Girls' U19 World Championship 2023 - News.

Zofia Sobanty celebrating a point

Poland did not achieve their goals set at the FIVB Girls’ U19 World Championship. In a dramatic five setter against co-hosts Croatia, the players guided by head coach Waldemar Kawka couldn’t seize all their opportunities, and didn’t make it to the quarters of the competition. Disappointed, the Poles, always considered a team ready to fight for medals, are yet to draw conclusions. But one thing is for sure - the young Polish players do not lack fighting spirit and will learn from this experience. While their journey at the Worlds continues at the 9-16 placement matches, players like Martyna Podlaska, Anna Fiedorwicz and Zofia Sobanty are already looking forward to clinching victories, helping Poland to get the best possible position.

The tournament is streamed live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel

Sobanty, one of the most experienced on the squad, has been the engine for Poland’s team in many critical situations. 16-year-old, Zofia is showing a true potential of being a leader on the court, and counting on the experience from the Tauron League (where she competes at the elite level), she might very well be a player to watch for in the future.

A bit of a stubborn in the beginning, Zofia didn’t want to try out volleyball. However, the coach who had coached her mother, was convinced Sobanty has to step on the volleyball court. Not giving up on his mission to convince the young Zofia, he eventually succeeded in bringing the girl to the sports hall. Inspired, her mother also contributed for this. 

“My mother was very excited about this idea. She always wanted me to play volleyball. In the end, I went for a first training, and that’s it. I liked it.”

Zofia is part of the Polish women’s elite, playing for the club of Energa MKS KaliszPoland. Although not counting on much playing time (four games), Sobanty is cherishing the experience gained at trainings and matches, crossing paths with some of the best players in the League.

“I have learned a lot. It was a great experience during this last season. I was training with players who have outstanding volleyball qualities. I believe that learning from them in training will be crucial for me, and it gives me a lot in technical aspects as I am to improve my volleyball skills.”

Sobanty (5) and her teammates at the FIVB Girls' U19 World Championship

Sobanty (5) and her teammates at the FIVB Girls' U19 World Championship

Learning from the best, Zofia showed she knows how to apply the knowledge gained.She was chosen MVP of the youth national championship, leading the team to the gold medal.  Precisely, becoming champion of Poland is her best volleyball memory so far. 

“There were many difficult situations, but we overcame it, and for sure, this is my best volleyball moment so far. The gold medal tastes really good.”

Being the player who takes the responsibility is awarded by receiving the award for Most Valuable Player of the championship. And although not easy, Zofia is ready to handle the pressure. 

“It is difficult to take responsibility for the important balls. I don’t think it’s a role that fits everyone, but I think I handle it well.”

The outside hitter dreams of joining one day the women’s national team and to start winning with them on the European and world volleyball stage. And to do so, she would like to cooperate on the court with no other than Joanna Wołosz.

“It would be great to play some day with her. It’s always a pleasure to watch what she is doing on the court with the ball.”

Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Girls' U19 World Championship
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