina Diuf. Let’s look at other positions – midfielder Roberta Ratzke, finally, a great player and a representative of Brazil. The Lodz players also have excellent midfielders, experienced, very good liberos and valuable hosts. This is a very good team, built not only to compete for medals, but also to win the Polish championship, regardless of how they perform in the main round. The signing of a contract with a player like Valentina Diouf also proves the high goals and ambitions of ŁKS. Let’s not forget that the ranking after the main stage does not matter at this point, and no one will look at the point difference between ŁKS and us or the Group Nitrogen Chemical Police. We knew from the beginning that we will have a very difficult task in this semifinal. Of course, it would be better if we could have won in Rzeszow sooner, but in volleyball it happens that there are a lot of turns, and sometimes in the first set, as in our case, things happen. The most important thing is that we have once found the key to winning the game. Physically and tactically, we are well prepared for how to play with ŁKS. I also know that I can count on all the girls on the team and all of them can help us in the game. As for the hall in Lodz, of course, it is an asset of ŁKS, and it can also count on the loud support of fans. For the opponents, this is an object where they train every day and feel good, but we have played in that hall many times, both with ŁKS and Budowlani, so we know how to play there. This season, too, we are a weaker team than Rzeshov when we play away. We have repeatedly played important away games. We, of course, need adequate regeneration and concentration. We will try to play better than the first game. We don’t have much time to prepare, but we will analyze our game and talk about what needs to be improved.
After such a good start and Bruna Honorio and Julia Bińczycka changing the face of the game, will you have any doubts about how you will bring together the first six for the match in Lodz?
– It does not matter who comes out from the beginning of the meeting. It is more important who finished it. Girls know this well. We’ll see what it looks like. Sometimes I decide to make changes quickly, and sometimes I wait for more with them. I also observe the behavior of girls and see in their faces what they can do at a certain moment. For me, it’s more comfort than a headache. The situation is worse when you have a team limited to only seven players or players, and you are worried about what will happen if one in seven is still injured or ill. My team has several options, depending on both the form and the strategy or tactics of the game. For me, having different options is the best problem a team coach can solve.