Doha, Qatar: Al Rayyan retained the Amir Cup volleyball title after outplaying Police in four sets in the final on Saturday. In the match played at the Qatar Volleyball Association Hall, defending champions Rayyan were head and shoulders above their rivals and even though they lost their concentration in the third set, they had too much of class to win 25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21.
Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman Al Kuwari, the second vice president of the Qatari Olympic Committee and Ali bin Ghanim Al Kuwari, the chairman of the Qatar Volleyball Federation, presented the trophy to Rayyan.
Police started the proceedings took the first point, but it was all Rayyan after that in the first set. Kamil Rychlicki made his presence felt early in the game with two massive blocks that gave Rayyan a three-point lead at 2-5 and they never relinquished that.
Rayyan surged to a 13-7 lead, and even though Police cut that to two with four straight points and were down just by a point at 20-21, the Lions never lost their grip.
A fine smash followed by an unplayable serve from Sam Deroo helped Rayyan move to set point and an error by Police gave them the first set 25-20.
It was a similar story in the second set as well, as Rayyan raced to a 5-1 lead and never looked back.
At one point the reigning champions managed to increase their lead to double digits (19-9) and although Police made an attempt to come back and reduced the deficit to six points at 15-21, they managed just four more points after that as Rayyan took the set at 25-19.
Police looked determined at the start of the third set and for the first time since the very beginning of the first, they took the lead at 2-1.
They made their opponents work hard for every point while Rayyan seemed to have dropped their level.
Police had the advantage throughout the set and although Rayyan were in touch until 21-22, the Cops took three straight points to take the set 25- 21 and come right into the match.
But Rayyan raised their game in the fourth set and with Birama Faye coming up with a towering smash and two crucial block they took an 8-4 lead. They were determined to finish off their rivals and two booming serves from Deroo gave them a 16-7 lead.
The determination Police showed in the third set was totally missing and a Marcus Costa smash gave Rayyan a 10-point lead at 19-9.
At 21-23 a Borislav Hristov service error gave Rayyan the championship point. And Milos finished it off in the very next moment with a smash down the middle with minimum back lift.
"I am very happy with the victory," said Rayyan coach Carlos Eduardo.
"We have been trying to set up this team since 2017 and I am happy with the way they performed today. Our plan was to attack right from the start and my players did a fine job.
"After winning the first two sets they lost their concentration a bit in the third set. But they came back strongly in the fourth. I also thank the management and all staff of the club for the support they have given us," said Rayyan coach.