Poles with a false start in the first sparring. Michał Winiarski took the prize

Poles with a false start in the first sparring.  Michał Winiarski took the prize

The Polish national volleyball team lost the first match of the 2024 season. Nikola Grbic's team lost to Germany led by Michał Winiarski in a sparring match.

Fans of the Polish men's national team have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Nikola Grbic's team started the 2024 season. In the first (friendly) match, the Poles hosted the German team led by Michał Winiarski in Spodek in Katowice. The result satisfied only his team's fans. Western neighbors, participant of the 2024 Olympics, won 3:1 (25:23, 16:25, 25:16, 28:26).

A close fight at the opening of the season

Nikola Grbic divided the available squad into two teams. One played on Wednesday in Spodek in Katowice, the other was still training that day in Spała. This is evidenced by the situation… stuck in the elevator. The Serb designated (in the starting lineup) Bednorz, Kochanowski, Poręba, Łomacz, Semeniuk, Bołądź and Szymura for the match against Germany. The first set was evenly matched. Both teams performed well on their opponent's serve. However, there was a lack of effectiveness on their own serve. The breakthrough came around the 20th point, when the Poles gained a three-point advantage. It seemed that with the score 23:21, the White and Reds were close to winning. However, then the well-functioning block of rivals made itself felt. The Germans equalized and then won the game 25:23.

In the second game, the Poles did better. Before the halfway point of the set, they were leading by four points. It could be concluded that Grbić's instructions during the break had a motivating effect. At one point, the players allowed Germany to equalize the score, but thanks to Kamil Semeniuk's good service, the end of the second set was calm. The Poles won 25:16, which was a strong response to the surprise from a few minutes ago.

Michał Winiarski's volleyball players showed their strength

In the third set, the Germans started with momentum. They hit the hosts hard with their serve, which resulted in a 12-6 lead. Michał Winiarski's players gained so much momentum that the Poles had less and less to say. Semeniuk did not serve as accurately as before, but his opponents were able to surprise with their serves. It quickly became clear that the party would fall prey to the guests. Grbic let the bench players play, including debutant Łukasz Usowicz. Winning 25:16, the Poles had to pull themselves together to ensure their triumph in the first meeting of 2024.

The fourth game was similar to the first. There was no strong accent from the hosts or guests, although Poles were usually one step ahead of their rivals. The opponents did not give up and equalized the score. Grbic reacted with a time-out. After a few minutes, the White and Reds felt more confident. They were again more effective than their rival, which led to a several-point lead. When the Germans got within one point, the Poles pulled away again, leading to a tense ending again. The victory was decided by the advantage play. The rivals did better there, winning 28:26, and this time they achieved a symbolic victory.

Poland will play a sparring match with Ukraine

The rest of the team, who watched the Poles' match on TV today, will play tomorrow in a sparring match with the Ukrainian national team. The clash with the team led by the former coach of the White and Reds, Raul Lozano, will start at 6:00 p.m. in Sosnowiec.

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