Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle took advantage of numerous personnel problems of the Polish men’s club champions Jastrzębski Węgiel to sweep fierce rivals for the second time in just 4 days.
In the big derby of the 26th round of the 2021/22 PlusLiga, which was supposed to bring the winner a step closer to the regular-season triumph, led by Łukasz Kaczmarek (14 points), ZAKSA defeated Jastrzębski without losing a set and took over the lead in the standings. However, their rivals were decimated by the cold and injuries so their head coach Andrea Gardini was forced to send backups (with the exception of Stéphen Boyer) on the court from the start of the match. Jastrzębski’s problems were especially evident in the middle blocker position given that a youth team member Jakub Styrnol was called to play this match. All in all, 7 of their players weren’t employed today: Dryja, Gladyr, and Clévenot (injuries and virus), Fornal and Popiwczak (virus), Toniutti and Hadrava (coach’s decision).
ZAKSA and Jastrzębski faced 4 days ago in the first leg of the CEV Champions League semis and the former also prevailed in straight sets. On Thursday, Jastrzębski must win 3-0 or 3-1 in the rematch to avoid elimination prior to the Golden Set. The fight between these for the top spot in the PlusLiga regular season isn’t over yet as both have to play one more match – both against Trefl Gdańsk, who today beat Indykpol AZS Olsztyn and came to a win from taking the last vacant slot for the playoffs, with 2 more matches to play.
2021/22 PlusLiga – regular season, Round 26: