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08/08/2015 22:29
Greece’s women celebrate away victory in re-match with Poland
2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Kalisz, Poland, August 8, 2015. Just like in their Friday’s game, Poland’s young women showed that they are capable of impressive comebacks, but this time it was not enough. On Saturday night the visitors from Greece claimed the European League rematch in Kalisz by three sets to one (25-11, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18).

The first set was almost an exact copy of the nightmare that the Polish players went through in the opening set the day before. Substitutions made by coach Wieslaw Popik failed to change the course of the game and a struggling Polish team suffered a bitter defeat in the opening set (11-25).

Set number two also seemed to repeat the pattern from the first match, as the white and red players showed their heart, quickly established a lead and kept on working from there (8:5 and 16:10 at the mandatory time-outs). Greece gradually made an incredible comeback, from seven points down (17:10) to 21:21. The Polish team, seeing no effect of their efforts, did suffer another setback and finally lost the set 23-25.

The third set was much more balanced and both teams remained in a near tie until the score of 12:13 after which Poland managed to score six points in a row, without getting distracted by the mandatory break or by a time-out called by Greece’s mentor Ioannis Kalmazidis. After that the game went according to Poland’s wishes and Greece could do very little to avoid a final score of 25-19 – and not for lack of trying.

The beginning of set four did not promise anything good for the hosts – with the score standing at 1:8 at the first technical time-out it looked bad enough and it did not get much better by the second mandatory break (8:16), with Poland eventually losing the set (18-25) and the match.

“I’m very happy for the win. The thing is I don’t think that we played much worse yesterday, despite some moments when we lacked concentration and lost despite being up in the fourth set. The difficult thing today was to put the girls in a mental state where they believe that we can do it, to believe in what they are doing – and they showed it today. And we also had the right quality in our game and played a good match,” said Greece’s head coach Ioannis Kalmazidis.

Greece’s top scorer (14) and MVP, Aikaterina Giota: “We’re very happy and I think we deserved this victory. Yesterday we lost a game that we had in our hands. We’re happy and we want to continue like this.”

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