Press materials / FIVB / Pictured: Polish national team volleyball players
The Polish volleyball team has the best performance in the history of the Nations League. Stefano Lavarini’s proteges won 9 out of 11 games and earned promotion to the final tournament. Who will be our team’s opponent at this stage? There are plenty of options.
Last year’s season showed that the hiring of Stefano Lavarini as head coach of the Polish national team was spot on. Biało-Czerwone looked fantastic, although the team lacked, among others, Malwina Smarzek.
The World Championships in Poland ended in the quarter-finals, but the defending champions, the Serbs, came close to being wrapped up at one point. In the end, they won the gold, which further shows the extent of the success of the Poles, who lost the semi-final after a tie-break (14:16).
In this year’s edition of the Women’s Nations League, they deal cards without Joanna Wołosz, Klaudia Alagierska-Szczepaniak, Malwina Smarzek and, until recently, without Martyna Czyrniańska. Nevertheless, before the match against South Korea, our team still counts in the fight for the first place! Only the Olympic champions, the Americans, can get in the way.
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A ranking horse for those who predicted that the White-Reds before the Suwon tournament will be almost certain to reach the last eight. Nobody thought about the leading position two races before the end of qualifying. In the meantime, before our team’s Sunday match against the Koreans, we know that the fate of first place will be decided between the Poles and the Americans.
Stefano Lavarini’s proteges will approach the last match from a privileged position. Hard to expect the White-Reds to calculate. It should be stressed, however, that the result of the confrontation with the Asians will affect the rival in the quarter-finals and the eventual progress of our team in the medal game.
With two rounds remaining before the end of the playoffs, teams from Japan, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia and Canada count in the match for promotion to the top eight. Paradoxically, the Italians are currently in the most difficult situation, despite being in the eighth opposition, but have only 15 points, a record of 6 wins and 4 losses. Behind them are the Serbs, the Dutch and the Canadians, who have one more loss, but also better points.
Women’s Nations League standings:
Women’s Nations League 2023
The schedule of the remaining matches of the Women’s Nations League 2023:
Matchday 14 – July 1, 2023:
Serbia – Dominican Republic
South Korea – China
Italy – Croatia
Germany – United States
Netherlands – Canada
Thailand – Japan
Matchday 15 – July 2, 2023:
Serbia – Bulgaria
Poland – South Korea (7:00 a.m.)
Croatia – Türkiye
China – United States
Italy – Japan
Thailand – Brazil
The most realistic scenario seems to be when the Polish women finish the competition in second place. This means that our team will face one of the giants of the world in the first game of the tournament in Arlington. Depending on the worst case, they can be Chinese, Italian or Serbian. A flurry of luck could see the Canadians into the top eight, and it will be Team Maple Leaf that will keep our team out of the medal box.
Of the group of teams fighting for promotion, the Japanese team’s schedule looks the best. Volleyball players from the Land of the Rising Sun will play mr. with Thailand and this meeting will most likely give them a place in the eight. Masayoshi Manabe’s men are sure-fire favorites in this clash and it looks like their showdown with the Italians will decide where the Japanese ultimately take after the knockout round.
Italians may have a problem with promotion. World champions Serbia will wait for the defending champions to stumble. ‘Azzure’ will play with Croatia again and here a set of points looks assured, just like in the clash with the Japanese.
The last game could decide everything. The Serbs along with the Dominican Republic and Bulgaria will be big favourites, meaning Giovanni Guidetti’s players will be counted in the eight-man fight until the end. Who knows, maybe we will witness a confrontation in the quarter-finals between the Olympic champions, the Americans, and the world champions, the Serbs. However, it cannot be ruled out that “Plavi” will face Polish women in the fight for the medal zone of the Women’s Nations League 2023.
Lobiet Nations League 2023 quarter-final matches:
Game 1: 1st place – 8th place
Game 2: 2nd – 7th
Game 3: 3rd – 6th
Game 4: 4th – 5th
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