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02/04/2014 15:36
Semi final between Atom Trefl and Impel tied after first two games
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Sopot, Poland, April 2, 2014.  Atom Trefl SOPOT incurred one loss and achieved one victory from its first two semi final matches in Poland’s national league against Impel WROCLAW and has started with its preparations for the next clashes that will be played in the beginning of next week.

These were two completely different matches for both teams. In the first game Atom lost quickly by 0:3 (23-25, 26-28, 17-25).  It was an amazing match for Katarzyna Mroczkowska, who scored 13 points, but also for the Belgian setter of Impel, Frauke Dirickx, who was awarded the MVP statue.  The only bright things on Atom’s side were Brizitka Molnar, who turned out to be a brilliant substitution for Kimberly Hill, and Mariola Zenik, keeping good level. However, it was too little to fight successfully in that Saturday’s clash.

“We were too nervous at the start of this match and immediately went 3-5 points behind.  Then it started being a battle against ourselves.  We had a chance to come back at the end of the first set, but Impel closed it.  The pressure was on.  Then I made a mistake by giving a wrong line-up and for the team it was difficult to play in that situation.  They started fighting and it was a good experience for our team.  We missed some points again despite leading 23-21 and in the end we lost our spirit.  It was too much for us to play close in last set,” Teun Buijs, head coach of Atom, summed up the game.

After the straight-set loss, Atom surprisingly changed its game on the following day.  Poland’s champion won by 3:2 (25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 16-14) and tied the semi final series.  It was an outstanding game for super-sub, Judith Pietersen, who saved the match for Atom after replacing opposite Anna Podolec.  The MVP statue went again to a setter, but this time it was Izabela Belcik who deserved to be singled out this way.

“We were very encouraged to play Sunday’s match on higher level.  We had some tasks to do.  I think that we did this pretty well.  I only regret that the 10-minute break between the second and the third sets affected us after having a 2:0 lead in the match.  We kept our concentration, but it was hard for us to come back into the game after two tough sets. The start of tie-breaker was not so good on our side, though, the end of this part was definitely nice for us.  Now we can start our rivalry from the beginning with the difference that now each of the teams is only two victories away from the final,” said Izabela Belcik, Atom’s team captain.

“Now we will have two home matches on our court and we will try to use this advantage.  We need to be focused and work hard because both teams are equal and both are able to beat each other at home or away.  Nothing will come to us for free. We will try to make a living hell for Atom in Wroclaw in the next two matches,” promised Impel’s coach Tore Aleksandersen.

The next two games of this semi final playoff will be played in Wroclaw on Monday and Tuesday at 20:30 local time.

In the other semi-final, Chemik POLICE won easily the first two games against Tauron Banimex MKS DABROWA GORNICZA and moved closer to playing in the league final, leading 2 victories to 0 in the best-of-five series.

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