Poland advance to World Grand Prix Group 2 final with victory over Czech Republic


Monika Bociek triumphs after scoring the winning point

Ostrava, Czech Republic, July 29, 2017 – Middle blocker Agnieszka Kakolewska led Poland to a semifinal victory over the hosts of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2017 Group 2 Finals. In front of numerous fans, supporting both teams from the stands in Ostrava, the Poles managed a 3-1 (25-27, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20) win against the Czech Republic to face Korea in Sunday’s gold medal match.

Kakolewska contributed 18 points, including four kill blocks, to Poland’s victory and became the best scorer of the match. Malwina Smarzek added another 16. Three Czech players made the double digits. Marie Toufarova, Andrea Kossanyiova and Michaela Mlejnkova scored 12 points each.

This was the second time these two teams met in a World Grand Prix match. On both occasions Poland beat Czechia in four sets.

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The Czechs seemed to be slightly ahead in what was a very competitive first set, but towards the end the Poles took a 23-20 lead. It was all set for a dramatic conclusion as the home team was still the first to reach set point at 24-23 before eventually closing it off at 27-25.

Czechia could not hold on to the four-point lead they had at the two technical time-outs in the second set. With Agnieszka Kakolewska on fire, Poland turned the tables and cruised to a 25-20 close. Gaining momentum and taking advantage of the many mistakes on the other half of the court, coach Jacek Nawrocki’s team was well in control of the third set, opening a wide gap. The home team did not give in without a fight and narrowed it down in the end only to give it away with a faulty serve for 21-25. The fourth set was very similar to the third. With the Czechs continuing to commit excessive errors, Poland was in control of the scoreboard throughout the set. With a powerful block-out shot, Monika Bociek fixed the 25-20 close and sent her team celebrating with a spot in the final.


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