After winning against Belgium in the first qualifying match for the Olympic Games, the Polish volleyball players started the match against Bulgaria. Of course, the Reds and Whites were the favorites in this match, but they faced a very uncomfortable opponent.
On the second day of the Olympic Games, Polish volleyball players took on the Bulgarian national team. Our rivals, unlike us, defeated the Chinese without any major problems 3-0 (25:18, 25:19, 25:14) in the first match. In turn, Nikola Grbic’s players struggled with Belgium for a long time, only to finally defeat them in a tie-break after about a 3-hour match.
Good opening for Polish volleyball players
The Bulgarians are a very uncomfortable rival, as we have seen many times. The White and Reds started this match quite well, building a two- or even three-point advantage (6:3 and 8:3). Unfortunately, our rivals recorded a great series of three victories in a row, which allowed them to equalize and then take the lead 10:11 and jump back to 11:13. After Bulgaria scored the thirteenth point, Nikola Grbic asked for a break to draw attention to his players’ mistakes.
It had the intended effect, because after a while we were already leading 15:14. This set was even until the end, but in the decisive phase of the match the White and Reds kept their cool and won 26:24. The Bulgarians, who had the set ball, were close to winning the set, but Atanasov made a mistake with the passing ball and then, together with Sokolov, they impaled the Polish block.
The Bulgarians did not recover from the disastrous ending
In the next set, the Bulgarians looked as if they still hadn’t recovered from the events of the first set. The ball was once again broken to make it 1-0 by Martin Atanasov, who missed neither the field nor the block. Moreover, two actions later he served into the net. Nikolov maintained the level of our rivals, scaring us time and time again with strong attacks. After a series of many mistakes by their opponents, the Polish volleyball players jumped to 6:2 and seemed to be in control of the set.
Unfortunately, at some point the Bulgarian players woke up and were able to catch up with the White and Reds with a score of 7:6. Fortunately, Nikola Grbic’s players were able to build an advantage again – 12:9, which they kept until the end. This game ended with the score 25:20 after Bartosz Bednorz’s attack with the pipe.
The third set turned out to be the last. The White and Reds, energized by their previous triumphs, did not slow down and completed the formalities. This game ended with the score 25:21, and the entire match 3:0 (26:24, 25:20, 25:21). Now Nikola Grbic’s players will have one day off.