Poland Germany 2605

Poland's Dawid Dulski hits during one of the matches

Volleyball Nations League 2023 participants Poland and Germany got plenty of activity during their preparation for the event this week after they got to play ten sets across a pair of exhibition matches held in Polish cities.

The teams played in two very intense matches, with the Germans winning Thursday’s encounter 3-2 and the Poles prevailing on Friday’s duel also in five sets, providing their coaches with plenty of information to work on ahead of their debuts in the VNL 2023, from June 6-11.

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Held in Katowice, Thursday’s encounter was part of a huge festivity for Polish volleyball, which featured the inclusion of 2018 world champions Mateusz Bieniek, Aleksander Śliwka and Bartosz Kwolek, as well as former players Dorota Świeniewicz, Małgorzata Glinka and Paweł Papke into the country’s Volleyball ‘Alley of Stars’.

Despite the festive atmosphere, Germany didn’t let Poland celebrate on the court, walking away with a 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 19-25, 25-17, 15-13) victory in front of thousands of Polish fans that packed the Spodek Stadium.

Opposite Linus Weber led the German victory with 24 points (19 kills, two aces, three blocks). Outside hitters Erik Röhrs and Moritz Reichert also had solid performances with 19 and 15 points. Poland’s main scorers were opposite Bartłomiej Bołądź, with 19 points, and outside hitter Artur Szalpuk, with 18.

On Friday, the encounter happened in Sosnowiec and the Poles fought back, responding with a five-set (26-24, 23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 24-22) victory of their own.

Szalpuk was the match’s top scorer with 23 points (15 kills, five aces, three blocks), followed by opposite Karol Butryn, who produced 20. Germany had opposite Yann Böhme, with 18 points, and outside hitter Ruben Schott, with 13, as their most effective players.

Poland 2605

Łomacz and Kłos will be with the Polish roster in the opening week of the VNL

After the match, Polish coach Nikola Grbić announced the 14 players that will be part of the team for the opening week of the VNL, in Nagoya, Japan, where they will face defending champions France, Iran, Bulgaria and Serbia.

He will have setters Grzegorz Łomacz and Jan Firlej, opposites Karol Butryn and Dawid Dulski, outside hitters Jakub Szymański, Kamil Semeniuk, Artur Szalpuk and Mikołaj Sawicki, middle blockers Karol Kłos, Mateusz Bieniek, Karol Urbanowicz and Mateusz Poręba and liberos Kamil Szymura and Kuba Hawryluk available for selection.

Germany will compete in Ottawa and will play against Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy and hosts Canada.

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