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15/09/2011 14:09
Poland bound for Vienna
2011 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, September 15, 2011. After surprisingly seizing the title two years ago in Izmir Poland qualified this afternoon for the semis of the EuroVolley 2011 seeing off Slovakia in straight sets after only 77 minutes of play.

Slovakia – the real major surprise of this European Championship, having finished on top of the standings in preliminary Pool D – started strongly but the score stayed extremely tight as both teams displayed their complete array of Volleyball fundamentals.

Bartosz Kurek and Piotr Nowakowski contributed a first mini-break moving up the score to 20:23 and Poland quickly piled up three set balls, eventually finishing it off at 23-25 as Lukas Divis sent his serve directly into the net.

Poland caught a marvelous start in set 2 (7:12) but Tomas Kmet clawed back for Slovakia with three splendid fast attacks in a row. Slovakia finally drew level at 15 with the help of Martin Nemec but Poland responded with Kurek to widen the gap again and go for the provisional 0:2.

The 2009 European champions showed they were fully motivated to go for a speedy win also in set 3 where Slovakia was able to stay tuned only for a while and the group mentored by Italian-born Andrea Anastasi could finally get its revenge from the defeat suffered this past Monday in Prague.

Slovakia’s team captain Tomas Kmet said after the game: “Congratulations to the Polish team on their victory. They displayed a great performance this afternoon. Although this is still a historical result for us we didn’t play as well today as we did in Prague. We were playing well for the whole year: we won the European League, almost qualified for the next World League and did our best in Prague. We hope to be better next year”.

Emanuele Zanini, Slovakia’s coach, added: “I agree with my captain that we have achieved a historical result. But I am not definitely satisfied with the game. We could fight more. Poland played very well. My friend Andrea (Anastasi) can be satisfied. Today his players were ready to cope with the stress and pressure, while mines were not”.

Polish captain Piotr Gruszka: “There was a bit of nervousness before the match. We knew what it was worth. We could see the even game in the first set. Then, the pressure loosened a bit and our game became more stable and smoother. We are happy we are going to Vienna”.

His mentor Andrea Anastasi concluded: “Of course, it is difficult to speak about the match against my friend’s team. For me it is a great result. My dream is to play the last two games of the tournament but it will be hard to make it to the final”.

News nr. 9 of 36
15/09/2011 17:37:29
Russia joins the top four in Vienna
14/09/2011 23:02:21
Finland qualifies for ¼ finals after thriller against Slovenia

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