Slovenian volleyball players will fight for the bronze medal at the European Championship. In the semi-final in Rome, Poland, the first team in the world ranking and the current winner of the League of Nations, won 3:1.
Poland registered its eighth victory at this year’s championship, but dropped only its fourth set, and will play in the final of the European Championship for the first time since 2009, when it won the only title of European champion. In the last two tournaments of this type, she lost to Slovenia in the semifinals and then won bronze. Before that, she also missed the European Championships in 2015 and 2017, but now she has broken this spell.
Slovenia, which has already been second at the European championships three times, will fight for the first time bronze. She won the opening set, but then Poland took the initiative. He was playful Wilfredo Leon, but especially the Polish block, which is by far the best in the tournament, and the serve worked perfectly. Slovenians are out of rhythm threw Gregor Ropret’s injury. They remained without the first organizer of the game in the third set.
As many as 19 times the score was tied in the opening set. The Slovenians, who proved themselves with a fighting game, were very calm and made only four mistakes. On the other side are the Poles right 12, and this is exactly what tipped the scales in favor of the Slovenian side at the end of the set. Poland had a smaller initiative, but Cretu reacted in time and at 14:12 with “timeout” stopped a small rush. Urnaut’s attack was then successful for 23:22, and after the tie, Huber sent the ball into the net with the service. Slovenia took advantage of the first final ball, when Kochanowski put the ball over the Slovenian block, but it ended up out of bounds.
Cretu’s protégés started the second set very well. With the excellent services of Čebul, who scored the first two aces of the match, they took a 5:2 lead. The Poles were very nervous then, but after “timeout” Grbić was quickly collected and turned the score around. Leon took care of the tie at 6:6 with the initial kicks, after a good block Huber The first national team of the world ranking beat Možič with 8:7. In the continuation, Leon shone, who was the most deserving with excellent attacks, that the difference grew to six. Slovenia, who did in this series right 13 errors, while the rivals had six, with a few good ones actions came close twice to -2, but Poland responded in time and with the second final ball used reliably tied the score at 1:1 in sets.
With the score tied at 4:4, Slovenia had two attacks to take the lead in the third set, and Poland then took the lead by two. But the Slovenians quickly responded with consecutive points, and Kozamernik took the lead with a good block at 7:6. After a mistake by Ropret, who tried to cheat, but sent the ball into the car, Poland took the lead (12:11), but the first Slovenian passer injured his ankle in action. Planinšič came into the game instead, and the Polish rush tried to stop Crete with “timeout“, but immediately after that they caught Možič in the block, and Leon took advantage of the poor defense for 17:13. Cretu’s second intervention was more successful, as two Slovenian points followed, and quickly Poland again took the lead by four with a good block and an effective attack and confidently registered a victory in the third set.
At the beginning of the fourth set, Leon broke through Možič’s block for the first Polish lead, and three consecutive Slovenian points followed. Možič served excellently twice, and Planinšič blocked Leon and Slovenia took the lead 5:3. With three consecutive errors at the opening shot, she brought Poland back into the game, leading 13:11 after an even first part of the set. First, the Slovenian defense reacted poorly to Leon’s unconvincing attack, and the Cuban in the Polish jersey then scored another ace. Cretu immediately took “timeout“. Leon served four more times perfectly and prevented elaborate Slovenian attacks. The difference grew to six. Slovenia quickly managed to cut the gap in half, so that Grbić also requested a break. Urnaut and Možič were caught in the block, and Poland again escaped to +6. The indomitable Slovenians returned to the game and after a good service by Urnaut came to -2, then the transfer of the captain at the kick-off and a successful attack Kaczmarek for the Polish final.
POLAND − Slovenia 3:1 (-23, 21, 20, 21)
At 21.15:ITALY – FRANCE
The final and third place match will be held on Saturday.