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Wioletta Prajsnar, fot. Piotr Sumara, 28 August 2017

Poland secure progression after final matches in Gdańsk

Poland secured second place in LOTTO EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017 Pool A by beating Estonia, while Serbia beat Finland to win the pool on the final day of matches at Ergo Arena.Serbia had already won the pool by the time Poland started against Estonia in the second match of the day and their 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-22) win against Estonia in front of a sell-out crowd secured their play-off match against Slovenia in Krakow.

The teams were even early on, but the red and white edged themselves ahead to lead at the first technical timeout. In front of a party atmosphere on the Polish north coast, both sides gave it their all and with his side leading, Poland coach Ferdinando Di Giorgi halted play for a time-out at 20-19. After that, his side kept their nerve and despite the Estonia’s Renee Teppan (7) scoring more than anyone, it was Poland’s Mateusz Bieniek that helped push his side over the line, winning 25-21.

The second set was much tighter between the two and they were level at both 9-9 and 16-16. There was never much of a lead taken by Poland and despite wasting one set point at 24-23, they made it count at the second time of asking. A huge serve from Bieniek was called out by the line judge to the delight of the Estonian fans, but upon review the decision was overturned. Poland could celebrate once again, as they won the set 26-24.

The volume inside Ergo Arena was growing by the minute as Poland surged towards victory. The DJ did his bit by playing the classics and the fans responded. However, Estonia were going to be no pushovers and they pushed the Poles all the way. The teams could not be separated at 19-all and when they built up a three-point lead at 24-21 the result was inevitable. However, it was a long serve from Estonia’s Teppann that handed them victory.

Bartosz Kurek, Poland: “It was crucial for our confidence which I think we lacked at times. The two 3-0s we got in Gdansk are good and should make us believe more in ourselves to play better volleyball going forward. Now we go to Krakow for another battle and I hope it will not be the end. Our fans are amazing all the time and I hope they will come and cheer. The biggest court is to do the job on the court.”

Gheorghe Creţu, Estonia coach: “The reaction in the last two games after losing to Finland has been incredible. The chance to play Poland at their home is great but it’s not easy. Even good teams could go under here. We played good volleyball and the Estonians support the team so well. They show their respect and this was the great thing. All of the Polish crowd were impressed with our fans and the way the team played. Poland had a little bit more than us and we have to work with our guys and hope that we get different opponents in future championships.”

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© Polish Volleyball Federation, 2017