Czechs and Poles in rematch of World qualifiers


Lausanne, Switzerland, July 26, 2017 - The Czech Republic host Poland Saturday in Ostrava in the second of the FIVB World Grand Prix Group 2 semifinals. It's a rematch of their clash last month in Warsaw, where the Czech Republic knocked out Poland from the European qualifiers for the 2018 FIVB World Championship. Their only previous World Grand Prix enxounter was last year when Poland won in four sets at home. Both teams finished pool play at 7-2 this season, but both dropped their last match in straight sets - the Czechs to Germany and the Poles to Korea, which meet previously in the other semifinal in Ostrava.

• Czech Republic and Poland have met once at the World Grand Prix. In last year's edition, Poland won 3-1 on home soil.
• Their most recent encounter before this World Grand Prix match was in 2013. At the European championships these teams met in the group stage. Czech Republic prevailed after five sets.
• Czech Republic have lost four of the last five matches at the World Grand Prix against fellow CEV sides. Their only win came against Bulgaria in five sets in this year's World Grand Prix.
• Poland have won their last three matches against fellow CEV sides at the World Grand Prix, including a straight sets win against Croatia in this year's World Grand Prix in the opening weekend.

Czech Republic
• Czech Republic reached the semifinals with a record of seven wins and two defeats.
• For the first time, Czech Republic can win eight matches in a single edition of the World Grand Prix. They also claimed seven victories in the 2014 edition.
• Czech Republic lost their last match 3-0 against Germany. They can lose consecutive World Grand Prix matches in straight sets for the second time after 2013, when they lost 3-0 against both China and Turkey.

• Poland have won seven and lost twice in this World Grand Prix campaign.
• Poland have lost their last match (straight set defeat against Korea) and can lose consecutive World Grand Prix matches for the first time since losing their last five matches of the 2014 edition.
• This was also the last time Poland lost consecutive matches in straight sets. They lost their last three matches of the 2014 edition all by a 3-0 scoreline (against Netherlands, Belgium and Puerto Rico).
• In the preliminary round, Poland delivered the best spiker (Malwina Smarzek), the best blocker (Agnieszka Kaklewska), the best digger (Agata Witkowska) and the best receiver (also Agata Witkowska) of Group 2.


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