Out of all of Poland’s sports teams, the men’s volleyball squad is arguably the most successful of them all. Having regularly won medals at various prestigious tournaments in recent years, the players have been selected as Polish “team of the year” on several recent occasions.
The Polish team didn't have many reasons to celebrate
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Additionally, with Poland being co-hosts of this year’s tournament, along with Denmark, the country’s sports fans expected a medal.
The tournament started according to plan with the Polish team easily beating Turkey 3-1 in its first game. The next game however, revealed the weaknesses in the team. France defeated Poland 3-1, leaving no doubt as to which team was superior. The last group game against Slovakia inspired hope once more, with Poland winning 3-1 and placing second in its group.
This all meant that the Polish team would have to play Bulgaria in a play-off game for the quarterfinal spot. The decisive game started fantastically for the Poles as they won the first two sets, but later on, the old volleyball rule, that if you lead 2-0 and don’t win the next set, you’ll lose the whole game 2-3, was proven right by the Bulgarians, who won the next three sets including the tie-break. Bulgaria thus advanced further, knocking Poland out of the competition.
The question now is what’s next. Mirosław Przedpełski, president of the Polish Volleyball Federation, said before the tournament started that if Poland doesn’t win a medal, the team’s Italian coach Andrea Anastasi would be fired. It now remains to be seen if that will indeed be the case.
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