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28/08/2015 23:34
Hungary seal semi-final spot with straight-set win over young Polish girls
2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Zawiercie, Poland, August 28, 2015. On Friday night Hungary defeated Poland in three straight sets (25-13, 25-21, 25-18) in the first match of the last weekend of pool play in the 2015 edition of the CEV Volleyball European League – Women, thereby sealing their spot in the semis.

These two teams shared the same goals for the weekend, but Poland had a harder job ahead of them. To advance to the European League semi-finals the White-and-Reds needed two victories, while Hungary would have been satisfied with just one.

The game started with a real domination from the Hungarian side of the net. The visitors quickly established a six-point lead and continued their one-sided show right until the final score of 13-25.  

Perhaps it was the atmosphere in Zawiercie’s OSiR hall – full of loud, enthusiastic fans – that gave the young Polish players a kind of a stage fright in the beginning of the match. In the second set the Hungarian women continued to dominate the game, but the white and red players became somewhat braver in their attempts and were not put off by their rival’s substantial advantage. With the crowd’s support, coach Wieslaw Popik’s girls managed to catch up to as little as 20:22, but it was too late to turn the course of things – this time the set ended 21-25 Hungary’s way.

The beginning of set three was a carbon copy of the two previous ones. Hungary had a margin of six points on Poland by the first technical time-out and by the second mandatory break Poland managed to add only three more points to their tally (5:16). The fact that the home team got up and almost could catch up with their rivals towards the end of the set was quite a feat but the last few actions again showed the advantage of the more experienced Hungarians, who finished the set 18-25 and the whole match 0:3.

Hungary’s Renata Sandor topped the scoring charts with 15 points, while Magdalena Wawrzyniak’s 10 marked the top performance on Poland’s side.

Jan Jose De Brandt, coach of Hungary said: “It’s a well-deserved victory – we were in control of the game for the whole match. The Polish team had some good – even very good – moments, but we had a comfortable advantage in points whenever this happened. Tomorrow’s game may look very different. You can see that they have some ideas for the game but lack in experience. It’s going to be a hard match. Poland is still fighting to surpass Israel in the standing and to do that, they need to win that match. We’re happy that we gave a good match today and that we’re going to play in the European League semi-finals.”

Wieslaw Popik, coach of Poland said: “We were lacking quality in reception and that prevented us from showing a good fight in spiking. What’s more, the Hungarian players did a very good job in defence. And we didn’t have the necessary consistency in serving. I’m not thinking of any major changes in the line-up for tomorrow – these girls are here to learn and gain experience. I hope that tomorrow they will show that they learned something from this match.”

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