Two victories at the Tauron Arena in Krakow brought back smiles on the faces of the Polish volleyball players. It was especially visible After winning in dramatic circumstances against Serbia. Both coach Vital Heinen and the players emphasized that winning with Serbia in front of several thousand spectators strengthens the team mentally in the first place.
From a purely practical point of view, the White Reds also have something to please, they have five points after two games and Serbia seven, but they have played one game less than the European champions. If they beat Greece, they will take the lead in Group A Another thing is that after the Russians face unexpected problems in Group C, a group win may not be enough to avoid famous rivals in the quarter-finals.
– Before the European Championship, we looked at the “Arc”, which we can find, and here in the first series of matches Russia lost to Turkey and our plans and calculations can be thrown into the trash – Matthews Bieniek . Center recognizes, one of the heroes of the excitement with Serbia.
On Saturday, the Poles fought the Serbs for more than two and a half hours. But on Sunday, it should be easier, because the competitors will not be candidates for the medal, but the team from the fifth in the FIVB ranking. It is true that in the first match in Krakow Greece managed to win two sets with the higher-ranked Ukraine, but later easily lost to Belgium. At the moment, it closes the stake by 1 point.
The next matches will be more difficult for us, but everything is still possible. It’s not like we can’t get back into the game anymore. You have to focus on the upcoming challenges and fight, try to do everything you can. Then eventually we’ll see what it brings us, Protopsaltis points out.
The host, who will celebrate his 28th birthday in a few days, is one of the most famous volleyball players for the Greek national team. He has, among other things, appeared in PlusLiga, where he played in Black Radom, and in Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen. He worked with Heynen at the latter club and is still remembered well today, calling him not only a coach but also a teacher. On Sunday, they will both stand on either side of the parapet for the first time.
But there are not many volleyball players with such a past in the Greek national team. This team last appeared in the World Cup Finals in 2006. It returned to the Old Continent Championship two years ago after a decade of rest, benefiting from the expansion of the tournament. In 2019, she won only one match with Romania. The Greeks have only played once at the Olympic Games in Athens. Then, in the group stage, they defeated Poland 3-1, were eliminated in the quarter-finals, losing to the United States only in the tiebreak.
Today, however, such results are only a memory and it is difficult to compare Greek volleyball with Polish volleyball, although until recently the domestic league enjoyed great recognition. For example, Fabian Drezza performed at Olympiacos Piraeus in 2017-2018. Today, the Polish league is one of the best in the world, so it is difficult to compare our league with it. We’ve been in a place like this for some time. Now, however, our volleyball and league is constantly evolving, it is getting better every year. We’re getting closer and getting stronger – Protopsaltis argues.
Despite these statements, the Poles are certainly the favorites at Sunday’s meeting. The match with Greece could be a perfect opportunity for the substitutes. Even the primary recipients can get a moment of respite, whenever Kamil Semenyuk does well with Serbia. Immediately after the game, Heynen did not want to talk about any specific changes, but suggested that the rest would be useful, among other things. Michai Kubik.
– Michał is not used to playing for a long time at the moment. He just came back after being injured. The match against Serbia cost us a lot of energy, so it is possible that tomorrow other players will help us – said the coach of the Polish team.
Even the presence of alternatives should not affect the image of the game. This is despite the statements of the Greeks, who do not intend to put themselves in the role of hitting children.
We are a strong team with strong personalities. Before the match with Poland, we must gather and fight. We are expecting a very difficult match, we will face one of the best teams in the world. This is a challenge for us, we will be able to see how close or close we are to such teams. Protopsaltis points out that we’re already looking forward to it.
The meeting starts at 20.30. Text report in Interia, broadcast on Polsat Sport.
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