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13/08/2015 08:57
Everything set in Walbrzych for men’s European League Finals
2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Men

Walbrzych, Poland, August 13, 2015. On Thursday the sports hall of Aqua Zdroj Sports and Recreation Centre in Walbrzych will be hosting the semi-final clashes of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European League – Men. Hosts Poland will take on the team of Slovenia while Estonia is going to test the strength of the Former Y.R. of Macedonia.

The tournament’s hosts are up for a difficult task. Slovenia has often been pointed as the real favourite in this competition. Even Poland’s head coach Andrzej Kowal notes that: “As far as players’ potential goes and judging only by where these guys play during the club season, I would have to say that Slovenia is the strongest side in this competition.” It is indeed a team with great offensive power, with quite a few players who have superb serving skills.
How far the advantage of their own court and supporters will help Poland in the attempt to beat the Slovenian rivals is to be seen very shortly. Poland had its better and worse moments throughout the League Round, but it consequently pursued its number one objective in the league – that is to let as many of its players as possible use the matches to gain experience on the international stage. The fans in Walbrzych and the rest of Poland’s Volleyball family hope that this experience will pay off tonight. Additionally, the squad was reinforced by one of its young guns, Aleksander Sliwka. The outside spiker is back after participating in Poland U21 national team’s sparring matches against Brazil. The potential is there and as the Polish coach said: “How we perform in our own game will be more important than who we play.”

In the second semi-final match, the Former Y.R. of Macedonia will have a tough job playing against Estonia. The players from Skopje have shown good disposition in their last two matches against Poland – in fact those two wins, coupled with Greece’s double defeat to Slovenia in Pool B, are what earned them a spot in the Final Four. If their two key players – Jovica Simovski and Nikola Gjorgiev are having a good day, anything can happen.
However, Estonia is seen as the natural favourite in this bout, with their very steady performance throughout the League Round encompassing ten straight wins. The fact that they did not lose a single match in the whole round, despite quite a few changes in their line-up along the way, speaks for itself.

The Volleyball court will verify all such predictions very soon. The semi-finals in Walbrzych start at 17:00 and 20:00 local time.

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