Today, in the first quarterfinal of the EKB Cup, 2 Polish teams: Resovia Rzeszow and Zawiercie will face off.
The Polish volleyball club Resovia Rzeszow approaches the last 16 of the EKB Cup with mixed results this current season. In the Polish Plus Liga, the team has been inconsistent, showing series of victories and defeats. Recently, Resovia Rzeszow suffered two consecutive losses in the Polish Plus Liga: a 3:1 defeat against Jastrzębski Węgiel on January 25 and a 3:1 defeat against Zawiercie.
However, in the EKB Cup, Resovia Rzeszow had demonstrated reliable performance, securing 3rd place in their Champions League group with a 3-3 score, which ensured their place in this tournament. In the final match of the Champions League group stage, Resovia Rzeszow managed to defeat Trentino's second team 3-2, even though they had already lost any chance of progressing from the group. The recent results in Plus Liga before these defeats showed a steady gameplay, clinching a victory over Slepsk Suwalki by 3:1 and over Projekt Warsaw by 3:1. Before launching into the quarter-finals of the EKB Cup, it is crucial for Resovia Rzeszow to regroup and maximise their potential to overcome the present difficulties.
The Polish team, Zawiercie, has been demonstrating impressive form by entering the quarterfinals of the EKB Cup on a 13-winning streak, including 9 wins in the Polish Plus Liga and 4 victories in the EKB Cup playoffs. In the last 16 of the EKB Cup, Zawiercie managed a spectacular and confident win over Italian Milan with a 6-0 aggregate score from the two matches, despite being considered outsiders before the game kicked off. Earlier, in the 1/16 finals, the team also easily dealt with Czech Kralovo, winning with an aggregate score of 6-0. The biggest test for Zawiercie arose in the 1/32 finals against the Bulgarian Hebar, where despite the easy 3-0 win in the first match, they lost 2-3 in the second, likely due to taking things easy after the convincing victory in the first set of the second game with a 25:13 score.
Zawiercie's last defeat in Plus Liga was on December 6, 2023, against Projekt Warsaw, with a score of 0-3. However, since then the team has been showing exceptional gameplay, including recent wins over GKS Katowice by 3:1, Jastrzębski Węgiel by 3:1, and Norwid Czestochowa by 3:0. These results confirm their strong standing in the league where Zawiercie occupies 3rd place with 16 victories against 3 defeats, trailing just one win behind leader, Jastrzębski Węgiel, whom they have already defeated with a score of 3:1.
Zawiercie strides into the EKB Cup quarter-final as one of the strongest contenders, having shown high performance in the national championship and successful showing on the international playground. Their ability to bounce back from tough situations and dominate both in the Plus Liga and in the EKB Cup makes them a serious contender for any team.
In recent confrontations between the Polish volleyball clubs, Resovia Rzeszow dominates with 3 wins out of the last 5 meetings in the Plus Liga. Despite their last defeat against Zawiercie with a score of 1-3, Resovia demonstrated their prowess in the previous games, including a convincing victory with a score of 3-0 and a tense win with a score of 3-2 in their favour.
Taking into account the recent matches and the Cup experience, I am betting on a Zawiercie victory in the first quarter-final match. Zawiercie is currently on a winning spree of 13 matches, they're closing in on the leaders of the Plus Liga and are defeating them.