This week we go back to the domestic leagues. The Polish league was pretty crazy this week with so many five setters and some really close four setters. Overall this is probably one of the more exciting leagues to pay attention to. It has a really high skill level, and some pretty good parity... plus a lot of names you'll recognize and might have even played against (or with).
The SuperLega was back in limited form this week, with several of the top teams not playing. We saw former UCLA Bruin, Mads Jansen, feature in Verona's 3-1 win over Padova. It's incredible to see him starting at such a high level!
We also saw Lube crush Monza in straight sets (scores weren't too pretty), and Trentino rock Ravena (started off ok, but was a blood bath by the end). In more mid table action Cisterna beat Taranto in 4 sets.
The Bundesliga has started its "Zwischenrunde," which is the round between the regular season and playoffs (bet you didn't think you'd learn any German today). There are two groups, the top four teams and the teams ranked 5-8, which compete amongst each other to create seedings for playoffs. Kind of a cool system.
This week we got to see Lüneburg & Gießen fight it out in the lower group. Stijn van Tilburg faced against his old Hawaii teammates Joe Worsely & Dalton Solbrig. Jordan Ewert (Stanford) wound up winning the MVP of Lüneburg's win.
Netzhoppers, which feature Brandon Rattray (UCLA), Max Chamberlain (Pepperdine) and Blake Leeson (Ohio State) faced off against Herrsching and lost in five sets.
We finally go to Berlin, where for the first time in over a month the BR Volleys have stepped onto the court. They faced Friedrichshafen (Loyola alum Avery Aylsworth started at Libero). As you may know Berlin has dominated the Bundesliga for the past decade. They feature guys like Ben Patch (BYU), Jeff Jendryk (Loyola Chicago), Cody Kessel (Princeton) and Matt West (Pepperdine).
This match we got to see everyone step up, as Friedrichshafen challenged Berlin, but ultimately couldn't stop Berlin from winning in four. Both teams look forward to Champions League this coming week; Friedrichshafen face Hebar Pazardzik and Berlin face Lisbon.
This week the Polish was incredible. If you want to see a highly competitive league, this is one to pay attention to. Pretty much every team can compete with each other every night, and this week we got to see that in full force (Stal Nysa, who is last in the league took Resovia to five). So many exciting five setters.
First is our Match of the Week. Jastrzebski vs. Skra, place 2 vs. place 3. Skra wound up pulling it out in 5. Skra is led by Serbian Opposite Aleksandar Atanasijević, who is widely regarded as one of the world's best. Jastrzebski has French setter Tonioutti, and opposite Stephen Boyer who are also among the world's top players. This is a great professional Volleyball match, and is definitely worth watching (Youtube, Volleymetrics).
Olsztyn (TJ DeFalco, Taylor Averill) lost in five to Zawierce. Zaksa (Erik Shoji, Dave Smith) beat Warsaw in 4 sets to retain their dominance over the league.
Next we saw Josh Tuaniga (LBSU) and his team Suwalki win 3:1 against Cuprum. Micah Ma'a (UCLA) and his team Katowice beat Dustin Watten's (LBSU) team Lublin in four sets. Finally Gdansk beat Radom in three.
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