Following on from the first match that was lost against Belarusan Champions (2-3), the time came to take revenge. The team played with pride and passion and left everything on court, but sadly for the second time, Shakhitor Soligorsk proved too hot to handle. As a result this is the end of the CEV Champions League campaign. IBB Polonia London fought a huge battle, but the dream is over for another year. Losing both games in CEV Champions League, IBB Polonia London will be able to continue to fight for silverware in the CEV Cup. The European journey is possible thanks to enormous support of the Club’s partners – mainly strategic sponsor – IBB Builders Merchants.
The re-match against the Belarusan team was a truly spectacular match of the very highest level, with a lot of emotions and excitement for the passionate supporters. After defeat on Tuesday, IBB Polonia London was very motivated and hungry for victory and revenge in the second game. The beginning of the match was under the control of the Belarusan team. They found their rhythm and despite enormous spirit the Londoners couldn’t close the gap. The team from London played a very high standard of volleyball, but couldn’t match the Belorusan increase in level since Tuesday. The level was of the highest standard from both teams, with either squad serving bombs at London players and also passing with precision and control, but throughout the match it was the superior height at the net and blocking prowess that separated both squads. The 2nd leg ended 3-1 (25:16; 25:20; 22:25; 25:23) for the Shakhitor Soligorsk.
The Club’s campaign in the 1st round of CEV Champions League was broadcast on an open TV channel in UK. This is yet another milestone for the club from London. It is another marker that shows the progress being made towards the eventual long-term goals. One of these goals is showing British people the beauty of the sport and popularising it in the UK.
Some of the players have a short break now, when they can relax, but some are flying to London to play in the National English Cup match this weekend. It is an away fixture in Cambridge. More details about the Club’s plan for the upcoming competitions will be shared soon.
“Today we started slow and didn’t adjust very well to what they came out with! They started much stronger and it took us a little longer to get going. We showed good fight to come back into the game, but just let ourselves down late on with small mistakes. We will regroup and come back stronger in the CEV cup. There is a lot we need to work on and we can get much better in the coming weeks.”- said Ryan Poole, IBB Polonia London outside hitter.
“We started the match well. We blocked very effectively and defended with heart and control. After Alvi Shurdhi came on court, IBB Polonia London received much better and we started to struggle. We played two excellent encounters with a very evenly matched opponent, but we won. I am delighted that we made it through to the next round and now we must focus on the next step. I hope we play IBB Polonia London again in the future, because it was a great game” said the Head Coach of Shahiktor Soligorsk.
The final results:
October, 5th: IBB Polonia London vs. Shakhitor Soligors 2-3 (25:17; 15:25; 23:25; 25:20; 13:15)
October, 7th: Shakhitor Soligorsk vs. IBB Polonia London 3-1 (25:16; 25:20; 22:25; 25:23)
Pic. Paweł Piotrowski